Sunday, June 3, 2012

the one where I kind of review a film my girl and I watched last night

I borrowed three movies from the library this past week, as if I might have time to watch them. I did watch Chicago one evening when the Girl was out and I couldn't focus. I'd seen it before, of course, and had a hankering to see Richard Gere do what I think he does best (oh, that courtroom tap dance!

though I wish we could just watch the tap dance without so much courtroom).

I also borrowed Nowhere Boy, which the Girl and I have been wanting to watch due to her love of the Beatles, especially John Lennon. No time so far. We'd both like to be more awake when we pop that into the DVD player, though I may punt it up to her so that she can watch it alone when she can't sleep, maybe tonight, since she's got to get back to her dad's at some point very soon.

The third movie I borrowed was Young Adults, which stars Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt. It was written by Cody Diablo and directed by Jason Reitman, the same team that created Juno. The Girl and I couldn't quite settle after graduation (she did not graduate last night; the band plays through the ceremony. I attended because I'm fond of some of the class of 2012 band members) and very, very late dinners, so we decided to try to stay up to watch it. It was well past 10 p.m. when we started it.

This film is ... interesting. It's kind of like an Ann Hood novel in the way that the characters don't change; there is, as one reviewer put it, no character arc. That reviewer found this good, a truth, that people don't really change in reality, that character changes are something movies have taught us to expect.

Well, now, I think that's bullshit. I think people do change. Or at least can change.

Here's a brief synopsis that I didn't even steal from online:

This self-centered, "messy," depressed woman named Mavis Something, who has escaped her small hometown of Mercury, Minn., to live in the "MinniApple," where she's found "success" writing a young adult series, returns home to try to win back her high school beau, though he's happily married and has a new baby to boot. She encounters another old classmate, Matt, who is still suffering the effects of a terrible, violent crime against him that occurred during high school, and they form an oddly sweet and genuine friendship.


I'll call this film a blue/black comedy. It has moments when you think you're supposed to laugh, but instead you find yourself covering your face with your hands and shaking your head out of sheer mortification for this obviously disturbed young(ish) woman.

"She looks so much older in this movie than she did in Snow White and the Huntsman, my Girl said. "Why is that?"

"Maybe make up? Maybe she was more made up in Snow White? Do you like it? Should we keep watching it?"

"Yeah, let's keep watching it. Do I like it? I don't know. It's ... entertaining."

It is entertaining in an, "I'm so glad I'm not quite that fucked up even though I'm not exactly totally mentally healthy," sort of way.

The film is always better when Patton Oswalt (who plays the disabled Matt) is on screen. I didn't quite buy his character as being stuck in the past, though I know I was supposed to. Oswalt has such an incredible intelligence and sweetness to him, an openness that makes me feel as if I know him even more than I get to know the character Matt. (one site describes him as having "agnomen," which I understand but is a weird word, so let's just say they claim he has an "Everyman" sort of onscreen nature, while I find that he reminds me of specific people I love who are nothing like Everyman, though maybe that's what Everyman really is, that person who is so familiar to you you're sure you've known them for three decades, if you've been alive that long).

It's a strange film with an odd ending that had no resolution, really, or closure. Not that I always need a film to wrap up neatly and nicely. Fuck, sometimes my best poems end with dangly bits just dangling out there (there is one that has a resolution that needs to dangle instead to be truer to what the poem wants to be. And, yes, my poems know what they want to be even when I'm not sure. Sentient beings).

I'm glad I checked this movie out of the library and didn't pay to rent it. I'm not sorry I watched it because my daughter and I got to spend some time together, talked while we watched, caught up. I don't lightly toss away opportunities to talk to my daughter. She's so busy, and I'm so busy. Even though I didn't even kind of start to fall asleep after the film was over until close to 2 a.m., the time I spent watching Young Adult was not wasted.

But next time, a better movie? (not that this one was bad; it was just blue/black and claustrophobic).

bye now

1 comment:

  1. If you like Richard Gere dancing, have you seen him in Shall We Dance? He does tango with J-Lo. Not sure how I feel about that, but hey...I haven't seen the film myself but hope to watch the original Japanese film that the Richard Gere one is based on.