There is absolutely nothing fun to do in my town. Nothing. Lucky for me my friend Jordana's spring break trip was cancelled (not very lucky for her), so we've decided to have a few movie nights. We arrived at the video store to find that it had been majorly downgraded from the much larger space it used to occupy next door. Everything is DVD's, and all of them recent. No old classics here. Their competition with netflix, DVR, and digital cable has drastically lowered their prices, though. We got three new releases for $9.99. Not too bad.
Jordana and I picked "The Last Kiss" (because of my Zach Braff obsession), "For Your Consideration" (to get some laughs in), and "The Science of Sleep" which I know nothing about other than I saw a critic say something good about it a while ago, and it has the very yummy Gael Garcia Bernal.
As we were checking out the movies, the sales girl looks long and hard at us and says "You went to Millburn, didn't you? I know you." She did look familiar to me, but I still was completely caught off guard. She started asking us who we still talked to from high school, what we were doing after graduation (sore/scary subject) etc. It was an awkward blast from the past that felt as uncomfortable as something you'd see on The Office. Jordana kind of knew her, through the girl's younger sister, but I had NO idea how this girl (who is actually two years older than me) remembered me. I feel kind of guilty. I spent so many years in high school perfecting my invisibility, so for somebody to remember me shouldn't I remember them too? When Jordana and I signed onto our respective facebooks later that night, we both had friend requests. Note to self: pay in cash next time.
First off, my apologies for my lack of excellent review skills. I'm having a hard time critiquing without giving away too much. Let me know how I do (be honest).
The first movie we watched was "The Last Kiss" which I was really looking forward to due to the involvement of a stellar cast and my unknowing future husband, Zach Braff. I already own the soundtrack (awesome, btw), and had somewhat high hopes despite the random people who said they found the ending upsetting. I figured the ending would be gritty and realistic, and maybe Zach's character ended up with the wrong girl that they were rooting for. Without giving too much away, at the ending Jordana and I looked at each other and shared a "huh." Jordana then said she would have much rather seen the movie as a buddy comedy, focusing on the three friends of Michael (Braff's character). Jordana and I both found ourselves yelling at the characters throughout the film. From the first few minutes when Rachel Bilson is introduced, and throws herself at Michael (with the knowledge that he has a girlfriend). I found Bilson's character unlikable (which is hard to believe, since I really like her), and over the top. She consistently throws herself at Michael, and it got to the point where I was thinking enough already. Then she throws out the cheesiest line "make love to me in my dorm room" which would NEVER be uttered by a twenty-year old college student. Besides the fact that I hate the term "make love" (it just sounds ridiculous, in my opinion), I've NEVER heard anybody in college use that term (in a serious context).
Another problem is the fact that these characters really need therapy. I mean, like glaringly so. Rather than work out his newly developing problems with his wife, one of the characters chooses to just leave her and their baby. It just didn't feel realistic in any way shape or form. I mean, plenty of people leave their spouses/children all the time, but for these characters and their situations it just didn't make sense. The screenwriter of this film is Paul Haggis of "Crash" fame, a movie I hated. I thought it had great acting, but some of the most attrocious writing for such a critically aclaimed movie. It could have, should have been an afterschool special. So it really shouldn't be a surprise to me that another film he wrote missed the mark completely. I think the plot had tremendous potential, but Haggis just does not know how to tell a believable story. On the plus side, the music was great even if it was completely misplaced, and I will say one of my favorite parts of the movie where the music finally gelled with the story (rather than seemed placed in just because the songs were good) was towards the end, with Coldplay's "Warning Sign." When Zach and I finally do get together, I might have to hide this post from him, so as not to hurt his feelings. Or maybe he agrees with me, but is too classy a guy to diss his own movie in public.
Next up on our movie night schedule was "For Your Consideration" from the amazing team that made such classics as "Best in Show" and "Waiting for Guffman". First of all, I was shocked and horrified to discover Jordana had never seen any of Christopher Guest's films, and even worse had never even seen "This is Spinal Tap" (one of the greatest comedies I've seen). I later discovered that far too many of my friends had never even heard of the "Rockumentary" let alone seen it. I fear that my introducing it to them will result in the same horror that was my friends getting bored during "Young Frankenstein" (whaaaa?!?!) But I digress. What I want to know about FYC is how realistic this film is to how Hollywood is really run. Points this movie touches upon? Jews running Hollywood, execs trying to cleanse the film (originally called "Home for Purim") of it's Jewish story, the use of Botox, on-set romances, career turnarounds, obnoxious talk shows, acting for the "craft" not the awards, and soo many more. If you watch TNT at all, you've seen the overplayed commercials on "what is drama" and they discuss comedies as drama, and making people cry by making them laugh, and making them laugh after making them cry. Or something like that. I hope my point isn't too garbled. What I'm trying to say, is that even this amazing comedy managed to break my heart, thanks to the amazing Harry Shearer simply staring at a clock. It's one of the more poignant parts of the film, that brings even more life to the characters. Catherine O'Hara also manages to make me laugh to tears with her sudden change of face. If you've seen it you'll understand, if you haven't seen it then what are you doing still sitting here? Go rent it!
I wonder if I was a better Jew who really knew what the heck Purim was and who actually celebrated it, if I would have appreciated this movie even more. Either way, this is a great film and I recommend it to everybody.
As for our last film, that was pushed back a few days due to exhaustion, so I'll post that review later. Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves...