Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thumbs In All Directions

Hey kids, you know what time it is? It's time for... half assed movie reviews from two years ago that I only just watched! (Nick, this will be a recurring feature so please get on writing me a theme song.)

First up: Crazy, Stupid, Love. The good: great cast. Supporting cast was terrific - Josh Groban is fun in cameos, and I really like Liza Lapira, Beth Littlefield and John Carroll Lynch (NARM!). Steve Carrell plays a lovable schlub like nobody else. Julianne Moore and Marisa Tomei should have tenure at the Helen Mirren Academy of Aging Amazingly. Emma Stone, come on, I mean, how can one person be so unimpeachable? There's nothing she can't do, and her chemistry with Gosling is just crackling. As if I need to add any words about Gosling. There were some genuinely funny moments, and I went all in and let myself be surprised by several plot twists that should have been obvious.

Oh but the bad: the babysitter plotline was skeevy from every turn. And the entire line about soul mates made my head explode. Not that I don't believe in true love or soul mates. It's just the way they went about it. There's a fine line between never giving up on someone you love and getting slapped with a restraining order. The message was really problematic. Not to mention I'm sure that 8th grade class and their parents didn't appreciate Carrell and son hijacking their graduation ceremony. In the end, the movie had its moments, but it didn't deliver fully. Just watch the Stone-Gosling scenes, is my recommendation.

Now, Midnight in Paris, which I did mostly love in its fantastical way, and because of Paris (oh, Paris) and because I half-love Woody Allen. This was classic love-Woody because there was city porn for people who love that city, and some good clever dialogue and since I have never romanticized a time period, I liked his commentary there. Plus the 1920s era scenes and the clever casting choices were so much fun. I've never thought of Hemingway as sexy, but the guy who played Papa in this movie made me rethink my previous stance.

This was also classic hate-Woody because, newsflash, dude has problems with women. The choice is, shrewish woman the protagonist is stuck with, or ethereal perfect woman who for some reason actually likes whoever's playing Woody's neurotic stand-in. And in this film there are not one but two fantasy women, because when the first fantasy falls apart (Marion Cotillard, so gorgeous here), there's the girl from the record stall to pick up the real-life pieces, right down to being psyched about walking in the rain with Owen Wilson after his ex-fiancee showed early on that she was a villain because she didn't want to get her hair wet. Woody you are capable of so much good but you can't get over this hang-up! To be fair at this point I can't tell if he's sincere or making some kind of statement with recycling this trope to the point that it's a trademark. 

Verdict: I suggest it for lots of reasons, one being the awesome portrayals such as Adrien Brody as Dali, the guy who played Loki as Fitzgerald and Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein. And Par-ee, the city I love above all cities I've had the luck to visit in my life, which is the true star the way Manhattan is a star and Barcelona was a star in his other films. But really think about what kind of love story is being told and get back to me.

Is it just that after all these years the only love stories I've ever found believable were Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Knocked Up (solely the love between Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen)? It might could be.

Anyway, while I'm channeling 2011, I like this.

No comments:

Post a Comment