Sunday, June 12, 2005

From the mind of my husband. The eternal mind. With sunspots. A cross-post.

(Bits in this color written by yours truly. Everything else by Will.)

Is it a dull Hollywood love story, or a look at how all relationships are flawed?

Either way, let's face it: Eternal Sunshine?

Kate Winslet does a spot-on Helena Bonham Carter impersonation, and with a much better American Accent. The Dunst-Wilkinson plot is vaguely compelling. Carrey isn't a bad actor. Elijah Wood is at his best NOT when he is playing noble but when he is playing creepy. The idea that Mark Ruffalo is a "movie star", not just an actor, is fucking hilarious -this does not stem from Eternal Sunshine, it's just that he has been the "rising star du juour" for five fucking years now: and he's a CHARACTER ACTOR. Gondry is a decent enough director, certainly a strong shooter. Kaufman writes very good dialogue...

But so fucking what? I mean, seriously: this movie is such an overrated lump of "huh? Why? What is the point!?" I mean... I'd rather rewatch What Lies Beneath (which at least plays like a text-book of how to shoot/edit/score a thriller) or even that cheaply and horribly saccharine What Dreams May Come...

I just don't get it. And with further disappointment, I want to present my Wife, Mrs Grumpy Critic:

First of all, I will NEVER watch What Dreams May Come EVER again. Manipulative piece of saccharine crap...

Second of all, I think my husband just called me a disappointment.

I'm going to rail against Hollywood for a second. Eventually it will tie into the discussion.

There is a formula to Hollywood movies. I know, I know - you're thinking, "Duh," and rightly so. But what I mean is the way the stories are plotted, not the actual stories. Call me a Pollyanna (not to be confused with Mary Sue), but I do believe there are original stories out there. In a Hollywood movie, there are three acts, and the first one isn't more than 15 pages or the executive (and I include the one whose blog I'm writing in right now) tosses the screenplay in the trash and it never even gets to be a movie. It's not really anyone's fault, but it's a problem. Only once in a blue moon do we get a Sin City or a Motorama or, god help me, a Being John Malkovich. That was not a particularly good movie, but it was DIFFERENT and the cast was outstanding. (The same sentence could be written about Reservoir Dogs, but that's another rant.) So Charlie Kaufman keeps writing these "wacky," "out there" movies that don't follow formula. Yay! Now can we get someone who can do that but without being manipulative and without failing to get to the goddamn point?

It's true.

I don't have any eyes.

Now, I've read a couple of Charlie's scripts (thats what we're like here in the Biz: 1st name basis) and he writes terrific dialogue and funny moments and... well those are all well and good. What about character?
I seem to recall some intriguing characters in the script for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and I've heard that there were great characters in the script (and the feature film) of Adaptation... but what about in the much lauded "romantic" comedy, ESOTSM?


I hated every single character in the movie. And not in that "they're so well developed and effective that I disliked them" way. No, I HATED those motherfuckers because there was nothing to like. They were one-dimensional caricatures. She was a flaky alcoholic and he was dull. Possibly because he was so insecure that he couldn't even talk. Ooooh, deep.

And romance? Yeah, if you like your romance to smell of "people are fucked up and you should have the opportunity to continue making the same mistakes over and over again because, um, you don't remember. Sucker."

What? That wasn't the message of the movie? The message was Love will overcome anything?

At least mine is somewhat original for the movies.

And there we have it folks! The truth is, I really am this dull, and Annika really does drink that much. Maybe we hate the movie so much because it reflects the fact that we regularly beat each other severly due to grave disappointment. Or maybe, just maybe: We're Smarter Than You.

God bless.