Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Couple of Stupid Indie Flicks I Don't Like

I know film = art.

There was a time I got it and I liked it, kind of. I enjoyed serious movies. Serious movies like, "Cold Mountain," "The Hours," and "Closer." I also own those three movies. I liked them in the theater, and I thought I would be the type of person that would enjoy a serious movie whenever.

Six or more years later, those movies still remain in their plastic wrap, unopened.

I realize now that I don't have as much time in my schedule for a really serious movie. I'd rather sit down with a serious book. I get more out of books. I try to write them. I don't write movies, so watching movies as "study" doesn't exactly exist. I'm one of those that have begun to enjoy movies for pleasure and escape. You know that small, little film from the 1990's called "Independence Day"? Yeah...

I can't forget to tell you that I loved "Transformers."

Do I realize what they are? Total eye candy. Do I care? No, because I don't leave the theater wanting to die.

The two movies that we rented through the library (or Netflix) where I wanted to simply die after watching were the following: "Happy Endings" and "Margot at the Wedding."

What do I begin with? "Margot at the Wedding" took this foul character of a writer-mother who sucked the attention and life out of everyone, and made her the most hateful, manipulative, pale, "I climb trees and get stuck, look at me! Look AT ME!" woman I've ever seen.

That's Margot, played by Nicole Kidman. Then, Jack Black shows up and shames the entire cast of "The Office" by playing the most awkward, uncomfortable character I have ever seen on screen. In my heart, he is Mr. Schneebly from "School House Rock" and the romantic Miles from "The Holiday." You can hate those movies, but those, to me, are better fits for Black. I get it that comedic actors need to stretch, but "Margot at the Wedding" was a depressive bomb that stank of a screenwriter that had serious issues and needed to go to therapy to work out their dirt, and not write a script...

Am I angry much? About that movie, I am. Although, it's fun to meet up with people who've seen it and also hated it. It is worth communal commiseration.

Then there was "Happy Endings." This strange "quirky" film where all these lives just randomly run into each other. I get it that "Pulp Fiction" paved the way for this kind of film. Some films do it well. Then there's "Happy Endings" where Lisa Kudrow's character is like Phoebe from "Friends" with depressive, self-destructive tendencies that knows no joy, and at the beginning of the movie, she's hit by a van and then we're told that "she doesn't die" by this split-screen text narration.

I think I get so uncomfortable with some of this material because it's visual and it hits me harder than a book. A book, regardless of the visceral detail or raw emotion, doesn't phase me and tear me up like a movie. The book will stay with me forever and haunt me at moments, but it doesn't make me cringe...normally. Whereas a movie is so visual, and although we are so automated and desensitized when it comes to the moving picture, the music and scarily realistic portrayals of messed up people (without the violence and such) get me squirming because I ask myself: Am I that messed up, too?

Don't even get me started about "Management" with Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston.