It’s rarely a good idea to walk into a film with preconceived notions, but it’s rarely something a person can help unless they’re able to go completely blind. But, unless you’re at a festival, it’s hard to do that these days given the advertising saturation film culture. Even if you’re not intentionally surrounding yourself with it, chances are, it’ll still be in the background. So, that being said, I walked into If I Stay, a YA weepy movie based on a YA weepy novel by Gayle Forman, with average to low expectations. I thought, At worst, it’ll be forgettable. And somehow, I was so, so wrong.
At the end of The F Word, Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan) get married. This isn’t surprising, but it is, for me, disappointing. What’s to be most valued in this film, written by Elan Mastai based on the play Cigars and Toothpaste by TJ Dawe and Michael Rinaldi and directed by Michael Dowse, is its brutal honesty about the complicated dynamics of two friends who may or may not be attracted to one another and the concessions they have to make in order to not upset that dynamic. It essentially plays out like When Harry Met Sally…, but less inclined to make one person a victim or a pathetic figure. It lays out its options openly and realistically, acknowledging that people sometimes have to do painful things in order to maintain a kind of balance.
There’s a scene that made me think that Magic in the Moonlight might be a critical self-examination of Allen’s own nihilistic ideology. At some point in Magic in the Moonlight, rather early into the film, there is a scene where George, a psychiatrist, makes an impromptu diagnosis of our protagonist Stanley (Colin Firth), noting him to be neurotic, depressive, nihilistic, etc. It’s the usual ten cents that anyone with eyes and ears can discern from a majority of male protagonists in Woody Allen films, but there was a dryness about the diagnosis this time around, or, at least when I noticed it. Comments of this kind are made about Firth’s character from nearly everyone, but the coarseness of them is sharper than normal.
Hey, I’m on a podcast now with my friends Matt, Destiny, and Jackson! You should check it out!
Originally posted on Trashpect Ratio:
In this inaugural episode of the Trashpect Ratio movie podcast, we meet our panel of hosts, cohosts, subhosts, and host with the mosts as we introduce ourselves, chat about what we’ve been watching, and generally have a grand to-do before getting into the nitty gritty of our first movie club: Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England. Psychedelia, existential horror, and dry British comedy can be yours on this very fresh and very free podcast, here for you on this and all future Ides!
If you want to check out the episode, its in the player or you can find it directly HERE. iTunes is still forthcoming, sadly, but it shall come forth.
This Month’s Movie
A Field in England
Next Month’s Movie
Other Movies Discussed
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
Y Tu Mamá También
Under The Skin
Big Trouble In Little…
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