24 hours of pain.
Gah this movie was a painful experience. It felt less like watching a movie and more like sitting on an airplane next to a creepy, smelly homeless man while a little kid spends the whole flight kicking the back of your seat. (Airplane image courtesy of the movie t shirt category) I can’t say it didn’t elicit emotions from me, but those emotions were frustration, annoyance, massive depression, and anger.
I suppose I could look at this as a sign of my new found dedication to my movie reviewing past time. I could have not seen something. I could have seen Point Blank, a French action movie that looked kind of interesting. Why this flick? Well, in part because my bad reviews tend to be funnier and more entertaining. The main reason, however, was that the other night I had a blow struck to my confidence and needed to prove to myself that I could accurately assess whether a movie sucks from the trailer. You see I went into Our Idiot Brother expecting it to blow and it was actually kind of fun. So I went to this dog and was gratified (on some levels) to discover that my trailer based assessment was dead on the money.
Speaking of money, to greater enhance my sense of violation I paid full price for this dog. In most cases if I am going to pay someone to punch me in the stomach I’ll at least haggle a bit.
The movie (SPOILER ALERT-I don’t expect anyone with any kind of taste to see this dog, so I am going to totally spoil the crap out of it. If you read the book no problem, but if you are a glutton for punishment and want to see it skip to the last paragraph). It’s called One Day because it takes place on July 15th on each year from 1988 to 2011. While I appreciate an alternative to traditional story telling, trust me when I say this tends to really screw the story up. This movie was based on a well received book, and I can see how this format would work with each day being a different chapter, but as a movie it is painfully disjarring. The biggest issue for me was the fact that one of the years you would see a happy, fun time by both characters and the next you would be subject to some horribly depressing crap that would make you want to throw yourself down the theater stairs. Anne Hathaway stars as Emma, a British girl (with an accent that seems to waver in and out like a fast moving tide) and Jim Sturgess plays Dexter, a rich British ne’er do well. They meet upon graduation in 1988 and almost but not quite sleep together. Emma is the nerdy but cute girl and Dexter is the hot young stud (of England). Anyway, they enter into a 20 year contest to prove which of them is the most annoying human being on the planet. Dexter becomes a successful TV personality and a jerk with a drug and alcohol problem while Emma wastes her life serving tables in a Mexican food Chucky Cheeses. Then Dexter’s life tanks while Emma becomes a successful writer of some kind. During all this time they are frustrating each other (and the audience) by almost but never sleeping together, often in cruel ways. You end up hating Dexter for being a sleazy layabout and hating Emma for being a mousy, low confidence nobody. Finally they both grow up and and get married. At that moment I started to get some satisfaction from the film, as they both were treating each other decently and it looked like a good romance and fulfilling relationship was developing. At that exact moment (BIG SPOILER ALTER RIGHT HERE–>) Emma gets hit by a truck and killed. No joke. She was also by that point the loser in the most hated human on the planet contest and was the character I liked the best, so after an hour and a half of failing to get me to connect with the characters the movie finally did so, only to kill her off. I was seriously depressed, and not in the good “have a chick cry and feel better about yourself” way but more in the “go home and cut your arm up with an Xacto knife” way. By the way, the truck accident was shockingly graphic. Like Meet Joe Black graphic.
Then, as if life wasn’t sucking enough already, the movie had to go on for another 20 pointless, painful, awkward minutes while Dexter came to grips with crap. The movie flashes back to the day in 1988 when they first met and I suppose was intended to be heartwarming, but knowing her eventual fate made watching them as a young couple even more painful. It ended with Dexter and his daughter (from a different marriage) more or less talking about Emma and enjoying a tender moment, but at that point I was torn between wanting to kill myself or the projectionist.
I woke up this morning still pissed off and depressed from this movie, by the way. I really just want to end this review now and skip the whole stars/black holes thing, but I feel I have an obligation to carry it through.
The stars. I really am crazy for Anne Hathaway, and her with her nerdy glasses really did something for me. One star. Acting was decent all around. One star. Shot in England, so the scenery was pretty. One star. Watching Dexter’s TV career tank was oddly amusing. One star. Total: four stars.
The black holes. Depressing. Two black holes. Frustrating. One black hole. Infuriating. One black hole. Killing my favorite character. One black hole. The whole sudden shift of tone from day to day thing. One black hole. Forcing us to watch 90 minutes of foreplay with no consummation. One black hole. Anne Hathaway’s accent kept shifting gears. One black hole (sorry Anne. I still love you). The film blatently manipulated my emotions. One black hole. Dragging the film out for another 20 minutes after it more or less died. One black hole. There was not a single truly satisfying moment in the entire movie. One black hole. One more black hole for making me want to punch holes in my wall this morning. Total: twelve black holes.
So a total of eight black hole. Look, I’m not saying all movies have to end happy and upbeat. I actually like a dark twist. I just don’t want to be sold on the idea of a love story only to have it turn into Sophies Choice. Just look at the poster for it on IMDB. It shows young Dexter and Emma romantically kissing in a passionate embrace. There is nothing that says by the end of the movie you will be looking for a bridge to jump off of.
I don’t know. Maybe this thing hit home a little hard because I am single and bitter about it. If I had had someone’s hand to hold while watching it I might have been better able to deal with what was going on. Odds are this movie would have made me cherish a girlfriend a lot more. Hell, I might have even been secure enough to cry a little and feel better afterwards (don’t bet on it. I’m all man, baby). As it is, I am really wishing I had gone to see the new Spy Kids movie instead.
Anyway, after this bitchy, depressing blog it would not surprise me if you never came back here again, but if you did be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed and follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. Also, if you are a single woman 27-38 who even slightly resembles Anne Hathaway let’s just say this movie has made me particularly receptive for the next week or so, so drop me a Tweet. Thanks. Everyone have a great day.