Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Failure of the Day: Movies

Happy half birthday to me. Tomorrow is 6 months without smoking. I almost suckered Chris into letting me have a cigar to celebrate but then chickened out. I’ll try again at 1 year.


Jersey Girl: Conveniently showing at the 4 Star, just around the corner. I liked it more than I expected to. I like Kevin Smith more on a macroscopic level than on the micro, which is to say that his general ideas and stuff are lovely but his dialog is awful. Not so here, I thought. All the characters managed to speak without looking like they were excreting necessary exposition or unnecessary attempts at cleverness. Very sappy as everyone else has noted but I appreciated the sensibility, the certain calmness with which the half self obsessed NYC jackass/half lug head New Jersey father dealt with sexuality and his daughter. Nicely done.

Oleanna: A remnant from Chris’s David Mamet obsession. The interesting thing about this piece of vile stinky should-NEVER-have-been-made crap is that it could never have been made if it weren’t written and directed by Mamet. I don’t mean his star power or pull in Hollywood got it made; I mean that after we watched two hours of what is basically just a conversation, we looked at each other and said “You know, the two characters could have totally resolved their differences if only they hadn’t been made to talk like that!” This is what I mean to say: This movie doesn’t exist. We opened the box and David Mamet’s verbal tics flew out and stuttered like flapping wings for 2 hours.


Happy Accidents: I caught this by chance on IFC while I was trying to stay out of Chris’s way as he put together the new DVD shelving unit in the living room. It has Marissa Tomei as an unlucky in love New Yorker and Vincent D'Onofrio as a time traveler who comes to find her. So there’s the whole “is he really a time traveler or is he just a nutbag?” thing and that’s plenty interesting in that KPAX kind of way, but really, it seemed like what she was struggling to believe was that he actually did love her that much. Nice how the idea of her being so happy was no less bizarre than his being from the 25th century. Quite good, I thought.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: At last the shelving unit was built and it was Couples Skate on the futon. I completely and totally loved this movie. I developed a whole relationship with Sam Rockwell’s naked ass, which was on screen very nearly as much as his naked face. Here’s the formula I am always looking for in books and movies and the like: 1 part pain, 1 part beauty. Stir. This movie was 1 part pain, 1 part weird silly stupid. Stir. And I swear to god, it worked damn near as well for me.


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