Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I never really liked the look of this film - loadsa talking, a lot of it apparently about wine. However, everyone in the universe has been going on about it since it came out, so I had to give it a look.

Sadly, it was pretty much as I expected. I've been trying really hard, but I just can't see how it really adds anything new to any of the genres it could be said to represent.

The buddy movie/odd couple thing has been done a billion times, and it's hard to see what's new here - introspective guy is brought out of his shell by outgoing mate, who in turn learns some lessons about maybe being a little less reckless - anybody ever see Dharma and Greg?

The romantic story also seems to be one I've seen infinite variations of. Not that this is a bad thing - there are some universal stories out there - but again, what was so particularly stand-out about the shy guy meets girl, can't get it together with her, then finally does, then fucks it up by being dishonest, then goes through a period of mourning, then sorts it out in time for the closing credits storyline?

As far as I can tell, the only new things this brought to either of those genres were (a) the use of split-screen (a la Woodstock), and (b) going on a lot about wine.

Too long and nowhere near as innovative or fresh as it's been made out.

1 comment:

afraid said...

Shame. I liked it because it took all those elements of lesser films that you mentioned, and made them into something that resonated. It isn't innovative or fresh, but it is refreshing because it takes a few tired genres and gets them right.

Some scenes were totally unnecessary (for example, the retrieval of the wallet), but they are balanced by some truly great ones - stealing from his mum, describing the pinot grape, sculling from the spit bucket, and reflecting at the beach... some of that is gold. And the ending was wonderful!

I also didn't think he was brought out of his shell by his outgoing mate. Maya, not Jack, was the catalyst for change, so when he fucked it up it really felt terrible. I need to see it again (it's been over a year), but I think the central theme is of imperfection and never quite attaining what you aspire to.

It is too long, though. I agree with that.