Monday, May 15, 2006

or, how i was tricked into seeing a romantic comedy

My ever-wily partner in crime wanted to see a movie.

Sometimes, in my private life, I resist being the official movie recommender* - too much responsibility - so I told him to check the listings and find something we could walk to. He came back with "Friends With Money" . . .

Ug, said I.

But the only other thing that, according to him, was playing at the nearest theaters and had gotten good reviews was "Thank You for Smoking." And he didn't want to see that because, in his words,

"Oh, fun, righteous indignation! I love to feel good about myself - the new Schindler's List! Now, a health problem that we've almost completely solved!

If I wanted to feel righteous indigation I could stay home and read the news."

Bent over in paroxysms of laughter, I allowed myself to be taken to "Friends With Money." And we did not feel good about ourselves after that, I can tell you.

Actually, it had it's moments, but no one else at the theater laughed at them.

I have a good friend who actually makes films, and she LOVED Lovely and Amazing, and my partner in crime, wily as ever, put it on our Netflix list. We watched that too, and that was better, more obviously critical and a maternal melodrama not a romantic comedy that ends with a pairing. Actually, it was cool because this friend had written a paper about Lovely and Amazing that I had read and heard many times and I'd never seen the movie* (yes, same note, again) so I had a very vivid sense of some of the scenes . . .

How Dawson's Creek is this bed?

Is this some kind of aesthetic joke? Like the clothing that woman designs in "Friends With Money" ?? Or am I still the only one laughing?

*Sometimes, in my private life, I get really freaked out about watching movies at all because the experience will be so intense and frightening and potentially life-changing . . . and such an emotional and sensory commitment. Am I going insane? It's NOT that studying film "ruins" the filmgoing experience, it's that it makes it that much (too much) more exciting. "Friends With Money" wasn't a painful waste of time, but it wasn't that intense either . . .

And Denby (who? oh, yeah, him) was intrigued by the premis (its not quite a plot) but he doesn't note the really interesting mix of bitchy critical and kind that Hofocener's quiet, textured, ironic and cliched filmmaking achieves. Ug, that sentence sounds so generic film review. Like, it's funny that Jennifer Aniston is in the film, right? And that emptiness is intentional, right? Very subtle or just lame? It's your call, really.

Denby reviewed "Friends" (With Money) alongside The Notorious Bettie Page, which he liked but I haven't seen. I pretty much love American Psycho . . . very Henry James.



Blogger EL said...

Glad to see you loved American Psycho. The relationships especially are very Jamesian, which is something I hadn't noticed, but will now relish on subsequent viewings.

I enjoyed Lovely and Amazing, but was a little disappointed overall. It was good, but I had for some reason expected better, which, naturally, poisoned much of it for me.

8:51 PM  
Blogger zoe p. said...

you'll never guess who suggested i watch american psycho. some very savvy, very sophisticated duke university undergrads in my american modernism class.

3:58 PM  

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