As every winter really sets in, my movie watching spikes. I'm catching up on all the good stuff I missed while I was riding my bike, fishing, and getting married.
Everyone that saw (500) Days of Summer told me is was a warm, sweet, charming , and surprisingly deep and insightful story of love and relationships. I genuinely hold these people in high regard when it comes to movies. I was excited to see this at Blockbuster the other day and scooped it up without a pause. Usually I drift down the entire wall of new releases before deciding on a new flick to grab. Not this time. It was at the beginning of the alphabetized wall and I did not hesitate. After watching it, it was...ok. I enjoyed it, and the actors are very charming and perfectly cast. The movie has so much going for it and none of it is bad, though in the end it felt like a creatively organized flavor of a solid romantic comedy. I am told by those that recommended it that I am dead wrong on this. I wonder if I would have loved it much more if I wasn't married? Maybe if hipsters didn't grate on me as much as they sometimes do? Maybe I am just getting older and more cynical? I have always loved Say Anything... and probably always will, but man do I see the cracks in that when I watch it these days. Perhaps you need to see certain things at the right time in your life and just reconnect with those memories in order to enjoy subsequent viewings? I suspect many people would not love The Catcher in the Rye if they waited till their 30's to read it, though I read it in high school and always find those warm feelings drifting back each time I reread it. (500) Days of Summer is not bad, but not the great thesis on modern or hipster love. She doesn't like you. Get over it.
I initially thought Rushmore was a tight little masterpiece and The Royal Tenenbaums came up short, yet with a more audacious reach. I loved them both, but preferred Rushmore. I remember vividly seeing Rushmore on the mag mile in Chicago with Melissa, Jess, and the entire crew. We walked out of the movie giddy with the enjoyment of having seen something truly original and enjoyable. After a handful of Rushmore viewings quite a few years ago I sort of set the movie aside in my mind. It's great, let's let it happily sit in that trophy case. I kept digesting The Royal Tenenbaums and the layers of that onion expanded unceasingly. I was wrong. It had not failed in anything it reached for at all. Like Scorsese or Kubrick, Wes' work really needs a few screenings to unfold. We watched Rushmore again last night and while I still laughed non stop, I saw little cracks here and there. I always thought of Bottle Rocket as the learning experience that produced the perfection in Rushmore. Maybe they both were a big warm up for RT's? I still love Mr. Littlejeans.
I'm planning on seeing A Serious Man this weekend. That is supposed to be excellent. And World's Greatest Dad is on dvd now. Time to catch up.