- which is an achievement, considering it's as processed as Cheez Wiz. Somewhere between formula and mess is good storytelling; while Prime (another Client gratuity/advance screening last night) had a formula and was messy, it came nowhere close to good storytelling. Starred Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep, and some generic hot guy whose name escapes me – let’s call him Jewish Colin Farrell since he’s the spit-image. Some nice pratfall humour, some bark-with-laughter-even-though-I’m-not-snaked moments.
The bugger of it all: the director and writer of this film seemed to feel no sense of duty to develop or really show the characters. The Meryl Streep character and the crazy-pie-throwing-best-friend felt even more stock-characterish than the already stocky two leads; Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman could pull it off, the JCF and crazy-friend couldn’t. Outside of the funny moments the dialogue was rote-ish and television-y.
Since the characters were so underdeveloped, it put more attention onto the storyline, which was fatal. Not practical when whole scenes, including the ending, felt tacked on last minute. Don’t know how to end a movie about the ups and downs in the relationship of a 23 year old man and a 37 year old woman when they’ve already broken up and got back together twice without the audience really understanding how or why? Just have her dump him definitively in 15 seconds while he’s trying to impregnate her, cut to a melancholy wordless winter scene, play a break-up jazz vocal, roll credits. I wonder if it was time, money, or words they ran out of.
What bugs me about these sorts of movies is characters don’t matter, as they do in a film like Jackie Brown, and the story doesn’t matter, as it does in a film like Kill Bill. What matters is a resolution – a cheap catharsis, an emotional manipulation, an ‘educative’ experience ham-handedly illustrating the importance of one single basic yet subjective idea. I always leave films like that feeling like the morning after ovulation-casuals – distracted, barely satisfied, and wondering if the way I spent the last few hours was a waste of time or not. I’ve given up ovulation-casuals – looks like I’ll have to give up New York comedies too.