Sunday, February 27, 2011

Movie Disappointments and Perfections on Oscars Week-end

So, on this Sunday when lots and lots of people will tune in to see the Academy Awards, I have movie disappointments on the brain. I have not actually seen many of the movies that are nominated for awards this year, or any year. Gone are my high school years, the early 80's, where my friends and I went to several movies a week-end. Given the fact that fewer movies were made back then, there were a few points in the year when we had actually seen everything that was released.

Ah, high school, back when I had scads of free time. High school took up about as much of my time as my current job--why did it seem I had more time? Was it the fact that there were fewer other distractions? Fewer movies, fewer television channels, no Internet? Was I better at time management?

Anyway, back to movies. On Friday night, we watched the latest (was it the latest?) Woody Allen movie, Vicky Christina Barcelona. It had gotten good reviews, so I took the chance. As I suffered through this movie, I tried to remember the last Woody Allen movie I really enjoyed. Then I tried to figure out why the critics liked this movie. I wouldn't have added it to the Netflix queue if I hadn't heard good things about it.

It could have been a sexy movie, but it was dull. It could have been an interesting exploration of alternative relationships, a triad, not a diad. We only got about 10 minutes of that. It could have been an interesting exploration of art and what it means to be a creative person, but it fell back on that old stereotype that artists are barking mad people who will stick a knife in you (both literally and figuratively) and shoot you. I even had hopes for the scenery, but alas, no. And what horrible, stilted dialogue--NOBODY talks like that, particularly not beautiful, young women. Sigh.

Then yesterday, we watched the remake of Fame. What a hideous movie. We couldn't keep the characters straight because they were barely developed (much like the Woody Allen movie). Were the characters talented? Hard to say. The male dancer who wasn't good enough? We saw him in his first week of class, but we never saw him dance again--and we get the interview that he has with the dance teacher where she tells him he'll never make a living by dancing, but maybe he could teach. Well, I'll just have to take her word for it, won't I? And my spouse was the one who noted that the other students wouldn't have seemed nearly as talented without all their electronics. The lunchroom scene for example--it began with a boombox.

It was SO bad that we watched the first part of the original movie. SO MUCH BETTER. What a relief to see students playing instruments in that lunchroom. What a delight to think of a lunchroom that had two old pianos just hanging out there. What a delight to see students improvise. What a delight to see students dancing like they've actually been classically trained. Ah well.

And then we switched gears. We watched When Harry Met Sally. And let me take a quick aside here to say how wonderful it is that my husband was perfectly happy to have this chick flick film fest with me. We wouldn't want to do it every Saturday. Some Saturdays we will watch nothing but Westerns--and then I get the Best Wife Award.

I'm happy to report that When Harry Met Sally still holds up all these years. Witty dialogue, crisp plotting, beautiful settings, perfectly done minor characters, truly funny bits. It was a great way to end my disappointing movie streak.

Will I be watching the Academy Awards? No, I will not. I just don't care enough to suffer through all those hours and all those commercials (I feel that way about a great many things these days)--I'll just catch the recap tomorrow.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Me, too! Or me, neither, as the case may be! (Re: have not seen many of the nominees this year.) But I am going to an Oscar party, so I will have people to talk to during the commercials and annoying parts!