Sunday, June 12, 2016

Superhero'd Out

I am officially superhero'd out. I started to feel this after the latest Captain America movie. I knew it was legit when I had no desire to see the latest X-Men movie. But I haven't stopped seeing movies. Far from it.

It started a couple weeks ago when I caught a showing of Zootopia, after reading a friend's impassioned status update regarding it. I remember seeing the trailer for it while experiencing The Force Awakens way back in December. I thought the sloth scene was hilarious, but was one of those scenes that would only be funny the first time you saw it, and I didn't think the entire movie would be able to live up to that scene. It DID! And not just because it was funny, but because the story was so timely and needed. I love the message it sends about going for your dreams, not giving into stereotypes,and that we are all in this together.

I also found it refreshing that the main character was a female and that a romance wasn't shoehorned in. Don't get me wrong, I like romance just as much as the next person and romcoms are one of my favorite genres. It's just that sometimes it's nice to see a story play out that is just about having friends. The female protagonist is not very common, considering that three of the trailers before the film were for cartoons that are populated by men and the token female voice. It's depressing.

My friend Rachel and I had a movie night last week. We generally focus on romcoms and this time around we watched Notting Hill as Rachel had never seen it. Notting Hill came out way back in 1999, and is the story of a regular ol' book-store-owning English bloke and the famous movie star he falls in love with. It sounds ridiculous, but in the deft hands of Richard Curtis and stars Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, it is wonderful. What I like about the film is that the characters are adults and act as such. They don't have any cloying, annoying misunderstandings that keep them apart before the end of the movie. There are no getting ready montages. No character types - "She's a stiff, he's a life-force" in the words of Joss Whedon - just regular people with regular, normal personalities. And the soundtrack is killer.

Last Saturday my friend Steph and I hit up the Angelika to see hot indie flick The Lobster. The premise is that couples are favored over single people. Anyone who is single is sent to The Hotel where they have 45 days to find a companion. If they don't they are then turned into an animal of their choice. The first half of the movie was clever and just the right kind of satire and commentary on society's fascination with pairing off. But then it veered wildly and was rather strange. The best part of the film was the experience when the film ended, the lights came up, and everyone in the theater awkwardly laughed and wondered aloud what had just happened. It was a shared movie-going experience that was both fleeting and everlasting. Steph and I have discussed the meaning of the film multiple times. I would only recommend this film to a small number of people; it's not for the masses.

Yesterday I went out to see Love and Friendship, another indie that's been pretty hot since it debuted at Sundance earlier this year. The film is based on a Jane Austen novella, however I hear this film version has been heavily adapted. I did not enjoy this movie. I found it boring and insufferable. I didn't care about any of the characters and is only the second time I wanted to leave the theater before the film ended (the first being X-Men Origins: Wolverine). I get what it was going for, but for me it fell really flat. However, my movie-going cousin loved it, so for another side of the story read her review.

Then there is Me Before You, which I have seen more than once in the ten days it's been out. I rather adore this film, and it was just what I needed in a testosterone-filled summer movie season. Before leaving for Seattle I had seen the trailer, and decided that I would make it my in-flight reading material. I purchased the book at the airport and read it on my four-hour there and back flights. I love the friendship between the two characters, and how they each provide what the other needs. Read this gentleman's write-up of it, and then make the blueberry scones he recommends (I just did and they are wonderful). My cousin also has a lovely review of it.

The Summer Movie Season isn't always the time to find small, character-driven stories. It's also not the time to find female-oriented stories. So I was happy to have found these, even if some of them I didn't like.


Phaedra said...

My Mom hated Love & Friendship and Marilyn fell asleep during it so...


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