Monday, April 6, 2009

My Personal Film Review Column

I recently visited a friend for a sleepover which, as any female with the capacity to speak will tell you, almost without exception requires watching a movie. The one my friend had rented was the newest released romantic comedy entitled “Bride Wars” and I was immediately reminded how much I’d enjoy a profession as a film critic. Since my thoughts will probably never be published, I see no reason why I shouldn’t at least express them here.

The moment the end credits began to roll I became conscious of my experiencing a familiar feeling in an unfamiliar context: in place of the expected superficial happiness which results from a far-fetched story that makes you feel a sort of delicate blend of silliness, warmth and loneliness (since you probably wouldn’t have watched it in the first place if you had a boyfriend to be spending that time with), I was overcome by the sensation I have just after a friend recounts to me the plot line of a movie I haven’t seen that wasn’t quite good enough to leave things out for me to learn by watching it myself. In short, it was not a story. Only the skeleton of a story comprised of a series of unsupported ideas we are made to believe because they told us to and not because they actually exist in the film itself. Not one single character was developed in even the smallest way, the narrator- who wouldn’t even have been necessary had they put any thought whatever in building the plot line- was a marginal character whose perspective is useless to the action of the story and never explains how they manage to be occasionally omniscient in their explanations, and every epiphany is abrupt and confusing due to the lack of a real backstory.

Now, as far as substance-less movies go, they started with a good enough idea. Two best friends who turn on each other due to the stress and chaos caused by planning their weddings at the same time. I’ve seen quite a few decent and very few actually funny films made from less. Of course I understand that every movie on earth cannot be expected to be artful and insightful, but even those which from the start were never intended to have any real significance beyond entertainment and giving single girls butterflies followed by heart-aches need to demonstrate SOME level of continuity within itself. There is a methodology to be followed which demands so little real planning it’s personally offensive that under these economic circumstances so much money was poured into a project that clearly was only the outline of some 13-year-old’s creative writing project before her language arts teacher got the chance to recommend that she look into tying up at least one or two loose ends at the close of the story if it was really such big a hassle for her even to try to tie up all of them (which is how every story -including worthless ones- should be done) before making it to cheerleading practice that night. Who knows, perhaps by some inexplicable mishap that’s actually what happened and some only slightly more credible writer is mourning the loss of her yet-to-be-located original manuscript that would have made me sincerely laugh more than the one time I can give this movie credit for. Though I’m sure if that’s the case we’ll be hearing about it very shortly in the form of a new mindless comedy entitled “Finding Love on the Brink of Suicide After an Adolescent Robbed My Moment of Glory.”

And, as horrifying as it is to admit… I’ll probably see it at another sleepover.


Alaina and (Patrick) said...

Ashley, I love your film reviews. Patrick and I read them out loud together and decide on what to see and not see based on your insight. Keep them coming.

Jack Patrick said...

Kate Hudson for entertainment is like stealing a KIA for running over cats.