The. Up. Waiting. A. Message


May 23rd, 2015

This week, I’m down one film because Arthur my video man, bless his cotton socks, put ‘The Line of Fire‘ in the ‘Message in the Bottle‘ DVD case, and I didn’t feel like an action film. So …

The Notebook, Nick Cassavettes (2004). A friend has this thing about Ryan Gosling, which she was hoping I would get, mostly if I saw this film. And I must say, yes I now get ‘it’. Is it just me, or is this every woman’s idea of cool? This guy that just comes up to you out of the blue, is absolutely in love with you, and would do anything for you and will be with you for the rest of your life, in sickness and in health. I’m just a crazy, single lady aren’t I. But I now get it. Just so we’re clear, just because his name is Gosling, he, that is, Ryan, didn’t arrange the geese ‘on golden pond’ in the middle of the film. That was just his character – just so you know. Gena Rowlands and James Garner are also lovely. Gena has been in another few of my favourites, Night on Earth, Broken English and Paris Je t’aime (of course!!) and she’s the director’s mother from what I can see. Nice film to watch in hopeful singledom especially given the Bridget Jones-type decision the heroine needs to make.

Up in the Air, Jason Reitman, (2009). George Clooney as a bachelor. Nostalgia. He is now married. That’s all. I’ve seen it before, and it wasn’t that impressive that time either. Being quite a keen flyer and observer of the earth from the air, I did enjoy looking down on all the cities that this frequent flyer frequented. Nice touch.

Waiting for Guffman, Christopher Guest, (1997). To call Christopher Guest the director seems a little misleading, as it is quite clear that the assembled cast (similar to a Wes Anderson line up and crossing over with Best in Show, Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind) are the consummate professionals when it comes to their stylised/improvised mockumentaries. Whilst not the laugh a minute that Spinal Tap or Best in Show are, I was nevertheless both amused and impressed by the stools and martian landings of Blaine. It really is ridiculous, but oh so funny! Guest is brilliant, so too are Parker Posey and the hilarious Eugene Levy, and what really gets me when you see Guest’s whole oeuvre back to back, is the amazing acting skills they bring to bear. Really different characters brought to life by wonderful actors. I can imagine filming tends to resemble theatre sports. Really funny.

A Mighty Wind, Christopher Guest, (2003). Back together for the first time, again” It got me thinking that this little clutch of films is really Andersonian, minus the prop and set detail. It is striking what a group of actors who work together over a period can achieve. The films are quite formulaic, but they really tickle my funny bone, because their observation of the chosen ‘genre’ is just so spot on. Sandals and sock wearing hippies, Lars, Sven and Pippi Olfen and the ex-band members that go off to start sex shops, just as with Spinal Tap, you’d have to read the script to really get all of the ‘in-jokes’. So very simple, so very clever and entirely worth the $2 I paid to hire the DVD. Thanks for recommending these ones (musician friends – you know who you are!!).

with the correct disc in the cover …

Message in a Bottle, Luis Mandoki (1999). Maybe being descended from boat builders makes me a sucker for boat films. Maybe I liked The Police a little too much. Maybe I like Paul Newman, Kevin Costner and Robin Wright (Princess Bride got me early – that’s where I’ve seen her before) (and the connection with all the other films this week – Christopher Guest of course!!!!). Maybe I’m just a great big romantic. Maybe this is just a lovely, sentimental film that provides a really good excuse to cry my eyes out. Or all of the above. I enjoyed it, and I particularly liked that Therese’s boss secretly liked her all along, and that he was always telling her instead of being a researcher, that she should write. I had always thought I’d make a good researcher, and now I’m getting around to thinking I should write. Maybe that’s why I liked this film.