Romantic comedies don't need to always be about two well-rounded… MoreRomantic comedies don't need to always be about two well-rounded people, because, let's face it; the allure of these films is to escape into a world where we are the adoration of attractive men with quirks. Still, even without fully developed characters we want an interesting concept, or at least a McGuffin to further along the plot. "The Prince and Me" tries to cash in on the childlike dream of becoming a princess, while also following the trend of empowered woman taking down roguish playboys. Sadly the woman in question quickly loses her inhibitions and stops caring about her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor and saving the world, all for the benefit of some dude she's known for four months. As unbelievable as that all sounds, it's also strange that the prince is supposedly Danish and yet speaks with an English accent, as do all the other Danes shown throughout the film. I also take issue with the depiction of Wisconsin as a Podunk state where everyone is inclined to work on farms, as someone who lives in a urban city in the aforementioned state. You can't escape into the trappings of the genre because everything about this film is formulaic, cheap, and thoughtless, which says nothing about the lack of chemistry between the two leads.
Writing mean things about actors is not something I readily enjoy, or… MoreWriting mean things about actors is not something I readily enjoy, or hop into when dissecting bad films, but I have to say that watching Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson play the same two characters for the trillionth time makes my empathy wear thin. They meander through idiotic dialogue and formulaic scenes with the same cruddy performances that they've been turning out since "Wedding Crashers." I will say that the script has a fairly original concept, but in execution it's simply a ginormous advertisement for Google. Google is shown as this untouchable, unattainable place where dreams come true and intellectuals thrive, which feels so fake and unwarranted. It's about as ego stroking as the Jobs biopic, and just as subtle. Still, there is a little bit of that same Wilson-Vaughan charm embedded in this film, though it's difficult to see it through the needless strip club scene, the "quirks" of the side characters, and the pandering to Google. If there's anything positive to be said it would be that this film is very light, and the message is that you can attain anything if you work at it, even if you don't think you're smart enough.
This documentary is a beautiful time capsule of the "ball" culture of… MoreThis documentary is a beautiful time capsule of the "ball" culture of late eighties drag culture. Not only does it show the performance aspect of these intricate and flawless drag shows, but also the AIDS fueled hysteria of the time, discrimination against gay people, and the fears and doubts of these one of a kind people. Since the film was released, many of the performers have died of AIDS related illnesses, and many of their trade secrets and views on life are only evident on the celluloid that this film was printed on. The subjects of this two year documentary are fascinating because of their candor and reverence for their craft. The film is both insightful in its depiction of ball culture and thoroughly entertaining for its depth and scope.
Amy Heckerling doesn't quite know what kind of audience she is trying… MoreAmy Heckerling doesn't quite know what kind of audience she is trying to engage. If she's trying to show high school kids the problems and unexpected strife of college life in a metropolis, then she should have shown that world in a more focused way. If she's trying to be funny and quirky for the older subset than her characters should have been better written and less dickish. Besides being clinically underwritten, it's difficult to figure out who is the lead character, or at least the person we're supposed to sympathize with. Throughout the film we follow Paul (Biggs) and it seems that he is our protagonist. We feel for him when his dorm mates are mean spirited, when the girl of his dreams is misguided, and when everything tries to keep him from getting through school, but he lacks character development. He goes through hard times, but there's no resolution to be seen, and he doesn't change at all. Dora (Suvari) on the other hand has a mess of bad things happen to her, and then she changes her opinion about her relationship with her professor (Kinnear), which means she's the only character who evolves throughout the film. It seems that we should be following her, but then interwoven in her tale is that of Paul's, who just seems like some poor schmuck who never wins. Without any proper direction for our characters, and no change in their behaviors or thoughts on the world, there shouldn't really be any reason for this film to exist. It's trying to show the problems of college students, but it doesn't realistically depict them. Paul's three roommates are also pretty distracting, as they're rich, sycophantic rapists, who don't seem to get much comeuppance until the credits. Besides its plot defects it's also drab and very of its time, making this film a tiring slog.
Critically this film did very well thanks to veiled symbolism,… MoreCritically this film did very well thanks to veiled symbolism, stunning visual effects, and the wonky background music, inspired by its alien protagonist. This film was very loosely adapted from the novel of the same name, and remains deliberately murky throughout, relying more on its visual aesthetic than its plot. We do not know the name of our heroine, or why she is doing what she does, but it's very clear from what we see onscreen that she is otherworldly, misanthropic, and wants to integrate into our society; or at least emphasizes with it. Johansson's performance is nearly wordless, and often she plays the alien as a seductive and yet bland protagonist. The final third of the film is the only section where we see any character development, or any plot development for that matter, and by the end there are a lot of questions left unanswered. Tonally it hits its mark, and the visuals are simply astounding, making it very easy for me to speculate that sci-fi could veer even further towards this norm in the coming years. As a whole I found much of this to be uneven and incredibly uncomfortable to watch, merely for the fact that the events are intentionally misconfigured to alienate the audience. I am both fascinated by the way this story was constructed, and left sullen by the fact that there was no story to begin with.