I love this man:
I love his self-pimping website.
I love that he lost weight so that he could ride a Harry Potter ride.
I also love the irony–the ride he couldn’t fit on was called The Forbidden Journey.
I wish my weight loss story was prompted by something marketable, and not just my desire to be healthy, so that I could get media coverage of my blog.
I suppose I will just have to keep trucking along.
In other news, I need you all to set aside a couple hours of your life and check this movie out:
I’ve been apartment sitting and working at Freshmen Orientation all weekend, and I got yesterday evening (after second-work was over) to relax. So I decided to watch a movie. I was looking for a fun romantic comedy, and the apartment I’ve been watching happens to have Netflix on demand. My friend was kind enough to send me the password, and I started scoping movies out.
When the description for this movie came up, Emily (who popped over late in the evening, after I got off work, and btb I am so glad that there was not a late-night orientation event yesterday like there was supposed to be, I am pretty burnt-out) and knew we had to add it to the instant queue.
“Ruby Weaver (Marisa Tomei) is tired of being the “enabler” in relationships and has decided to give up the role of doormat. She’s also on the verge of giving up on love when she meets a sweet, small-town guy, Sam Deed (Vincent D’Onofrio), who changes her mind. It seems Ruby’s finally found a sane boyfriend — until Sam divulges that he’s a time traveler from the year 2470. Now it’s up to Ruby to decide whether love can conquer all.” (via netflix.com)
We had pretty high hopes.
The movie completely surpassed all of our expectations.
From the slow-mo people-moving-backwards opening (Y: Do you think they actually rewound the footage, because it kind of looks like they are just walking backwards in slow-motion. IE: Oh, I HOPE they are just walking backwards in slow-motion), to the lone-marimba soundtrack, to the strange camera-angles and obvious low budget, the movie started off really well.
We meet our protagonist under the excuse of a therapy-session, and I must say that she does the tortured-voice-over quite well (or if not well, at least with much gusto). (First of all, really? The therapist movie? SO done. If you’re going to use that method you have to use it really, really well. Happy Accidents did not, I am afraid.)
–Side-note: The therapist is played by none other than Holland Taylor. When attempting to figure out how on earth she managed to get dragged into this movie I could only come up with a couple possible scenarios.
1–She lost a bet.
2–It was one of those encourage-students things (win the chance to have a real Hollywood star in YOUR movie.)
3–A shapeshifter or body stealer developed a grudge against her, is keeping her prisoner, and ruining her dignity, artistic integrity, and career all in one fell swoop by taking on the most absurd projects.
4–She has a really, really, really good sense of humor.
I won’t spoil the entire movie for you, indeed I don’t think I could even if I tried, this is definitely one of those you have to experience it for yourself kind of things.
1–The protagonist does not have a consistent character. She acts one way in one scene, and the audience goes “ok, this is who she is”. Five minutes later she does something completely contradictory. This happens again and again and again.
2–The Hero is a creeper. He looks like a sex offender.
3–There is absolutely zero chemistry between the lead couple. I. Don’t. Buy. It.
3–The plot is predictable at best, and disappears at worst.
4–“Back-traveler”? I mean, come on, you couldn’t think of anything better? (Oh the the side-effects of the “jet lag” were hilarious. I especially loved the segment when the dogs jumped backwards over the fence in the park while the man’s eyes twitch rapidly.)
5–The time-travel explanations were really weak, very elementary. Either the screenwriter has read absolutely no science-fiction, or they have read everything and are just a really terrible writer.
6–Random characters appeared and disappeared all of the time, without any support from the script. Basically everyone except our protagonist (and her sex-obsessed bff who wears a truly ghastly shade of lipstick the entire movie) turns out to be a back-traveler.
7–The film ran thus: Awkward moment, bad shooting, horrible line, cliché, cliché, cliché, cliché, really horrible line, oh, no this line is even worse, awkward again, absurd, bad, bad, bad, oh look another cliché. (All of this interspersed with cries from IE & Y of “WHAT ARE WE WATCHING?” “I can’t look away” and “Oh my gosh is this over yet?” and “This is so bad–it’s so gooood!”)
8–The awkward bad-ness of this movie was entertaining in the beginning, and entertaining in the end. The middle, on the other hand, was this big, trumped-up blob of nothing strewn with unnecessary sideline stories, random characters, and more horrible FX than most people can sit through and remain sane. This movie would have been perfect if it was about 55 minutes long, rather than 1 hour and 55 minutes.
9–I will say this: The screenwriter definitely has had training. You could follow the form–it was textbook. This is a perfect example of knowing all of the right things, but not executing them well.
I found a review of the movie on some random google hit, and I am pasting it here. I will then translate it into a rational person’s reaction to this film.
“Happy Accidents walks a delicate line between genres, never making it clear whether Sam is delusional or telling the truth until the end. The strange blend of genres (which plays like romantic comedy, not like science fiction) may make some viewers balk, but writer-director Brad Anderson (Next Stop Wonderland) has a gift for both revealing psychological insights and sensual moments–like when Sam explains principals [sic] of time travel by running his hands up Ruby’s leg–that, combined with the superb cast, are constantly engaging and sincerely touching. If you like the idea that synchronicity can guide us towards love…you will find this worth the watch…”
“Happy Accidents recklessly flails around, never knowing which genres (other than B-movie) it encompasses, never attempting to hide the inevitable ending that Sam is really from the future, and Ruby really is a lame character. The strange confusion of genres (which plays like a beginning student’s final project, B-/C+ tops) may make some viewers shudder in disgust and turn the movie off. Writer-director Brad Anderson (Next Stop Wonderland) does have an education but sadly does not have the talent (or perhaps merely the experience) to pull off any connections, any psychological insights, or even any of the sensual moments he continuously throws into the mix–Anderson always goes for the cheap trick; selling out sensuality and replacing it with overt and tacky sexuality, replacing science-fiction with bad fan-fiction, replacing an effective use of the English language with vocabulary meant expressly for the purpose of shock value. Moments like when Sam explains principles of time travel by running his hands up Ruby’s leg demonstrate these short-comings –that, combined with the poor cast vainly trying to do their best with what they’ve been given, all the while probably thinking ‘fml’ over and over again, and are constantly over-played and under-written. If you need a new drinking-game or a cheap, horrified laugh…you will find this worth the watch….”
10–Finally, the screenwriter is Anti-God, anti-Christian, and anti-religion in general, obviously has never had a healthy relationship, and tries to appear to be a green-freak earth-loving hippy but does not really commit.
All in all I would say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, (except for the middle forty minutes which had me crying out in frustration “how much more of this is there?) and I was definitely highly entertained.
Netflix gives you the option of rating the film, and we were very torn between giving it 1 star (Hated it) or 5 stars (Loved it). In the end, as any other respectable person would do, we gave it 5 stars in the hope that many other people will get pulled into watching it as well.
I will leave you today with one final review, this one from the page on Netflix. User “Shannon & Kimberly” you are another of my new favorite people/peoples?:
“Thus far, one of the best films of 2001. The superb characters are only improved by the excellent acting. However, the movie really excels with an interesting and thought provoking plot, great camera work, and absolutely brilliant directing. It’s hard to describe this movie without ruining it. Call it a Romantic/Comedy/Mystery/Thriller. Like _Sliding Doors_, it’s a romantic comedy with teeth. Like _Memento_ it makes intersting [sic] use of chronology and perspective. Like _12 Monkeys_ you have a central character who isn’t a trustworthy narrator. You’ll find elements of all of those excellent films in _Happy Accidents_, but like most truly original and intriguing films, it absolutely is a piece of its own.”
“Please do watch this film, you will not regret it.