Thursday, August 2, 2007

Living A Boy's Adventure Tale

"I've been lost in so many places / Seeking love in so many faces / A change of weather, the rain pours down / My head in hands, pressed to the ground"

Dear Ewan,

Hi, Smoochums. We need to talk. Dusty and I rented your movie Young Adam last Friday and we don't get it. We are both fairly intelligent and well-read. We enjoy artsy flicks with beautiful cinematography and cryptic allegory. Yet as the credits rolled, we looked at each other and went," 'The hell?" That pretty much sums up our review.

After Dusty gave up precious Friday evening crunch time to watch this with me, he rightfully asked that it be counted as a Husbandzie (wife-pampering coupons he made for me as an anniversary gift). You see, he had asked me to pick up a movie that's "not too artsy" and I brought home soft core art house porn. Not that soft core art house porn is a bad thing, but this film worked too hard to get an NC-17 rating. Its net effect was the same as a naughty little boy who yells "BOOOOOOOBIES!" in the middle of Sunday Mass. 'The hell?

There was no coupon for "watch a foreign film", but I traded in "Dusty cooks AND does dishes" for it. Thanks to Young Adam, I get no dinner pampering. Damn. If I had known a foreign film would cost me a Husbandzie, I might have rented Muriel's Wedding instead. I hear that's at least filled with groovy ABBA tunes.

Even though you were all speaking English, Young Adam had some stereotypical hallmarks of a "foreign" film:

1) charming rogue drifter with a possible shady past

2) strong blue-collar dame forced to live the life dictated by society

3) beautiful, troubled ingenue who may as well be wearing a red shirt

4) noble, misunderstood chap who seems to do all the right things but can't catch a break

5) too many shots of characters looking pensively off in the distance, smoking unfiltered cigarettes, drinking heavily, or all of the above at the same time

6) LOTS of brown and gray tones, either to depict the dreariness of a laborer's life, or because the director of photography found smoky lens filters on sale

7) LOTS of nudity and graphic sex (It's art, you preverts!)

I hate to say it, but after the fifth time you bared your pale ass and went at it with yet another woman, I started to think perhaps "young Adam" is what you call your bonny star. There were no young characters named Adam in the film, after all, and you whipped out your young Adam a lot. Maybe this movie is why you were mistaken for "an erotic film star" when you were traveling through Eastern Russia during Long Way 'Round.

Like I said before, I/we do appreciate artsy foreign films. We absolutely loved Pan's Labyrinth, for example. It was dark and broody, but it also had a discernible story arc. It had a POV character the audience identified with and wanted to follow. When the film jumped around in time, you were pretty clear they were jumping around in time.

Your film, my darling, was a stark contrast. It was dreary and broody, seemingly for the sake of being dreary and broody, and the story didn't seem to go anywhere. The POV character (you, sadly) was the most uninteresting character in the whole ensemble and a jackhole to boot. The time jumps weren't clear because everything happens within a span of a few months. There weren't even simple indications like, "Okay, her hair is longer, so this must be four months later." It was a beautifully-shot period piece of Scotland just after World War II, but it wasn't much else.

Listen, I don't want us to fight over this. Just, you know, keep this in mind next time. Make an artful movie with ass, not an assy movie called art. Okay, honeykins? I love you!

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