Sunday, June 20, 2010

Always read what it says on the tin

When my friend asked me to go and see Greenberg, a film about a man having a mid-life crisis, I said yes. I’ve been having a late-mid-life crisis for 18 months, so I thought it might give me some hints on how to do it better. The film had a great review in her paper and the director had a good reputation.
But then I found out that the star was Ben Stiller, whom I first came across - and loathed - as one of Rachel’s boyfriends in Friends. Since then I have seen trailers of his comedies and been repelled, and stayed well clear. But, I thought, this is a serious film, so maybe Ben Stiller will be OK in something that doesn’t purport to be a comedy. I had a squizz at the film’s ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and was a bit put off by the lowish 60% favourable reviews. But then, I thought, it is a low budget movie, and it does sound like a quiet one, subtle…you know…so lots of people might not get it.
The film was the most tedious I have ever seen. There was only one sympathetic character – a minor one – a friend of the main character (though my friend insisted that the only sympathetic character was the dog); the dialogue was deadly dull; and nothing happened. I can cope very well when nothing happens if I care about the characters, or the dialogue is good. (After all, not much happens in my books, so who am I to complain?) I could have accepted that the main character was self obsessed, selfish, totally lacking in empathy, repellent, and behaved like an adolescent – though that may be insulting adolescents – but oh, the script did not tell us anything or take us anywhere. Where was the much-trumpeted depth? Oh God, the film was awful. I thought of putting a photo on here of the female lead, Greta Gerwig, because I couldn’t find one of the dog.
When I got home, I looked at the cinema brochure to see what the film synopsis said, and was amazed to see it was labelled as a comedy. Now, if I had read that first, I would never have gone, as Ben Stiller is just not funny. Besides which, I have never forgiven him for shouting at the chick and the duck.*
*in Friends.


Anonymous said...

Don't hold back Sue! Lol!! Shafia

Anonymous said...

can you send kath an email as she has forgotten your email address.Its lovely to read your blog from a posh swiss hotel. I will leave your page open for the next person who may be some european literary agent. Lots of Love

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Kath - hope you're having a great time!
Hi Shafia, perhaps I am a bit harsh on poor Ben Stiller. Maybe it's a chemistry thing.