Movie Reviews: "Dan In Real Life" And "Across The Universe"
Yesterday was Day 3 of my "only work one of the next 10 days" stretch that my shiftwork schedule and a couple strategically-taken days of vacation has afforded me. I decided to make yesterday my "movie day", and went to two movies I've been wanting to see. I ended up liking one of them.
For the afternoon matinee, I saw "Across The Universe", the Beatles / hippie musical that's gotten some really good reviews. It started off pretty good -- seeing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" sung as a dirge of longing for unrequited lesbian cheerleader love was quite an interesting take on the song, and the movie moved along nicely in introducing the characters. Then Bono showed up as a Ken Kesey-like character who sang "I Am The Walrus" and spiked the punch with LSD, and the movie quickly went downhill -- it's like the director and everyone else started taking acid so they could "connect" with the characters, and by the end of the movie I was really bored; not even seeing everyone involved desperately trying to show how the hippie lifestyle was so amazing fall flat on their face in the attempt interested me. The movie is basically "Hair" with better music but a more ridiculous storyline. I give it 2 unnecessary acid montages out of five, and don't recommend it to any teenage sons looking for a good date movie. (Absent the really good music, this movie would have gotten "the finger".)
A couple hours later, I was back at the theater to see the new Steve Carell movie "Dan In Real Life". I liked Carell on The Daily Show, and love him in "The Office", but I haven't really been that impressed by his movies to date. I was really afraid, from watching the previews, that this was going to be one of those "comic actor trying to prove he can be a dramatic actor" movies, but I was surprised. Not because Carell doesn't prove that he's actually a good actor (he is) but because the movie actually succeeded in being heart-warming and funny at the same time. I really cared about the characters, and found myself wanting to give advice to the screen. If you're a parent of teenagers, you'll see lots of things in this movie with which you can identify. While teenage fans of Steve Carell might not like it as much, I highly recommend it to parents. I give it 4 over-protective Dads out of five.