Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How Dustin loses his hood cred...

Yeah, yeah, yeah....
Color me a masochist.

But when I’m in a fragile state – as I have been for the past couple weeks – I tend to partake in activities that exacerbate that. It’s my way of getting in touch with that which is troubling me.

Back to that later. There are very few movies that I avoid like the plague: English period films, gay porn and anything starring Queen Latifah are on the short list. One film I’ve especially avoided in the four years since it came out is The Notebook. If you’d have asked me two months ago, I would've confirmed that I'd never, ever subject myself to what I was certain was the celluloid version of receiving a colonic.

Well, not only did I watch it last night, but I watched it alone. No folks, not even the opposite sex had to coerce me into watching this estrogen fest. But I can find the merits in any movie, even if it’s not targeted toward my demographic. Frankly, The Notebook just wasn’t as stellar as everyone would have me believe.

It wasn’t a bad movie per se, and films don’t get much more plaintive. But I tend to bristle at movies whose principal agenda is to make you cry; when the music, the dialogue, the acting and storyline all take a backseat to attempts at emotional invocation. This is why I thought Million Dollar Baby was overrated. I mean (*spoiler alert!*), the Notebook couple dies at the same time, in the same bed?

Come the fuck on. I know the film is adapted from a book, but LIE to me, yo! Rewrite it with James Garner’s character getting his hands on a couple blue pills and rocking Gena Rowland’s wrinkly loins to the point where she’ll never forget his ass again! Happy ending!

I like sad movies that sustain you in a state of melancholy throughout their entirety instead of breaking out the violins and fucking with you near the end (see Fresh, Dolores Claiborne or House of Sand and Fog for good examples of the former). I prefer a level of emotional resonance in romantic films that’s less hamfisted and in-your-grill: they should ask you to embrace the humanity of the protagonists' relationship instead of focusing on its sappy aspects. Some might argue that true romantic movies can’t do that, but I disagree.

I think Ryan Gosling is a superb young actor, but he didn’t deliver to his capabilities in this film. And I sure as shit got tired of hearing Rachel McAdams squealing like a damn banshee with a thumb tack stuck in her left asscheek.

This movie didn’t earn any real tears from me, even in my state of mind (I've only released the waterworks for one film ever). But it did remind me of what it’s like to love someone even more than myself and to want to be around them at all times despite constant fighting and nitpicking.

And it also made me never wanna get old. Let me get to, say, 69, then push me onto the L tracks or something...just dont let me see it coming.

1 comment:

Riana said...

dustin! i was SOOO excited to see the title, but you will NOT ruin my image of the notebook, which, for irony's sake, is in my computer as we speak!

you may have your opinions, and indeed, they tend to differ from my own, but this movie is a fantastic voyage (shout out to the coolio post) from start to finish! i've never cried so much, and i too lost all detroit credibility from doing such, but i <3ed it and that's that! hmmph!