It was almost impossible to ignore the swirl of controversy exploding on the internet a week ago when rumors leaked that Gary Ross, the wizard who magicked the film version of The Hunger Games into the world, would not be taking the helm of Catching Fire the second film in the trilogy (or four-ogy, if you count the two-parter ending). While it was tempting to become mired in the drama, I patiently set it aside, determined to have a productive and happy weekend.
Giving in to rumors has been a bad habit in the past.
Sadly, even after petitions and trending-twitter-tags and a great effort on the part of the fandom, Ross announced he really, truly is leaving the franchise on the grounds of “not enough time to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.” I mean, what a lame excuse right? J/K ya’ll. This is serious business.
Gary Ross is suffering what I like to call The Catherine Hardwicke Effect. No, I’m not suggesting her as the next director. Her campy, lulzy take on Twilight and super sexed up Red Riding Hood were a bit too strange and not emotionally charged or serious enough for the content of Catching Fire.
Not only 24 hours later and the internet is already abuzz with rumors or judgments about who should take the helm. Since absolutely no one has asked my opinion yet, I will give it to you anyway.
Here are my top 5 picks for a new HG director (in no particular order, mind you):
Random Thought #1
This year old Beauty and the Beast Blu-Ray looks like crap. 20 years ago this seemed like the very zenith of animation. I remember the ballroom dance scene taking my breath away. Belle was gorgeous and had the most exquisite complexion and perfect brown hair. In 2012, no matter what medium I’m viewing it on – it looks horrid. The colors are so blown out, bright and the animation is so quickly sketched, I had to call Dan in from the other room to make sure it wasn’t mine eyes deceiving me. The first few minutes I was watching an 8-year-old DVD, so swapped it out for a year old Blu-Ray. It looked the exact same, even though Disney was claiming it was digitally remastered or some shit.
How about no? It looked pretty on the movie advertisement I just watched for the 3D theatrical release. The black lines are less harsh. It was all in the black lines – there was white bleeding through all over the place. And in general, it looks like some second-rate bullshit.
Granted, I’ve been fed a steady diet of CGI loveliness for the last 10 or so years, but come on – The Princess and the Frog is beautiful and not so harsh on the eyes. Am I alone in thinking this particular film has some of the shittiest animation in the Disney cadre (not counting all of the sequels)? It looks like something Don Bluth was putting out at the time – it has none of the depth or quality that The Lion King or Aladdin did. Granted, The all these flicks referenced came out post-Beauty. But it was also post-The Little Mermaid, which looks better as well. *shrug* I dunno.
Random Thought #2
One of the biggest complaints in feminist circles against the movie/story is that Belle sacrifices her dreams for a grander life by shacking up with the Beast and falling in lurve. Uhm, guys? The story book she most fondly remembers (nay, even sings about) is a tale about a chick meeting Prince Charming. Sure, she doesn’t want to settle down and marry the chauvinist and manipulating Gaston. But she does want to find her Prince Charming. If folks are looking for a feminist heroine in Belle, they will end up disappointed every time.
Actually, on the heroine spectrum – I would say Belle most resembles Bella. And along that same vein, I would suggest that Twilight and Beauty and the Beast have some eerie similarities. There’s even a magical transformation in the end. Beast is kind of a dick, like Edward. He is overbearing, stalkerish and harsh. Belle is willing to sacrifice her entire life for her Dad. She falls in love with a violent, scary dude who imprisons others and threatens to starve her.
So yeah – that’s all weird. Is my reading off? At least the first Twilight book has Beauty and the Beast trappings, no?
Random Thought #3
I liked Beast better than Prince Whatever Big Nose. For looks and general attitude. Even as a kid I remember being totally charmed by the angry, yet comically bumbling bull/wolf creature and strongly preferring him to the creepy white guy who arose in his stead.
The messaging is all wrong. I know – the magic rose and the poor servants trapped as inanimate objects – but damn, Beast was kinda hot. I mean, hotter than the unattractive white dude he becomes. Also, what’s with the servants singing songs about preferring to serve? “Life is un-nerving for a servant whose not serving.” Huh. These folks would rather serve a bitchy master hand and foot than you know, have a twenty year staycation as a clock or candlestick? That’s a stretch for me.
I would have rather kept Beast in his Beast form. The servants could have changed if they liked. And maybe, as a show of gratitude, Beast could have released them from service since they did endure weird magics on his behalf. Just sayin’.
Final Thoughts: While this movie has some of my favorite musical numbers, it generally gets a bad rap for being creepy (imprisonment, forced engagements, and talking feather dusters) and that’s well-deserved. One of my favorites, with reservations.
I’ve had very mixed feelings going into watching this movie. The book is something of a train wreck – featuring an awkward wedding, a stunted honeymoon, a creepy demon baby and the most horrific birth scene I’ve ever witnessed depicted (this is coming from a woman who has witnessed four live births, mind you).
And that’s just in the first half.
SIDE NOTE: I love you Mom and enjoy experiencing the Twilight fandom with you. But this is gonna get brutal, so avert your eyes. 🙂
The wedding scenes with Bella and her parents – especially the Charlie Swan from the movies whom I’ve come to love more than the Charlie Swan of the books (the book Charlie is a huge shipper/manipulator of the relationship between Bella and Jacob). Bella’s Mom has always been a bit of a tool, but she was motherly and weepy. Movie Charlie, for me, is really the soul of the series. He’s completely innocent of anything that’s happening and just loves the shit out of his daughter, but doesn’t continually place her in harm’s way. Me Gusta.
The emotional climax for Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner was spot-on. Really. I was impressed with how both of them dealt with their big “Bella died giving birth scene.” Pattinson especially displayed some real emotion. It’s fun to watch him progress through the series from a comically bad actor to someone who is able to provide much more range and inspire some real sympathy. Which is difficult when you’re playing sparkly abusive boyfriend/husband vamp man.
The wolf pack inter-relations were much more compelling to me than the martyr Bella dying for her demon baby plot-line. It’s so refreshing to see native people (or really, any person of color), depicted on-screen in a major big budget Hollywood flick. I’m so pleased that the Twilight franchise is making these kinds of gains. Seth Clearwater was adorbs and I just wanted to pinch his cheeks whenever he was on-screen. Leah Clearwater was another tool and it was difficult watching Jacob treat her like such an ass.
The depiction of Native peoples in general was a little wonky. I’ve felt like most of the other movies didn’t go out of their way to stereotype First Nation people, but the “sparkling firewater” comment during the wedding threw me a bit for a loop. And then I swear I heard weird Taiko drumming during all the scenes with the werewolves. I mean, really?
I will briefly comment that the wedding and honeymoon were boring. I get that they needed to stretch out the material (90 minutes would have been fine, production team) but the long, lingering shots of the dress and the ring and her hair were just…blargh. I was over it by about 30 minutes in. And the sex scenes? Too brief. Plus the post-coital bruises. What. The. Fuck. That is not sexy. Maybe one or two choice bruises. But it’s so…rapey.
The whole messy business of imprinting. Yegh. Are you serious ya’ll? Why does poor Jacob have to get stuck loving a creepy vampire baby? Why not Leah Clearwater who shares his wolf thoughts and is real flesh and blood? I can see him feeling super protective of the baby because it’s part Bella…but everything else after that. Yikes. Especially with the recent media attention on child abuse (ala Penn State). Loving babies is cool. But Luuuuving babies, is not. There’s no talking your way around that.
I’ve been wanting to tackle a new version of cable – and have seen the horseshoe cable popping up on all sorts of nerdy knits – most specifically those related to Twilight. They are featured on hats and mittens Bella wears in the first movie.
But I’ve done my fill of hats recently, and haven’t yet ventured out into the world of DPNs successfully, so at this juncture my only option to test out the horseshoe cable is on a scarf.
Unfortunately – there were slim pickings for patterns and the ones featured were not to my liking. What I envisioned was/is a cross between the Irish Hiking Scarf and the simple single horseshoe cable scarf featured here. Something with clear dividers between the cables – and probably more than one column of cables as well.
So, I’ve written my own pattern in order to address the serious lack of horseshoe cable scarf. It’s really rather easy, and kind of surprising that no one has put it all together before.
Here it goes:
Size 8 needles
Worsted Weight Yarn/10 ply (9 wpi) = approximately 350 yards
6-st RC (3 over 3 right cross) Sl 3 sts to cable needle and hold in back, k3, then k3 from cable needle.
6-st LC (3 over 3 left cross) Sl 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k3, then k3 from cable needle.
Cast on 42 stitches.
Knit 2 rows.
Row 1 (RS): p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2
Row 2: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2
Row 3: p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2
Row 4: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2
Row 5: p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2, k12, p2, k2, p2
Row 6: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2
Row 7: p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2, 6-st RC, 6-st LC, p2, k2, p2
Row 8: k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2, p12, k2, p2, k2
Rep rows 1-8 until piece reaches desired length.
Knit two rows.
Here is the finished product:
The Hunger Games is one of my favorite YA trilogies and can be summed up simply as Beyond Thunder-dome crossed with Reality TV. 24 teens enter, only one leaves.
It takes place in a post-apocalyptic society, in which the United States (Panem) has been carved into twelve districts, from which two teens are randomly selected to compete every year in Gladiator style games. This is to keep the population docile and cowed to the government located in Capital City. The main protagonist is a female named Katniss, who by her act of volunteering in place of her younger sister, unwittingly sparks a revolution throughout the nation.
It’s written by Suzanne Collins – a YA literature author and television scribe.
PLEASE check this series out. It’s a swift, captivating read and because of the hack/slashing and violence, isn’t primarily the providence of womenz like Twilight. Though, I’ve been hard pressed to get any dudes in my vicinity to read it. *sigh* Katniss is an intriguing heroine along the veins of “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.” She’s highly independent, skilled in a particular area, and for the most part emotionally and socially stunted. She has difficulty navigating many of her relationships and spends much of the series shying away from romantic entanglements.
As with any good book series lately – there is already a movie production in the works. It’s being penned by Billy Ray and directed by Gary Ross – two people that haven’t shown remarkable grasp of this particular type of material in any of the films they’ve done. Hmph. With luke-warm director/writers attached and the entire fandom of the franchise to please – the potential of this movie to suck or not suck lies very heavily now on the casting.
I’ve been inspired by my buddy Savanna, who has already co-written a series of casting articles for The Hunger Games film on Picktainment. Check them out here! And because…after participating in a monthly book-to-adaptation club for the last year, my mind automatically turns to “who would play the best ______________ in the movie?”
*APPARENTLY JENNIFER LAWRENCE HAS BEEN CONFIRMED AS KATNISS EVERDEEN*
Big frowny face here.
Malese Jow, who played Anna on Vampire Diaries before she *SPOILER ALERT* meets an untimely demise. I’m still pissed about that one. She played mysterious, tough and fiery quite well, which would be perfect for the Katniss role. She’s also tossed a few humans and the odd vampire around in her day, so the violence in the movie wouldn’t phase her at all. Her dark hair and eyes, as well as darker skin tone match most closely with the book character description.
BONUS: She can sing, which is an important part of the Katniss/Rue relationship in the books. Check out her Vampire Diaries reel.
The likelihood of them casting someone with obvious mixed-ethnicity is pretty slim (to none) but in my mind she could convincingly play the part. And isn’t it time Hollywood started Race-bending in FAVOR of non-white people? Just a thought.
Sorry this is a few days late – had to put my Eclipse thoughts down in print (well, as close to print as the internet gets), and my brother arrived home from the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. Then last night I suffered the indignity of The Last Airbender. Oh you can bet a review of that is forthcoming as well. Anyways, was busy but not busy enough to forget about the recap of the last month’s efforts. So, without further adieu…
WHAT WAS REVIEWED
Comic Books, Regular Books, Television Shows and Movies. I tried to pick a variety of items to test over the month, but you can rest assured that I wasn’t merely selecting things on the basis of them being “worthy.” What was read or watched is really stuff that I would normally consume and didn’t vary from my routine. Except for a few exceptions.
After submitting three episodes of Justified and having them fail the women and race test, I determined that I could leave off including that show in the future. I still finished up the first season, but have now realized that it doesn’t nearly hold a candle to the awesomeness that was Deadwood. That show was simply too good, and Justified will never be anything like it. Damn, damn, double damn.
There was also a point that I tried to read Ex Machina and realized intuitively it wasn’t going to pass, so was unable to trudge through it. It also started getting super meta by including the author, and that is a gigantic turn-off to me. No one has ever done it well and it completely ruins the story. Sorry writers. We don’t want to SEE YOU in the story. We want the story. You are not welcome there.
I also left off The Road as well. It was a book club requirement and did not pass the women and race test either.
It feels important to disclose what I didn’t even bother putting to the test, because it still matters to the test. So there you have it – at least three more items that do not pass the test which were not included in the posts for various reasons.
HOW HAS IT IMPACTED PRESENT AND FUTURE ENTERTAINMENT CHOICES?
It’s certainly made me more conscious on a basic level of inclusion. Having to be so meticulous about scouting it out in books, comic books and movies has definitely led to it becoming something of a second nature. It’s kind of a habit now, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever really be able to turn my brain off to examining the nuances. This makes my brain quite happy, as its natural state is to over-think everything.
The Bechdel Test hasn’t necessarily inspired me to give up all entertainment that is dominated by white men, because then I would be giving up some of the franchises and pieces of entertainment that I love. But I’m not going to forget that they only include men and what that says to me as a female reader and someone who feels inclusion is imperative in order to properly reflect humanity and society.
It seems important to mention that even if something passed the test, that didn’t automatically give it a stamp of feminist approval, or mean it was not stereotypically depicting people of color.
Who would have thought that Eclipse and Bree Tanner would have passed the tests? I still firmly believe the Twilight saga is deviously misogynistic and paints a deeply troublesome portrait of romantic love to teen girls that is not achievable in reality. Bella is a disturbing heroine for a younger generation of women.
Another way Twilight passed is through the inclusion of Native Americans; the Quileute characters and use of legends. Outside of the wolf related folklore, there isn’t much mentioned about the current culture and life on the reservation. This is a subject area I would need to do a bit more research on, but the inclusion of Native American characters in the Twilight Saga has clearly been a mixed blessing.
– The real Quileutes in La Push have benefited financially from the exposure and seem pleased to have contemporary depictions of Natives shown in Hollywood (rather than “leather and feather” versions from the 1800s)
This seems like enough material for an entirely different post. Regardless, I guess you could give Stephenie Meyer props for actually including Native Americans in a huge Hollywood blockbuster franchise with all the usual stereotypes stripped away.
Non-Twilight Related Business. Another surprise for me was seeing that Push passed the test. I didn’t have any expectations one way or the other going into it, and so when I started tallying up, I was impressed. It’s been a quiet favorite of mine, an under-rated screen gem which was set up for a sequel it will never receive, much to my dismay. So, even happier to note that it passed both tests, though the Race test only marginally. And perhaps only then because it took place in Hong Kong. But yay for that right? Kudos to films set in foreign countries for no real reason without disrespecting the country and culture.
It also seems strange to me that many of the books, movies, TV shows included women and minority characters, yet left off the need for them to interact with one another. Glee is a great example of a show that purports to be inclusive, but rarely utilizes the characters of color and hardly ever has them converse together. There are still characters of color in the background who haven’t had speaking roles, yet have appeared every episode. That’s hugely disturbing. Sometimes – and I’m sure folks will hate hearing this – I feel like minority or disabled characters are included simply in the series so they can get away with an ethnic joke or a joke about people in wheelchairs that otherwise would be inappropriate if uttered by a white or able-bodied character. For reals.
While midnight showings are exhilarating and inevitably filled with goobery fan moments, one of the downsides for me is not being able to remember much of the film itself due to sleep deprivation. No really, my brain pretty much shuts off after midnight. Therefore, I’m going at this review from a completely sideways angle.
Probably because I’d just read the book five days ago, I wasn’t terribly engaged with the plot. It’s also worth mentioning that the plot itself isn’t exactly engaging in the first place…cause it’s Twilight. That fact is important to remember folks. Regardless my brain was on over-analyze mode about weird minutiae (I’ll also blame copious amounts of caffeine). Instead of being able to schmooze back and enjoy glowering, six packs and heavy breathing…I was evaluating the contact lenses, the visual and musical interpretation of the first film compared to the second two, and how all the actors themselves have changed in the last two years.
Alrighty, enough rambling. Here’s a sideways review comin’ atcha.
1. Eclipse vs Everything Else (in the film franchise). On a technical level – it’s hard to compare a low budget first entry to it’s older, more mature and financially well off sister, but I’m going to. I can’t help it. Watching all three films in succession made me unable to stop comparing and contrasting. All the cultish, amusing elements of the first Twilight film which make me giggle and guffaw and generally love it’s ineptness are washed out in Eclipse. New Moon and this third film truly feel like Hollywood creations. Gone is the true depiction of the Pacific Northwest with it’s copious (real) rain and fog and grey days. I loved the bluish tint of Twilight. All this is eviscerated in New Moon and Eclipse. Boo. There were some days in this flick so bright, I was expecting our Porcelain God hero to sparkle unabashedly. The incongruity of the brightly lit films and the viewers knowledge of sun + vampire = sparkle – was distracting.
What’s been done right in the franchise? A better composer and soundtrack supervisor. Of the three soundtracks (which I own and have listened to repeatedly), Eclipse is the superior entry. Twilight was uneven, New Moon was pitch-perfect but a tad too melancholy, and Eclipse hits all the right marks. It slows and gains tempo with ease, and no track ever feels too fast to shock you out of a hazey dream-like state. It features several artists whose albums are already in my stockpile. It might just be my favorite soundtrack of all time, without really having to try. If that makes sense. It feels so neatly and effortlessly put together. Gah – I loved every second of it.
The score differs between the Twilight and New Moon/Eclipse films dramatically. Twilight features lugubrious synth guitars and heavy ominous riffs where New Moon and Eclipse aim for standard movie orchestras, so adept you hardly realize they are there until you realize what you’re missing. Part of my horror-love for the original Twilight entry is the somewhat mawk-ish score, which sounds like it was mostly put together on a Casio keyboard.
Final Thoughts on The Film Franchise Thus Far. Perhaps it’s a bit early in the game for nostalgia, but there is so much good cheese in Twilight, that New Moon and Eclipse don’t even attempt to grasp at. Twilight makes the bad look bad in a fun way. New Moon and Eclipse attempt to make the bad look good and can only achieve sub-par film-making at best. An analogy: Twilight was pretty much shit. But people went in with eyes open thinking “I’m going to see a pile of shit.” No surprises. New Moon and Eclipse are shit covered in gold. So at first all you see is gold, and then you realize upon closer inspection, it’s really just shit. Covered in gold. Right?
2. Misogyny Lite. Those in the feminist circles who love Twilight even though we know it’s bad for us will perhaps be pleased to note that the films, Eclipse in particular, have eased up on some of the nastier acts of misogyny perpetrated on the pages. Having the source material fresh in my memory, it was pleasant to avoid any on-screen images of Bella cooking for her Dad, Charlie pushing Bella towards Jacob despite her obvious disinterest, and the kidnapping of Bella by Edward and his family.
Still present was the passing her off (as Bella herself observes) like a child between two divorced parents done by Edward and Jacob to “protect her.” This kind of yack-tastical BS takes me out of any kind of romance fantasy and replaces it with cringing horror.
It’s Eclipse Day! I’ve been stricken with Twilight Fever again, and it’s arriving in the form of several hours worth of movie viewing tonight leading up to the Eclipse Premiere. It would be lying to say I’m not excited. But not in a super crazed way…enough to still be absolutely amused by this comic strip from Lucy Knisley.
It’s so perfect, and it must be shared with the world. I’ll probably trot this lovely out every Twilight movie, just so we can bask in it’s perfectly succinct glory.
IN OTHER NEWS…
This here lil blog won an award. It’s the first, so it’s extra special! Tiny Heroes was nominated by a classy lady I’ve linked to before – Kelly Thompson at 1979 Semi-Finalist. How cool is that? Pretty damn cool. Especially since Kelly is someone whose writing and insight I look forward to reading on a regular basis. Plus – she’s digging the Bechdel Test Experiment when it seemed like the entire project was kind of a bust as far as engaging anyone but angry troll men.
She’s helped to solidify it’s continuation (in some form or another) in the future. So, thank you for the nomination honor and your support!!
But there are rules with this glamorous award, and they are as follows:
1) Copy the award logo and place it on your blog.
2) Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
3) You must thank the person who has given you the award.
Check those suckers off the list. But wait, there’s more!
4) Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
2) Post Links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
3) Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.
These are probably going to vary rather wildly as far as content, but these are all super awesome folks who I admire or from which I’ve learned a ton about comic books, food, blogging, etc.
The first season of Vampire Diaries has already had several schizophrenic fits and starts. It doesn’t bode well for its renewal when the second half of the season produced only two new episodes, and then another break until last night.
Blame it on the Olympics? Blame it on March Madness? I’m not quite sure what the problem is with the scheduling for Diaries, but it’s helping to lose my already waning interest when they can’t air three new episodes in a row.
What’s great about this show? Damon Salvatore. The evil vampire is the only actor with any captivating screen presence – played with malevolent glee by Ian Somerhalder. Most folks will probably remember him as Boone from “Lost” (before he met his untimely end) or Paul Denton from ” The Rules of Attraction.”
The rest of the plot unfolds something along these lines: 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (played by the dark-haired and smokey voiced Nina Dobrev) is introduced to the audience only four months after the death of both her parents in an auto accident. She and her bumbling, stoner brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) are now living with their frazzled Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning). Their friends and family all encourage them to get over their grief, and even their teachers give them a hard time about it. Huh. Maybe that’s the drawback of living in a small town?
Elena has the misfortune of looking like the dead lover/vampire whom the brothers quarreled over a century before. Pretty twisted, and already piled with loads of plot and side characters (her best friend, Bonnie, is a witch). It’s based on a Young Adult book series of the same name written in the early 90s, which has been slightly modified and revamped (hah!) to fit with the current decade. Also the books are being republished. Check the wiki here.
What kills me with this show is the pacing, the often-times pointless drama and the weak characterizations. While it does quite often ride head and shoulders above “Twilight” in terms of having…ya know…an actual PLOT, it’s populated with a male and female lead that are sinfully boring. Not the actors mind you, they are giving their full skill to creating people with personalities, but when the characters are such Puritans…it’s hard to generate much appeal.
Stefan and Elena rarely make tough moral decisions, and are mostly around to clean up in the wake of the evil vampires which are constantly streaming through the town. Poor Stefan has to play the role of the serious, brooding vamp with his out-of-control eyebrows, and he does so pitch perfectly. But that archetype has been done to death in pop culture.
And no one makes broody eyebrows better than Angel.
Which leads to my earlier statement – how deliciously sinful the presence of Damon becomes. He reminds me more than a little bit of Spike (another Buffy alum). Without him, there would be no forward progression of plot (again – Spike’s scheming tacked on at least three seasons to Buffy’s shelf life). But the writers can’t seem to decide if they want audience sympathy or complete revulsion, and Damon’s character often seems like a split personality – wavering between completely evil in one scene, to something resembling compassion and reason in the next. Consistency is sorely needed.
It doesn’t help that so much of the show is without humor. BTVS worked because of it’s light-hearted nature and comedic timing, whereas Vampire Diaries is a touch too clunky and angsty.
Now that we’re all up to speed…
*Yes, Thar Be Spoilers Here*
I watched Remember Me last Friday with my mom, and was all prepared to write a review, which I started to type up. Then I deleted it, and was like – screw it. Let people come to this movie on their own.
And now…after reading this article bashing it as nasty Twilight garbage, I’m going to HAVE to defend it. Mostly because it has nothing to do with Twilight, aside from having RPattz as one it’s leads. And because the author of the article and several commenters didn’t bother to watch the film before making up their minds.
I, like many others, was quite prepared for this movie to suck, knowing that Pattinson has been such a weak actor in Twilight.
So – I had zero expectations when I entered the theatre, aside from a morbid curiosity to watch Edward Cullen woo Claire from Lost.You know – the same expectations that millions of other women had when purchasing a ticket to this flick – as this was the main marketing drive behind the trailers, TV spots, etc.
But it was more than that – I didn’t expect to be engaged by the characters, moved by their relationships with one another…and mostly I didn’t expect it to be genuine or feel as real as the script and acting allowed it. For example – the way Allie (Claire, Emilie de Ravin, whatever) enters her townhouse and always drops the keys on the table. That’s the signal to her over-protective father that she’s arrived home safely. The film doesn’t have to cut to a close-up of the keys. It’s just done so perfunctorily and naturally…the small slice of life details in this film are what caught my attention. It doesn’t have to aim for a deep and profound message – it actually resembles something akin to real life. And manages to make that captivating.
The film was notably plot-lite and heavy on the romance, but the love story played very little into the other dynamics happening – the commentary on family and dealing with loss, as well as how we take time with our loved ones for granted.
But even with the romance added – it felt relatable…and never overly cheesy. There was no boom-box moment. In fact, the characters spend most of the movie with bruises and bloody lips, getting physically assaulted by their fathers and one scene features Allie vomiting while Tyler/Robert Patts holds her hair back. So romantic!