27 August 2011

22 August - "The way out is through love, and you are just horny and lonely"

Twelve (2010)
dir. Joel Schumacher (St. Elmo's Fire, 1985)

50 Cent
Ellen Barkin (Drop Dead Gorgeous, 1999)
Gregg Bello (G.I. Jane, 1997)
Chace Crawford
Rory Culkin (Signs, 2002)
Zoe Kravitz (It's Kind of a Funny Story, 2010)
Thomas McDonell (The Forbidden Kingdom, 2008)
Erik Per Sullivan (The Cider House Rules, 1999)
Emma Roberts (Aquamarine, 2006)
Charlie Saxton (The Happening, 2008)
Kiefer Sutherland (voice) (Stand By Me, 1986)
Everything about this movie was like reading the diary of an angsty, self-indulgent teenager. I'll bet it's on the favorites list of many a depressed 15 year old, and I bet at least one of them has written a poem about it.

Like a lot of the really crappy movies I've seen, I can tell that at one point there was a lot of potential in this script. Some of the narration by Kiefer Sutherland was honestly insightful. I think the major downfall was the tedious angst pouring out of the main character.

I am a huge fan of movies with the Grand Hotel theme-but they're hard to pull off well. In this movie, very few of the characters received the depth of treatment they deserved. The main problem was the main character, played by Chace Crawford --who is so conventionally handsome that I'm having trouble stomaching this poster I'm looking at. This guy has a shit backstory, his mom and so he's really dark and doesn't talk about feelings and is the dreamiest drug dealer (???) on the mean streets of whereverthehellthisis. Losing moms is way sad, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it justifies a whole movie of the protagonist acting like a tool. I much preferred the bitchy prom queen character, who has one brief moment of self awareness and vulnerability when she confesses to a guy that she doesn't really like the person that she is but nevertheless dies thinking about how nobody will ever stop talking about how cool her death was and how much they'll wish they were there to see it. Insight like that is wicked, it makes good movies.

Depression very rarely makes a good movie. That's because in the real world nobody gets to wear their hearts on their sleeve. Steve Carell can play a depressed guy pretty well (Little Miss Sunshine, Dan in Real Life), and that's because pulls off the necessary degree of black humor. He plays depressed guys who are nonetheless coping and that makes them admirable characters, characters we feel good about watching. This White Mike character sucked because he wasn't coping, he was wallowing-and that's when I said this movie was self-indulgent, because wallowing is self-indulgent. Watching it didn't make make me feel better about anything. It made me angry, not sympathetic.

The next movie I watched is really good, way better than this crap, I promise.

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