Take My Wife, Please

It’s taken so long to figure out what to type about the following movies that I’ve lost a lot of ground, but at the completion of the day I saw these three I had a 93.3% completion rate of all movies (then) currently in release. For this particular theater anyway. Which means all I hadn’t seen (and purposely) was Fantastic Four 2. So that was nice. Though now I’m sure I’m well below 50%. I kind of don’t want to figure it out.

Not that you could tell from my postings. And because it’s taking so long (and maybe to try and excuse myself for that) it’s maybe a good time to reiterate how these aren’t really supposed to be reviews. In that I don’t want anyone to see or not see anything based on what they read. It’s more to read after you’ve seen things. I’d worry about the logic of that more if anyone was actually reading. And so…

Sicko – It’s probably a lot more common than I’ll be making it out to be, but Michael Moore made a movie in the second person. I suppose I’ll also be making this out to be more impressive than it is too, but I was really fascinated by that.

So health care is a subject I don’t ever want to think about, more now that I have it even than in the decade that I didn’t and was supposedly living on the edge as a result. And I’m not sure my eyes have suddenly been opened to any sort of injustice being perpetrated on me or my fellow Americans because of what I’ve seen, but I do have a sense of why people get up in arms about it.

There’s an unspoken sense of entitlement behind the anger and/or incredulity of everyone who feels cheated by insurance companies. And there’s really not much emphasis placed on the ridiculous nature of the insurance business as a whole, which seems like the core of the problem. But when all these September 11th syndrome-suffering people get on a boat and go to Cuba for cheaper if not better treatment than they could get in New York, it’s terribly affecting. Even when just minutes earlier we see that Cuba is 2 slots behind the U.S. on the health care rankings list.

License To Wed – I suppose it’s obvious to anyone who saw any sort of promotion for this movie that it was essentially Meet The Parents with Robin Williams‘ Reverend Frank standing in for Robert DeNiro‘s Jack Byrnes.  The problem there of course, Meet The Parents was pretty good despite itself whereas License To Wed has barely a redeeming quality.

It seems to be banking on the fact that you will laugh at the very sight of the actors it’s cast.  The epitome of this, of course, is Robin Williams. In The Birdcage he was ultimately the straight man (sorry) but people howled at him because he is who he is.  Since he’s done a bunch of serious stuff (which he’d done before, but this time people noticed) and so I figured maybe this reaction might have been tempered a bit.  But it hasn’t.  At all.  The audience just wants to laugh at him so badly it does so without prompting.  Even if they actually did think his manic tangents were funny (and they just can’t) they aren’t even waiting long enough to hear them before laughing.  It’s actually making me angry now.

Added to this is the appearance of just about every secondary actor from The Office.   It’s not that these people aren’t funny, it’s just that they are being counted on for an instance of laughter simply by appearing.  It’s as if at some point the movie is going to be judged by quantity of laughter and feels the need to get these extra few in to put it over the top.  If only it had tried to make the actual substance of itself funnier.  Maybe then it wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Evening – In the end, Evening ends up being one of the most depressingly optimistic movies I’ve ever seen.  And while I admire its eventual conclusion and the spirit in which it is conveyed, I can’t say I liked much of any of how it got there.

Claire Danes plays young Vanessa Redgrave and falls in love with Patrick Wilson upon seeing him (which doesn’t make any sense, but I suppose this is something I need to get past) which is too bad for Hugh Dancy who is of course in love with her.  And Patrick Wilson.  So whatever.  He gets drunk (slowly and more brilliantly than I’ve ever seen in a movie) and gets killed by a car (driving on the road that apparently only goes to his family’s beachfront house, so they really should have been able to solve this mystery, but that’s not the point.)

In the present and on her deathbed, Vanessa Redgrave confesses this to her daughters (Natasha Richardson and Toni Collette)  in a vague way, saying that she (and Patrick Wilson) killed him.  But never does this amount to anything as far as the movie is concerned.  Nobody seems to care what this cryptic message means.  They’re more concerned with… you know what, I don’t even know.  Maybe because it was so long ago, maybe because it wasn’t clear, maybe because I was too bored at the time to be paying enough attention.  Turns out though, that the only thing that matters is having children.  I remember that much.   So good for me.


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