January 9, 2010
I just watched the worst movie of 2009. And I liked it!
The plan for the night was simple -- date night! --- finish up at work, head home to feed and walk the dogs, change into casual clothes, and head out to an early movie. We are way behind on the big Oscar bait movies and have some serious catching up to do (and yes that is important to me, I am gay).
Our choice was Up In the Air, and by the time we got there the hugely overcrowded parking lot, with mountains of snow, herds of extended pick-up trucks, and little cars squeezed in at weird angles, should have been the giveaway. After circling, we finally found parking at the far end of the world, and hiked in the freezing cold to the theatre to find crowds spilling out the front door.
We stood in line very briefly, then K asked if I wanted to leave, and we took off like Glenn Beck running from a sane thought.
The back-up plan? Stop at blockbuster to rent a video, make vast amounts of popcorn at home, have a fireplace date night.
We rented The Ugly Truth, a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl, the whiny yet talented blond from Knocked Up and Grey's Anatomy, and Gerard Butler, the abs dude from 300.
As is often the case with rentals, where your instinct is to contrast a flick's entertainment value with Wheel of Fortune and eHarmony commercials, we were entertained. Not changed forever, but entertained. The set-up: she is uptight brainy television producer in ratings trouble, he is rough chauvinist relationship guru brought in to jack up ratings. They initially hate each other, yet there is chemistry, and as they spar they come to appreciate.... yawn, okay as I write this the plot is 100% predictable, you know where it is going, and it goes there.
I think the producers are trying for a raunchier spin on Doris Day Rock Hudson type comedies about office rivals who hate each other and then realize the attraction beneath their dislike. And it is hit and miss here. Okay so the downside is lack of originality. The upside? The leads are both charming, the flick zips along, and there are lines like his insight to his fellow men: "Men are incapable of change, growth and progress. For men self improvement ends at toilet training."
So the day after The Ugly Truth I am reading Entertainment Weekly, and in their year end review section the list the best and worst of 2009. Best movies of the year? Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker. Worst movie of the year? The Ugly Truth, which they describe as an awful chick flick that shows contempt for its audience. Really? Contempt? It's a fluff movie, turn off the brain and enjoy. I'm not saying it's a classic by any means, but worst movie? What about caveman comedy Year One? Jennifer's Body? Old Dogs? The latest Halloween remake? Anything with Nicholas Cage or Jennifer Aniston?
Entertainment Weekly lists the five worst movies of the year, and I have seen another two of them -- All About Steve and Away We Go -- both of which I enjoyed. Hmmmm... I like what they don't... guess I gotta rent the other two 'worst' movies. Oh, and still gotta see Up In The Air.