So. Yeah. Roman. Again. Sigh. And Kate Effin’ Winslet. John C. Reilly, in one of his arty outings (versus, say, teaming up with Will Ferrell or Jonah Hill again). Jodie Foster. Christopher Waltz.

Foster and Reilly play a middle-class couple whose son has been hit by Winslet and Waltz’s son. With a stick. Hard enough to knock his teeth out. The two have gotten together to handle the legal and insurance and school issues (apparently) and to try to show that they’re above the attendant emotions.

Which, of course, they don’t.

This is based on a play. That means you’ve got 80-90 minutes of four people in one room arguing. Forewarned is forearmed. (The Flower was not forewarned, though I tried.)

Comparisons have been made to Virginia Woolf but I think that’s a much darker film. This is a trivial movie about trivial people. And as far as that goes, it’s not bad. The alliances shift during the film, and of course, all four are the finest of actors. They manage to convey varying degrees of likability that aren’t entirely warranted by the nihilistic script.

And the moral of the movie seems to be “having kids messes you up”.

I laughed at those parts more than The Boy or The Flower did. Obviously.

Polanski over-directs a bit. I mean, the camera doesn’t need to move half as much as he moves it. It doesn’t really matter much.

I like this kind of one-room deal and this was okay. Last year’s Jack Goes Boating was better, though darker and more dysfunctional. One of my favorites is actually Cube, the horror flick. Actually, Wait Until Dark—though it has a decidedly different dynamic—is also a better example of the genre.

The kids didn’t hate it. It wasn’t funny enough for them. On the dramatic side, it’s—well, it’s just not very. Everyone’s sort of desultory. The movie kind of trails off without any big reveal or point or purpose, which is all very post-modern, I guess, but not very interesting.

I thought maybe Kate Winslet would turn out to be pregnant. Oh—this movie features the most on-screen vomiting of any play I can think of, enough to put it in the running with Bridesmaids. So, you know, if you like that sort of thing and you’re on the edge, there ya go.

Leave a Reply