Elevate Difference

Synecdoche, New York

It sucked.

Any other questions?

Okay, I know all the reviewers are raving. My husband raved (and I’ll let him justify that on his blog). I suspect the reviewers are raving because that’s what they think they’re supposed to do. It’s a deep and serious movie. It’s existentialist! It’s about the meaning of life! It’s surreal!

Yes, it’s all those things, but that doesn’t mean it’s good.

But it was directed by Charlie Kaufman! And it stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and other great actors! Saith the reviewer, “Surely I’m the only one who isn’t getting it. Ergo, pretend I got it.”

I admit I’m tired of that schlub’s (Hoffman) schlubby act. I’m tired of his potbelly and his patchy skin and his mouth hanging open in bewilderment. He may be a good actor, but he’s done his schtick one too many times for me. So that’s part of it. He’s just aesthetically offensive. I like my actors to have some bones in their faces, some grace to their bodies, even if they are dying of pustules.

There was no discernible storyline. Or at least, they started out with one, but lost it somewhere along the way, but kept bringing it back. In other words, they couldn’t decide on a course of action and stick to it. Indecisiveness that stretches over two hours in a difficult movie is not my idea of entertainment.

And at the end of the day, this is what it is supposed to be: entertainment. If I’m not entertained, and if the most profound thing they could present in the way of a meaning of life was that we’re all actors in a play, each the lead in our own tragedies, that’s not profound. Well, it may be profound, but it’s still a cliche.

If I want deep, I read a fucking book. Not saying movies can’t be both deep and entertaining. They can. This one wasn’t. It was slow. It was boring. They could’ve shaved thirty minutes off it without losing anything, and it was full of plot twists that neither made movie sense nor contributed to the point of the movie, if the movie had a point. There were changes in tone and in the characters that were senseless, random, arbitrary.

There comes a time when a filmmaker tries to do something ambitious, and in the process of doing it, his head starts swelling. Then he starts inventing words and throwing random stuff in to make it deliberately confusing. He’s brilliant! Nobody will get it and everybody will think they got it (or should get it), and they will all write reviews that are wildly different from each other’s, which the reader will promptly forget as soon as she reads them because they aren’t actually saying anything of substance, anything that has much relation to the movie.

There were a few clever moments. Of course. I’m sure Finnegans Wake had a few witty lines. Or maybe not. This wasn’t quite that bad. Let’s say Ulysses then.

It still sucked.

Yes, I just indirectly admitted I thought Ulysses sucked. What of it?

Cross-posted at The Apostate

Written by: The Apostate, December 2nd 2008

Ulysses does suck :)

I found your review more entertaining than I would have probably found the movie. I love when people refuse to sugar coat things. Thank you for keeping me from wasting my time on this film!

Clever and brutally honest...just like I like reviews. I never heard anything about the movie but if the movie is as bad you say, the studio may be trying to hush it up. Anyway...great review.Ebony