"That sounds sleazy and this is not sleazy."

Day 309
The Third Wheel

First of all, it's just the best day ever when I happen to find the movie poster in Spanish.

But secondly, I've found it's hard for me to really enjoy a romantic comedy when I can't quite convince myself to even like the main character or care about his fate. Luckily, The Third Wheel still somehow manages to deliver a watchable movie, even despite the confusing and less than charming personality of its leading man.

Mr. Wilson's 'Stanley' is just so close.

He starts off fairly well as a seemingly intelligent, funny and well-liked, if a little shy, coworker. However, once he finally manages to ask out "the girl of his dreams" at the office, he quickly goes from "a little shy," to a lot of awkward. But even more distracting is the undercurrent of seemingly unnecessary aggression he exudes once they finally set out on their first date. And worst of all, everyone else, his date being the most guilty, seem fairly unfazed by it throughout.

Maybe it's just a complete lack of chemistry on the part of Mr. Wilson and Denise Richards, but by the end of the movie, you can't really imagine why there should ever be a second date, despite Stanley's (fairly vapid) confessions about love and fate.

Homeless man, Phil, is probably the saving grace of this entire film. Jay Lacopo, as Phil, adds some real flashes of entertainment. I'd say the entire movie is almost worth seeing solely for his monologue on bread, or even the bus-riding song.

In any case, he's much more endearing than Stanley. Perhaps that was maybe the intention of the film's creators even, but they didn't really leave Stanley much room for redemption. It surely looked like way too little too late to this girl, anyway.

Speaking of endearing, this movie made very small use of its cast. Melissa McCarthy got some decent screen time, but Greg Pitts, and un-credited 'extras' Lauren Graham and Nicole Sullivan really could have come in handy to add just a little more humor here and there. To his credit, however, Ben Affleck manages to conjure some pretty entertaining banter with Mr. Wilson towards the first half of the movie. If only it could last...

I can't say this movie is a complete throw-away. There's at least an excellent surprise cameo (that I won't give away!) mid-movie that sort of made my day.

So, yeah. Maybe give it a shot. Why not?

MERE'S OFFICIAL RATING: 3 out of 5 stars (I'm feeling generous today)
Bring two sandwiches! It's a date movie, afterall...

Up next....
Masked and Anonymous (gag)


"Of course it's dark. It's a suicide note."

Day 296
The Royal Tenenbaums

Hey, remember me? Yeah, I've really got to get movin' if we're going to finish this in time...

As much as I'd like to make some sweeping statement about how paternal relationships are particularly more complicated than most other relationships in life, that would obviously be assuming way too much. Naturally everyone's situation is different.

I think it would be better for me to simply state that familial relationships are complex.

Truly any meaningful relationship has its complexities, but that added significance of blood or legal bond--whatever it is that claims you to your understood family unit--makes the complexities that much stronger, that much more loaded with implications and expectations.

What does it mean to be a father? What can you expect as someone's child?

I love the manner in which Royal Tenenbaums goes about exploring these familial relationships. Obviously it's a movie, and thus their family and story is quite extraordinary, but the basic elements of real, imperfect, human relationships are still very much present.

It's no secret I'm quite the fan of Mr. Anderson's style of film, and Tenenbaums is no exception. The visual details, the clever, surprising dialogue ("You heard me, Coltrane!")....I laugh out loud at this film, only to find myself tearing-up by the end.

And who doesn't enjoy just a good redemption story? Seeing someone able to change, or manage to redeem him/herself before it's "too late," always gives me just a little more hope for humanity. Hell, even just seeing someone make an effort at all is lovely.

But then if that same redemption story is narrated by Alec Baldwin?! Truly, what more can you ask for?!...

It's just an excellent film. Period. And don't even get me started on the soundtrack!!

I'm sure you've seen it, but if you haven't, obviously you should, if for no other reason than to see the creepy paintings that hang in Eli Cash's home. Or to see another cameo from eldest Wilson brother, Andrew. Or to hear Bill Murray say, "Where's that red one gonna go?"...

MERE'S OFFICIAL RATING: 5 out of 5 stars
Maybe save a little bit of your sandwich for Buckely? :)

Up next...
The Third Wheel