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December 03, 2004


Wow. I feel dirty.

When I wrote that Closer could be the most pretentious movie of all time, I thought I was exaggerating. Apparently, I was dead-on.

I went to see it this afternoon. I’m really glad I was alone. I don’t think I could have sat next to anyone without keeling over from embarrassment and shame. The dialog was terrible and stunted, full of these grandiose, clunking statements that you could practically hear hitting the ground from their own weight (i.e.: “Why can’t you lie? It’s the currency of the world!” and “We have to forgive. It’s what separates us from the animals.”). Then different characters take these awful lines and reuse them in other situations…bleh. I hated them all the first time I heard them.

I have to wonder what Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, and Clive Owen were thinking when they did this film. I can’t imagine that this will up their Hollywood stock much. Or does shouting over and over (Clive, I’m talking to you here) about your sex life in excruciating detail and in the most vulgar terms raise your acting value? I felt like I was watching a really bad experimental acting class that just got away from the instructor.

Lastly, let me send a quick note to the director:

Dear Mr. Nichols,

I understand that you are considered to be an excentric sort of genius in some circles. If you ever make a film again that involves Clive Owen, please don’t make him some sort of sex crazed, perverted freak. You made him look all friendly in the trailer, giving a balloon to a smiling Julia Roberts. What the trailer failed to show is that the balloon is a gift for the woman he thought he had just had some sort of weird anonymous internet sex with (who just happened to not really be Julia—I won’t get into that part here, you know what I'm talking about). And it was really nasty anonymous internet sex, and that he was going to meet her to fulfill some twisted fantasy. That rather tainted their relationship from the beginning for me. That and his weird screaming scene where he made Julia go into agonizing detail about her adulterous sex.

Thank you,


PS--Hire a new editor.

Posted by Ensie at December 3, 2004 05:20 PM


Dude, you're way off. Let me use short sentences:

Read a novel. (No, a real one.) Then read another one. Then stop expecting a film to be another cheap movie. Then read another novel. Then watch Closer again. LISTEN, too - that'll be helpful. Watch how the characters take turns *using* those catch phrases, how they learn and borrow them from each other over the course of years, even the terms of endearment (which are equally significant). How they betray themselves BEFORE betraying each other. Then, and only then, should you mock a phrase here or there out of context.

As you can tell, I liked the movie, er... film. Was I made to feel uncomfortable at times? Sure. Did MASSES of people leave our theatre because they couldn't stomach the subject matter and sexual references? Absolutely. Are you alone in misunderstanding the premise? Apparently not. Did I break my promise to use short sentences? Well, yes./BF

Posted by: BF at December 7, 2004 08:57 AM

BF--Hey, you can like the movie, I've got no problem with that. But don't bag on my reading skills. I'm familiar with real novels. I do work in a bookstore. Just because I choose to read some light stuff doesn't mean that I don't choose something that requires thought on occasion as well. I feel so defensive now, as though I should be shouting, "I like literature! And my favorite film is Antonia's Line!"

What makes you think I didn't LISTEN to the film? I didn't walk out (although some did), and I appreciated the acting in the film itself. I think this particular movie (which is adapted from a stage play) would be better on-stage. The pacing of the film has that sort of feel. Or I could have just been so uncomfortable I didn't pick up the finer points that you describe and only focused on what jumped out at me immediately.

I don't think I misunderstood the premise--the idea that people who love one another use what they love to hurt eachother, among other things. I'm just not especially comfortable with the graphic language and use of sexuality in the film. That is my failing--I should have done more research before going to see it. I think the trailer gave a slightly skewed image of what I thought I was going to see.

I wasn't expecting it to be a romantic comedy, I expected it to be a thoughtful film. It's definately something I've thought about, and will be something I rent when available on DVD to see if my first impression will change at all.

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