For as much as I love movies and film, I’m usually pretty awful about seeing movies in theaters. There are the movies that you must see in theaters, like the latest comic book movie or LOTR installment, but the indies are what I always push aside. And ironically enough, these are the movies that need the most attention, audiences and ticket sales for the sake of more independent films being made.
These past few weekends have been pretty miserable. When I moved to Seattle no one told me about the daylight savings darkness. I don’t mind the cold or the rain, but about 18 hours of darkness everyday gets to be pretty tough! When I go to work, it’s dark. When I leave work, it’s dark. With little to no sunlight and whole lot of rain on the weekends, my complexion has become practically translucent and my desire to go outdoors has evaporated. Movies have become my savior. Theaters are so warm and cozy and my couch sounds like a better option to just about anywhere else in the world.
Because of this hibernation period, I’ve successfully caught up on a handful of the indie movies that I would’ve otherwise missed out on.
Ruby Sparks was my absolute favorite. The style was clean and colorful, but it was the story that was most beautiful. Paul Dano is Calvin, a young, successful novelist who’s hit a self-loathing writers block. He dreams about a girl named Ruby Sparks (his real life girlfriend, screenwriter and star of the movie, Zoe Kazan) and obsessively writes her life story into a novel until one day she appears in real life and they fall in love. It’s a love story, but also a love story and journey within himself. It exposes the dirty truth that no one wants to admit that they know, the demons that we all try to hide and the vulnerabilities that we face when exposing them to others. Their love is so vivacious and catastrophic that you can’t help but feel like the story is personal and true.
I had zero complaints about Perks of Being a Wallflower… and that never happens. I’ve always had a soft spot for teenager movies, but I was a bit nervous about this movie looking too much like 2010’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story (another movie about a sad boy on the verge of a breakdown). Perks was original, gritty and full of spirit. It reminds you of your adolescent exuberance and cringe-worthy insecurities. It’s as uplifting as it is sad. Emma Watson was wonderful. And I’ve danced to Come On Eileen everyday since.
A man writes an ad looking for a partner in time travel. Hoping to write an article on this strange person and his journey, 3 journalists travel to northern Washington to pose as an answer to the ad. This is the odd premise of Safety Not Guaranteed. Because the story focuses on 4 people, the stories are cut short but remain pure in their simplicity. I really liked the premise, but I felt the execution of the story was only so-so.
I wanted to see Seeking a Friend for the End of the World because Kiera Knightly and Steve Carell were paired up. I didn’t like Seeking a Friend for the End of the World because Kiera Knightly and Steve Carell were paired up. Oh the irony. There was no chemistry. I didn’t like the characters. The story never dug very deep. I didn’t really believe that it was the end of the world.
Beginners actually upset me. I had wanted to see the movie for about a year, especially because Christopher Plummer received so much Oscar praise but also because I liked the absurd idea behind it all. A dog speaks in sub titles? The elderly father decides he’s gay? But the story was so depressing. The main character is so plagued by the unhappiness of his parents marriage that he can’t be happy, even when the beautiful Melanie Laurent is in love with him. Though their silent Halloween meet-cute was very… cute… nothing could really save me from the staleness of their lives and relationship. In some way, everyone has a crappy past. I just don’t want to watch a movie about someone dwelling on it in such a morose way.