Like Crazy | Drake Doremus, 2011
I’ll go straight down to it: I absolutely hated Like Crazy and for my money it is the worst movie of the year. It doesn’t start out that way. Up until the last 30 minutes it is purely a terribly-written movie filled with stupid characters doing stupid things, all in the name of love. Why else would a silly young girl living on the U.S. with a student VISA outstay it? Well, that comes back to bite her in the ass, and she proceeds to do more stupid things, such as believing that she can make a long-distance relationship work. Ok, fine this is a love story and love conquers all. Then at the 60 minute mark there really is nowhere else to go as they get married so she can get her green card, and there really is nowhere else to go despite the fact that since she outstay her visa she was banned from the U.S. So what do you do during the last 30 minutes, something so despicable that I don’t even want to mention it. Those 30 minutes detroy an already-terrible movie and made it the worst I’ve seen this year.
Puss in Boots | Chriss Miller, 2011
The character of Puss in Boots as voiced by Antonio Banderas was the highlight of Shrek 2 and pushed it to be better than its predecessor. Finally, after years of being talked about, the character finally got his own movie, and it is everything I expected it to be.
Puss in Boots is pure entertainment for the masses. It doesn’t aim high, and it mostly hits its target. But the thing is, I expected a bit more. Sure, the animation is gorgeous (Guillermo Del Toro is an executive producer, and his influence shows in the set designs), Banderas seems to be having a lot of fun, and it has one of the best side characters of the year (the cat that says “ooooo”), but the story is not quite where I wish it would have been. It’s better than the last two Shrek movies, but it’s not like the bar was really high. As it is, it’s fine entertainment for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Weekend | Andrew Haigh, 2011
Andrew Haigh’s Weekend is perfectly summarized by this tweet by actress Melanie Lynskey: “‘Weekend’ is moving, sexy, & really important without being Really Important. Am madly, madly in love with Cullen & New’s performances.” So now, let’s analyze this tweet.
“Weekend is moving…”
Very true. Little by little we learn things about two of our main characters and we see them get along so well despite their emotional differences that I couldn’t help but wanting them to be together, and for once I was hoping for a Hollywood ending. But it ended the way it had to, and it’s just heartbreaking. And it was shot in such an intimate way that helped us get in touch with the characters’s feelings without resorting to cheap emotional shots.
Oh, yes, this movie is definitely sexy. First off, it helps that you have two great-looking leads. Add to that sexy lighting. But what truly makes it sexy is the chemistry between the two leads and the dialogue exchanges between them prior to the sex scenes. With these in between these scenes feel earned and don’t feel like random strangers having sex. The only time they had that kind of sex we don’t see it at all, and yet when they talk about it it feels right, because we’ve come to know them a bit.
“…& really important without being Really important.”
The difference between the lower case and the upper case is where it’s at. Weekend is important in that it’s a great advancement in gay cinema because it plays just like any other romance even though it touches on how the subject is still taboo for some and they talk about rights and what not. But yet, it doesn’t feel like they are shoving those themes in your face like with Brokeback Mountain, Milk, or other recent movies on the subject. It feels natural, like any conversation anyone anywhere could have.
“Am madly, madly in love with Cullen & New’s performances.”
And this, is most definitely true. As great as Haigh’s direction and script are, these two are the glue that hold the movie together. Their great chemistry and talent is what kept me glued to the screen and what keeps going around in my head. If it wasn’t for the Ryan Gosling double whopper this year, the two would be at the top of my best actor list.
Weekend is a great great great movie. It could end up being taking over The Tree of Life as my favorite movie of the year.