Yeah, it was a quiet week movie-wise. You see I spent much of the first three days of the week in the presence of dear friends – friends I never would have made were it not for this space. In the case of Jess Rogers, it was the third time being in the same place, but the first that wasn’t continually interrupted by rush lines and Q&A’s. In the case of Simon Columb, despite a whole series of podcast episodes and multiple posts that sprung from long emails back and forth, it was the first time we were ever face-to-face.
Add in Courtney Small, and you have four great friends plus three wonderful spouses in the same place for the first time in their six year friendship.
So yeah – not much time left over for movie watching while playing tour guide and social butterfly. Add in The Get Down and the week was largely a wash.
#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with THE INTERN directed by Nancy Meyers.
Meyers is the sort of director I feel prototypically comes to mind when one thinks about women in film; storytellers who spin tales of romantic comedy. That or they tell Austen-esque tales filled with corsets and lavish English estates. As we’ve noted through the months, the stories being told by female filmmakers are far more varied.
But back to Meyers…
Her comedies have all been successes, all designed to appeal to wide audiences…and often more mature ones. Her comedies aren’t the sort to star Kevin Hart, Channing Tatum, or Kristen Wiig. Instead, she tends to pull the goings on more towards older stars spinning slightly outlandish versions of real-life oddities. Her stories consider affection between ex-spouses (Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in IT’S COMPLICATED), love after sixty (Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE), the complexities of the female mind (WHAT WOMEN WANT), and just to prove she’s not only about the older generation – flash fire love in a new environment (THE HOLIDAY with Kate Winselt, Jude Law, and many others).
This brings me to THE INTERN, which likewise is amusing in a harmless way that our parents would appreciate. However woven into that harmlessness is some very apt considerations on life after retirement, life for mature workers in an increasingly young and fast-paced work force, and even the challenges that face a woman who becomes a CEO.
Small hitch this time though; Meyers fails to find the right balance.
If this was strictly the story of Anne Hathaway as Jules trying to balance life and work as a successful businesswoman, wife, and mother, I feel as though this film would be razor sharp and unbelievably apt. The ups and downs are real and the sorts of things that get figured out over and over in an ever-so-slowly changing business world. Thing is, it’s NOT the Jules story, even if the script wants it to be about her in the second half.
If this was strictly the story of Robert DeNiro as Ben trying to figure out retirement after forty years of business, I feel like this film would be mildly subversive and nuanced. The very landscape of how we do business has changed so drastically,bits fascinating to watch a baby boomer keep-up if dropped back into it…not to mention asking why they’d WANT to be. Meanwhile, seeing the way Ben applies his experience to new problems is likewise apt and tangible for a large swath of moviegoers.
Unfortunately, Meyers jams the two ideas together and what might have been enough concept for two movies is skimmed in one.
Still, the moments, the revelations, the very human associations are well-explored. What for one generation can seem slight might become another generations touchstone. The stories Nancy Meyers tells are splendid-if-sometimes-slight…and they deserve a place at the table.
Not everything should be high art, and people of all ages should be able to see themselves on the screen.
Here’s the week at hand…
NOTORIOUS – When looking for a movie to gather the far flung friends for, it’s hard to go wrong with Hitchcock.
SUICIDE SQUAD – Not awesome, but certainly not the shitshow some would have you believe.
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
BARBERSHOP – I could have listened to Cedric all day.
THE INTERN – I kinda like this version of DeNiro
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
CRIMSON PEAK – I hold out hope that people will find this movie as time goes on.
Boxscore for The Year
147 First-Timers, 95 Re-Watched
242 Movies in Total
How’s about you – seen anything good?