Young People Fucking

No, I’m not going to comment on the title because I just don’t care. What I’m going to say, though, is the following:

I never wanted to get this close to gay porn. I’ll be scarred for life. 😦

So, how did I find this movie? The provocative title? Nope, that’s not it. Joe Mallozzi it is. Stargate writer – a show I like and a man whose blog I read daily – and so is Martin Gero, writer/director of ‘Young People Fucking’.

So, what’s the movie about? Well, on the outside it truly is about young people fucking. Even though I wouldn’t necessarily call all of them young (actually, none of them) the main (and only) plot is five couples having sex, being followed through the various stages of the act. Interesting, to be sure – and for once I’m not saying this because we get to see the actresses’ boobs (that isn’t even necessarily a plus figuring into this review – certainly not a minus but it’s just not that important).

Below that, though, lies a masterpiece. I have about three things that I’d criticise:

  1. The word “fuck” and its variations are used too often at the beginning (not that it bothers me – it doesn’t – but is just doesn’t seem right).
  2. The gay scenes! How dare you? It’s not that any homosexuals are involved (I wouldn’t care – I just probably wouldn’t watch (unless they were lesbians)) – but you’ll see what I’m talking about once you actually watch the movie for yourself…
  3. It’s only about 80 minutes.

Now, none of that is terribly bad – 3. could even be considered a strength. Let’s get to the good stuff, then.

First off, the actors. Now, I think I’ve said this before but I truly am not expert. Sure, I’ll notice if it’s really bad but normally I just won’t notice. Here – they’re all terrific. I noticed. That’s a very good sign.

It’s terribly funny. At times I found myself laughing out loud – that’s a very rare thing. Usually I might smile a little – not laugh out loud. I did. More than once! It’s terribly sweet. Not in an unnecessarily cheesy way. It’s just right! The story’s being told are wonderful. The exes – it’s obvious they’re still in love and still they can’t be together. The story works out just that way – it has to because it obviously working out between the two of them before.

Jude Law (no, not really) – another rather amusing storyline. You’ll have to see for yourself. Kinda borderline cheesy though (reminds me of Wedding Crashers, kinda). The perverts – entertaining and cute. Especially when she explains why she loves him and doesn’t care that everyone else thinks they shouldn’t be together. It’s especially ironic considering what happened previously to that scene. 😀

The married couple – those two are most in danger of being cheesy. I was worried for a moment there. Then I got scarred for life. You’ll see. I’m still weeping. 😦 (Yes, I know that deep down this is sexist – I don’t care)

Finally, my favourite storyline: the friends. It works out perfectly. Very romantic. And still, not too cheesy. Doesn’t tell us where this is going to go and that’s why it’s so strong.

So, let’s get to the bottom line: This reminds me of another favourite film of mine: Love Actually. Another brilliant movie about love. Awesome writing, awesome acting – what more could you ask for? And the only reason most people ever talked about it is the title. That’s worrying – we could’ve missed a real gem here.

5/5

Lions for Lambs

Got the DVD as a birthday present and finally decided to watch it today.

Let me say right off the bat: the reviews are right, this one sucks.

The movie follows three different storylines – a professor trying to convince a student that he should “do something” with his potential, an evil, evil Republican senator trying to sell a new strategy to a reporter and two soldiers in Afghanistan getting into a bad situation.

Those three stories, obviously, are linked together – and that’s where the trouble starts. The three storylines only exist so we can link the different characters together, there’s absolutely no point in having them all. There could be more, there could be just one – it plain doesn’t matter. The only thing remotely clever? They all happen within one hour or so.

Let’s start with the professor: his student is some frat boy and he missed class a couple times. How sad. This then results in a long tirade of “the world’s going to hell” and “people just don’t care anymore today” – yadda, yadda, yadda. Sure, most people occasionally feel that way (sometimes with decent quantities of alcohol involved) but then they get offer it and move the fuck on. It doesn’t exactly become clear what he expects his young, bright student to do – just “something”, I guess.

Also, this wonderful professor had two other boys with potential. They proposed reinstating the draft in class and then – and this is probably the only halfway decent scene in the film even though it’s terribly forced – respond to accusations of hypocrisy by putting their enlistment confirmations on the OHP (they always somehow have the exact right information on their slides to respond to any kind of criticism that comes up) – terribly leftist, fascist, statist – you name it, you can pretty much throw any kind of accusation their way, considering what they are proposing (and considering that this is a libertarian blog).

Those two boys, alas, are the soldiers that are getting killed – yes, they get killed (even though it could be considered semi-suicide). People get killed in wars, what a surprise. The only point to have them in the film, though, is to have them killed. Seriously, it’s that simplistic. They serve no other purpose – kinda like the professor not offering anything other than “do something!”. No background, no motivation – nothing, nada. No idea why they are where they are, why they need to die. All just a set-up to drive home the message that Bush really is evil.

Oh, I didn’t mention that yet, did I? Yeah, it’s a film against the neo-cons. Tom Cruise, finally, in the third storyline is an up-and-coming Republican senator who tries to sell his new strategy to Meryl Streep. The major problem? There is no strategy. It’s just bullshit. And while that gives the film makers a wonderful opportunity to illustrate how stupid the one-liners in defence of the war(s) really are, it just hurts the movie.

If there’d been some kind of plan, some kind of strategy that could reasonably have been expected to come from politicians rather than the military (because this new strategy is clearly a military decision) it could have worked. Use the surge, use some kind of major change – something that makes the movie work. Not some weak-ass bullshit like this.

So, in conclusion: there’s no proper message apart from “everything sucks” and “we all oughta do something about it”, there’s no asking useful questions, there’s no starting an interesting discussion. It’s just whining and bitching – and Michael Moore is just funnier when he does it.

Best thing about the movie is that it only lasted about 82 minutes. 😉