12 March 2012

The Descendants

I haven't gotten around to complaining about this movie yet. When I get bad about updating my blog, it's generally a sign that I'm working really really hard or putting off work. I'm not entirely sure which this one is, oddly enough. ANYWAYS.

I'm really sick of these seemingly charming tales about "quirky" people and their exploits that invariably involve some mildly shocking scenes where people end up, for example, hanging out with the wife of the guy your own wife cheated on you with. I'm fed up with the sassy, foul-mouthed children and their attitude problems, and the vicious or hapless extended family. And the 'inspiring' tale of the protagonists striving for self-realization in this crazy crazy world after they've basically been fuck-ups (and shitty parents) for way too long. And the fact that the characters are often ultra-rich kind of adds insult to injury. I don't hate rich people. But I do find myself annoyed by their many gripes and complaints, especially when watching these movies in Turkey. It's not that their problems aren't real, or that the struggle to make ends meet is somehow more noble. But there's something a wee bit absurd about illuminating the travails of multimillionaires to entertain a lower-middle class audience.

So no, I didn't like this movie. Pretty much all of the people in it are basically despicable. They get a little bit more palatable as the movie progresses, but they're still essentially selfish jerks. To be honest though, my real problem with the movie was that I found it dull. It's really long. Really. It actually feels almost interminable. I normally like Hawaiian music, but this movie sorely tested me by bombarding me with endless dreamy ukelele numbers. The dialogue was pretty atrociously bad, and the whole thing didn't really hold together in its attempt to weave a plot out of three separate stories; a guy who learns of his wife's infidelities as she's on her deathbed, his relationship to his messed up daughters, this massive business deal he's on the verge of making, and his connection to Hawaii and its history. I bet the novel does a better job at it. In fact,  wouldn't be surprised if the novel is pretty good. But the movie is not.

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