Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Away I Go


There are movies that bore me, movies that mostly entertain me and movies that make me laugh. Then there are films that speak to me. Themes that mirror my life, dialogue that rings in my ears and characters that come off of the screen and follow me home. Ironically enough, Sam Mendes makes a lot of these types of films.


The story of a young unmarried couple who find themselves pregnant and then travel cross country in an attempt to find their new lives really hit home for me. Particularly the character of Burt, who loves his woman and his unborn unconditionally and goes to great lengths to be the man he believes they deserve. From unleashing hilarious verbal tirades on everyone from his former schoolmates to Verona herself, everything Burt does is motivated by his concern for his family. I could really feel his joy and his pain, his fears and his courage in facing the new chapter in his life. Like DiCaprio's character in Revolutionary Road, Burt knows what he must to do for his family and puts his own insecurities aside in order to try to make them a better life. It becomes almost the inverse of that film, because everything turns out better for Burt and Verona than it did for Frank and April. It asked me the question again of what does it mean to be a man? What does it take to be a good man and a good father? As I left the theatre, I thought that the answer lied somewhere in Burt's words, "Your fucking uterus is a motherfucking secret?!"


Ladies, if you loved Krasinski in 'The Office', you'll fall in love with him all over again.






PS - I couldn't decide who I loved more in the their cameo, Maggie Gyllenhaal or Allison Janney.

5 comments:

The Mad Hatter said...

My vote is for Maggie's part, especially since it set up the final hilarity with the stroller.

Great post man - and this movie spoke to me an awful lot too in the same sorts of ways. Maybe it's an enlightened guy thing...

Big Mike Mendez said...

A friend of mine said she would now name her daughter LN.

I think it is an enlightened late Gen X-er thing. I read your review and and was trying hard not to say the same thing, even though I felt the same way about it. Thanks for making me step it up.

Andrea said...

Michael- I can't tell you how much I love what you wrote. In pondering this (and the conversation around it), I can't help but remember a HUGE argument we had about Knocked Up, and the fact that Seth Rogen's character grew up and became the man he needed to be for his family... back then, you claimed it was yet another movie where a guy was submitting to the will of his woman... That tone seems to have changed (and yes, it's easier to bend your will to the wonderful Verona/Maya Rudolph than it ever will be to bend toward Katherine Hiegl) and you're on a good path...

Linda said...

Nice review. I loved Janney's character. She has amazing comedic timing and style. We saw a glimmer of it in Juno, but she really shines in this one. After such a serious turn on West Wing, who knew?!?

Big Mike Mendez said...

Andrea - Burt's character was not the lovable loser who NEEDS his woman to show him the right way of living, he was a man who knew what he was capable of and what he needed to do for his family. Completely different tone, alright, I don't think he bent for her as much as they bent themselves to a life befitting their unborn child.

Linda - and how about her turn in her other Mendes' film, American Beauty? Heavy dope, right there.