my kind of fun
This film was pushed through what I'll call the indie-this-movie-must-be-hip funnel (Landmark Theatres) and received good reviews. As with most movies I would have preferred not hearing anything at all about it before I viewed it. However, I still enjoyed the film quite a bit.
Mr. Braff pulled off the writer/director/star roll pretty well in this film. His trademark for the film is the numb look he uses in most of the first half. I wonder if he practiced that look a lot or if it's just natural for his face.
The driving plot line was Andrew Largeman's journey back toward emotions. This journey was kickstarted by going cold turkey after 10 years or more on lots of Lithium and other mood disorder drugs, the return home for his mother's funeral after 9 years away, and meeting _thegirl_. The girl was played by Natalie Portman and she did well. Her character was believable and even reminded me of a couple of people I've known in the past. Throw in lots of pent up emotion, self discovery, melancholy, dark sets, and rain and I'm mostly hooked.
I'm not sure however, that this film quite lives up to the hype. There were definitely some quaint moments along with a few inspirational moments of writing. For the most part though the character investigations felt a little shallow. I would like to have seen some of the fluff of the day long excursion for the gift traded for a little more dialogue and interaction that opened up the characters of Large and Sam. I would even have excepted a longer movie in return. On the other hand, the transitions and moments were sometimes subtle and I do appreciate that over typically obvious dialogue.
All in all a good film.
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