thatcow

Eloquence is no substitute for meaning

Lonely guy Matthew works maintenance on a college campus while also attending classes. One day he is trapped with a female student in the elevator for a long time - overnight actually - one thing leads to another. In the morning, Matthew finds himself alone, and realizes he doesn't know who he was trapped with. He then spends the rest of the movie trying to figure that out, while spouting theories and metaphors on the state of male-female relations.

It sounds to me like the character Matthew wrote this movie. The attitudes of each character is exactly what he and his philosophy would have them be. This is someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about men and women, their differences, and why relationships are so problematic. He is obsessed, and very certain of his own conclusions. I'll grant that his message is one of tolerance - not a bad thing - but the result is that the movie is painted entirely from the same brush. There's nothing left to surprise us once we understand a single character.

This guy is also obsessed with sex - no surprise there. We have shots of female bodies every few minutes, illustrating some aspect of his philosophy. While the shots are suitably seductive, the repetition and nonstop narration makes these sequences completely boring.

It's interesting to note that this film was written by Michael Davis, who also wrote Eight Days A Week, which also centers around a similarly obsessed and philosophical young man - this time actually knowing the object of his desire. I haven't seen any of his other films, but given that the most recent is entitled "Girl Fever", I'm definitely picking up a theme. Are the opinions of these nice guy male leads the same as his own? It's probably not a bad guess.

My own personal nit to pick here: These people do not know how to pretend to play Foosball. I'm sure the filmmakers had them play without a ball to have a clean audio track for dialog, but the result is they appear to be playing with four balls for all the flailing around they do. Better to play with a tethered nerf ball in there.

And then there's the constant narration - it's a valid approach here, but unfortunately, with the movie already pounding one point of view into our heads like our lives depend on it, it ends up taking away more in terms of boredom than it adds in insight.

There's a story in here that might actually be a good one. Too bad it's hidden by all this talking.

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