Friday, December 9, 2011

The Descendants: 3 Distractions

'The Descendants' is one of those films that falls above mediocrity but just isn't good enough to be described as "great". It was slightly too long, but the strong, solid story did have me hooked. The themes of forgiveness and the powerful bond amongst family were a bit heavy-handed, but the strength of the film lies in its complexity and mix of comedic moments. My problem with the film were it's distractions - my thoughts kept wandering to these 3 questions:

1. What the hell happened to Matthew Lillard? As a teenager in the 90's, I found Matthew Lillard to be all kinds of awesome (Scream, SLC Punk). I was excited that he was in this film, but was horrified when I saw him. He is officially an old man. It was also disturbing to see George Clooney with his old man high-waisted, pleated khaki pants but George has always been "older" to me so I wasn't as horrified. I think it was a little more jarring to see Matt's aging because he has been MIA for like 10 years or so. I always thought of him as someone in my age bracket (which technically he is) so I spent the beginning of the film thinking if people who haven't seen me in a while think the same thing about me. Then I spent the rest of the film feeling old and depressed.

2. Kaitlin Cooper, is that you? Serious props to Shailene Woodley for holding her own against such a strong cast. I read a few Oscar talks for her role in this film, while I wouldn't go that far - she did a fantastic job (that underwater crying scene was absolutely breathtaking). However, the entire time I could not stop picturing a young Kaitlin Cooper (from the greatest teen drama ever The O.C.) with her riding outfit on whining because her horse has Alopecia.

3. How have I not been to Hawaii yet? I love to travel and Hawaii has been at the top of my list for years now, but I never could justify the expense. There are a lot of beautiful places in the world that can be seen for 1/2 the price. This film might have changed my mind though- the scenery was magnificent. I think it was the quick shots of volcanoes in the background that truly captured my attention. I got home and googled Hawaii volcano tours for a few hours and am officially starting a Hawaii trip savings account.

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