This past weekend i checked out the uber-indie flick Mutual Appreciation. At first, i was completely bored, but then i began to notice that the film has some real brilliance.
The movie is about kids in the 20-30 year old post-college trying-to-figure-it out stage. The dialogue and self-awareness of the characters in the movie are dead-on. Most movies today over-narrate or even have voice-overs telling you exactly what’s happening every step of the way. This film instead builds scenes using awkward pauses, glances by the characters, and body language which is much more authentic and real.
The movie is about a recent college grad, Alan, who is a musician and leaves a busted-up band for New York. He tries to stay focused and fends off all types of distractions, including the attraction to his good friend’s girlfriend. There are some great scenes in the movie and some of the things i particularly liked are:
- There is a strange series of events that occur when Alan stops by a party well after it has finished and hangs out with 3 drunk women. Normally this would result is a bizarre series of events that’s pretty funny but instead this film portrays how current gender relations have shifted and in today’s post-feminist era women end up completely dominating tentative males
- The songs played in the film are really good. The first song, “Things are what you make of them” by Bishop Allen is a great tune. I tried to find out what the other ones were, but couldn’t. If anyone knows. please drop me a line (or comment below)
- The movie is just raw and it is in a good way.
- The dialogue is extremely accurate to what guys and girls age 22-30 would talk like. There are about 4 scenes in this movie that are exactly the same as my experiences in NY – the awkward and pompous dialogue of the over-educated and under employed sitting around acting sophisticated while drinking wine and staying up late.
- In places you’d normally expect something to happen – like an event – nothing does. Instead, you see someone get verbally rejected or visually stimulated. This isn’t a movie about events but rather emotions. Depending on what type of movie watcher you are, this could be a great thing or a horrible thing.
(also, here’s a link (here) to an interview with one of the stars from the movie)
Funny Ha Ha, also Directed by Andrew Bujalski. Great movie and stars one of the three girls at the end of Mutual Appreciation – not an actress and actually one of the animators that worked on Waking Life.
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