Here we go as I continue to try to plow through all the Best Picture nominees before Saturday...today I watched The Descendants, which is basically The Kids are All Right for 2011. Yup, it's a family drama...family has issues, family faces crisis, family grows together as a family. Starring Captain Handsome himself, George Clooney.
|50% emotional Oscar bait, 50% commercial for Hawaii's tourism industry.|
The first thing that threw me off was the narration. Oh the narration. Normally I think that the old adage, "Show me don't tell me," is a bit over simplistic, but in this case I think it would have helped. It's like, exposition exposition exposition backstory history lesson BAM my wife's in a coma. Now we can start the movie. Matt loses me when he talks about how people in Hawaii have problems just like anyone else, and I'm like, you have to decide between selling your land and making a ton of money, selling your land and making a shit ton of money, or not selling the land and owning 25,000 acres of paradise. So maybe our problems are a little bit different.
- Wow, this middle-aged blond surfer guy is awkward. Also...of course his name is Troy. Of course.
- I do really like the analogy of Matt's family as an archipelago...one single unit, but each person is an isolated island.
- How awkward is it that Matt heads over to his best friend's house to see if they know that Elizabeth was having an affair, and they're all like Yeah sure man but we didn't want to betray her trust. Seriously? Get some better friends!
- So the grandfather is berating Matt for not giving Elizabeth more money and her own boat, because if she had those things she wouldn't have done thrill sports. Ummm...the fuck?
- OK, I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure that even a stoned surfer dude would know enough not to laugh at an old woman who clearly has Alzheimers, especially not in front of her family. I'm calling a penalty on this one, for blatant emotional manipulation. I get it, movie...you want him to seem like a complete asshole so we're all touched when he turns out to have hidden depths. But it's too much.
- Did he seriously have a catered party to tell everyone he's taking his wife off life support? I guess that's one way to do it.
- Why are they bringing Sid? Seriously! He just met this kid, he obviously doesn't like him, but he's perfectly willing to pay for his airfare and room and board while they all go off on an adventure?
- Actual Hawaiians drive around with little hula dancers on their dashboards? Well...that's just tacky.
- Jesus it must be a soul-crushing job to be the psychologist at the hospital who has to tell all the little kids that their parents are dead. I would not last one day doing that.