I picked this film to watch because it was the only of four options that was instant streaming on Netflix. I say this to set the scene for my expectations and also to shame Netflix for having less than a quarter of all movies created in 2004. It’s despicable. (Netflix, not Little Black Book.)
Stylistically the movie felt like it was from the 90’s. The opening scene was reminiscent of American Beauty. There’s something about the film quality, the color saturation, and the cinematic style that makes this film easily grouped into an era. I’m not one who holds film as sacred, but I would readily admit that new films have a different feel. It might be that all the new films are shot on REDs or have gone digital. That the HD and 4K are just that much more crisp. I will not argue that one is better than the other, I believe its a matter of taste, but they are different.
This is not your typical romantic comedy. In fact, it’s more of a coming of age story than a romance. It’s the internal struggle of a young woman in the midst of a relationship. Comparable to Alice in Wonderland, in a way, and not just because it begins with a reference to Lewis Carroll.
“Question, how does a girl who falls, no actually jumps eyes wide open, down a rabbit hole, plummeting into chaos come out unchanged? Answer, she doesn’t.”
Stacy, a freshly graduated young woman played by Brittany Murphy, finds her curiosity piqued when she finds out he boyfriend dated a beautiful model who admitted to being bulimic. Encouraged by her coworkers at the Oprah-esque daytime show she takes advantage of her boyfriend’s business trip to dig a little deeper into his past.
She finds and meets three past girlfriends and interviews them under various guises. Her coworker, Barb–played by Holly Hunter, takes advantage of the situation to bring all four women onto a live production of the show under false pretenses. The final guest, is of course the boyfriend Derek, played by Ron Livingston.
Thematically the movie challenges expectations of the genre and speaks to those who feel they don’t have any control over their lives. (Which is… everyone, right?)
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”
This is the mantra that Stacy’s Mom* ingrains into her as a child. Everyone wants their lives to go smoothly. Many people have plans and dreams that they cling to. Yet, life doesn’t always go as planned. One might argue it never does.
“You know, life’s funny that way. Once you let go of the wheel, you might end up right where you belong.”
The movie has a lot of quotes which will probably look great on both your physical and digital walls. If you’re into the whole pinterest thing you may want to watch with a notepad so you can impress your followers in the coming weeks.
I think the film expresses a lot of frustration that young adults have trying to figure out what life is all about. I hesitate to say that the film is about letting go and moving on, but it does deal with those things.
Overall I was actually pretty impressed with the film. It dealt with complicated people, real people, and didn’t try to tidy things up in the end. This films is not an action packed adventure ride, but it’s a good drama and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun comedy that deals with a lot of feelings.
*Has got it going on. (But not really, Sharon Lawrence, is like 300 years old by now.)