Our weekends often include a trip to the movies. Our tastes differ with John preferring action and intrigue and me preferring drama, but we rarely have a problem choosing something we are both likely to enjoy. Enjoy being the key word here. Today we saw The Descendants, kind of a last minute pick after reviewing the options yesterday and thinking there wasn't much worth viewing. George Clooney is undeniably gorgeous, and usually acts in quality films, so when John proposed this one I didn't hesitate.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be drawn out and dreary, with a weak plot offering very little in the way of interesting interaction between characters. The subject - family members coping with the mother who is in a coma and about to be unplugged - was downright morose, as were the scenes of her laying there in her hospital bed in a deteriorating state.
Ok, so there was the underlying message about valuing your relationships and being active participants in each other's lives, points about being an attentive spouse and parent, etc. But we all know this already and in my opinion the movie did nothing to stir you enough to want to go out and improve your own relationships. We left the theater with a case of the blahs, and little to talk about. Depressing to say the least.
I'm not saying that every movie has to be pretty or have a fairytale ending, but I at least want it to be good enough to emotionally involve me. After all, the whole point of going to the movies is to be entertained, isn't it? Isn't the idea to let those two hours transport you out of your own life and into another place and time, something interesting and either relaxing or uplifting? There seems to be a new trend of dishing up depression and calling it entertainment. I'd much sooner have been home watching "reality" tv, or reading a good book or blog. If I want to be depressed, I can do that for free by reading the online news, or thinking about the various struggles people I know are experiencing. I go to the movies to get away from it all, not to have the joy sucked out of me. Maybe I'm missing it, but I just don't see dark minimal-plot dramas as being entertainment. I think of all the truly memorable movies in the past that gave us something to talk about; the one I saw today was another sleeper, and a gloomy one at that. Definite thumbs down.