O.K., maybe I should have titles this Movies Where Not Much Happens…or…Movies Where Some Stuff Happens, But Not How You Think, And It Doesn’t Really Get In The Way Of The Movie.
I’m not going to carp about the Hollywood crap mill or how formulaic most movies are. It’s like trying to teach a pig to dance. It’s pointless and just annoys the pig. It’s not like I’m a “Cinema” fan, I just like what I like. I’m certainly not above liking, and sometimes really liking, what could be considered by others to be completely indigestible tripe.
But I like small movies that don’t try to impress me. Movies that don’t think the boy has to get the girl, and that if he does, he has to screw it up somehow in order to pad the plot and add “tension”. I really like movies where nothing happens. Of course things happen, I wouldn’t want to watch a movie of grass growing (o.k, maybe time-lapse is cool).
Because I haven’t seen nearly as many as I’d like, I have only a short list of these. Top of the list, and this doesn’t mean that I like it the best-only that NOTHING happens in it-is Sophia Coppola’s Lost In Translation. I know I part ways with many Bill Murray fans here, but let’s face it; they are mostly one dimensional troglodyte sportswriters.
Bill plays a world-weary Famous Actor that’s been contracted to (for what I presume to be an ungodly amount of money-why else would the character put up with the guy in the hilarious commercial director scene?) film an ad for Suntory whiskey, a product he is already associated with.
He meets a world-weary (or maybe it’s just insomniac) photographer’s wife who’s in Tokyo because her husband is. Scarlett Johannson does an outstanding job. She suffers through her husbands schedule and random meetings with an moronic American actress.
That’s about it. Sure, they drink a little and carouse around town with their new-found compadres. Karaoke, a nosh here and there, but no great drama. And that’s what made it cool for me. They don’t hook up, no one cheats, nobody gets shot, stabbed, pregnant, or vampired. Just a little slice out of a couple of regular extraordinary people who can’t sleep in Japan.