Monday, September 20, 2010

Helly's Video View- Singles

Even though my reaction to Elizabethtown was luke warm, I'm willing to put those feelings aside as there is still something effortlessly watchable about Cameron Crowe films which will always have me wanting to go back for more. Never too heavy and often very sweet, for me it's the film equivalent of the perfect dessert!

I hereby dub Cameron Crowe as the 'master of moments' as he has proven it once again with this film. He is so skilled at writing scenarios that tickle your heart and epitomise escapism, leaving you with that sense of 'movie magic'. The idea of unlocking the car door button might seem a bit archaic to us now, but it's still a great moment which symbolises how it's often the littlest things which make you fall for someone. Like wise with Bridget Fonda's character just wanting a man to say gazuntite when she sneezes 'Or bless you...that's nicer'. Though the line which will probably stay with me the longest is 'I was just nowhere near your neighbourhood', taking a classic line and turning it on its head to create the perfect balance of sweetness and awkwardness.

One of the things I like most about the film is how relatable the characters are. You could (or maybe you do) know these people, incarnations of them at least anyway. This may be largely to do with the fact that I am in exactly the same phase of my life as the characters, making the viewing of this movie perfectly timed. The character which I identify with most is Bridget Fonda's character Janet, especially when she is giving her opening monologue. Here is an excerpt-

'Here I am twenty three. I think time's running out to do something bizarre. Somewhere around twenty five bizarre becomes...immature.'

It's almost impossible to make lines delivered straight to the camera work and I've seen it done badly many times (lots of tv shows often try this method for the protagonist in the first season and then end up dropping the idea.) But the monologues to camera are actually very effective and are done in such a naturalistic way that it really adds an extra element to the film.

One aspect which didn't totally work for me was the central relationship between the characters of Linda and Steve. I felt like we never got a full understanding of the nature of their relationship, which is probably due to it unfolding in fragmented scenes across an unspecified amount of time. Because of this the gravity of the predicament they find themselves in doesn't hit the audience like it should. One argument for this could be that it is a comedy after all, so maybe they didn't want it to get too dramatic. They do share some incredibly touching moments but I appreciate these scenes more on a technical level of being expertly crafted, rather than being emotionally invested in the story at that point.

The film is slightly lacking in story but it is definitely an accurate portrayal of that limbo feeling you experience when you hit your twenties. In a way, that's probably why not a whole lot happens in the film, as you spend part of your twenties feeling stuck and waiting for something to happen.

A bit of nineties nostalgia, great music (like all Cam Crowe films) and sharp dialogue amalgamate into a very enjoyable film indeed.


  1. Hey,you stole my favourite line ;)
    I think then I'll have to go with:

    Janet : Are my breasts too small for you?
    Cliff : Sometimes.

    Matt Dillon's perfect in this!

  2. Oh, and another brilliantly written article, Helly!

    "Desperation: the world's worst cologne"

  3. "gazuntite"????! Or perhaps gesundheit!
    Paul N.

  4. Really good review Helly. I feel like I agree with you even though I haven't seen the movie

  5. great review darling, I think Campbell Scott is so good in this.