"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Elling and 50/50

Two beautiful films for today on the friendship between a struggling man and his loud, horny friend. I swear I don't look for similar films to watch back to back.  It just keeps happening.  Weird.

Elling is such a delight.  The two leads meet in an institution.  Neither can live on his own, but they decide that maybe together they can take on the outside world.  It's a Felix and Oscar union but so much kinder - and more violent.  Things get shaken up as they each meet someone on the outside, and it takes a bit of reassurance that their friendship is still a top priority before they can enjoy themselves again.

They're fearful of many commonplace things and activities.  It's a reminder of how much courage it can take for some people to cross the floor of a restaurant alone or to talk on the phone.  It's a reminder to be more understanding of all the stories we don't know about the people we meet.

It's a must see for the hidden poems and the Christmas presents and the gregarious exclamations!  The trailer would just spoil it.

Then I watched 50/50.

It's a movie about friendship disguised as a movie about cancer.   It's painfully realistic in places, yet still light-hearted overall.  I'm not sure why I keep gravitating to Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies lately, but here he is again.  And I've liked Seth Rogen since I watched him fall in love in Freaks and Geeks.

I love that both films include a woman who is neither bitchy nor cloying, doesn't get in the way of the friendship by toying with the other guy, and isn't hated by the friend.  That's a nice change.   There are a lot of buddy movies out there, and in so many of them, if there's a central female at all, she's that same irritating character.  She's in the first bit of 50/50, but they soon get rid of her.  That plot element loosely reminded me of Office Space actually:  a guy has a horrible girlfriend, he goes through a pivotal transformation and then finally is able to connect with a nice girl.  Apparently it took having cancer before he could insist on being treated kindly.     

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