Monday, July 07, 2008

4 Months, 2 Friends


Not to set up a pointless competition between two films both worthy of viewership, but I just found it odd that, knowing myself the way I know myself - and I like to think I know myself pretty well, really - so knowing me, it's odd that I'd prefer the Romanian drama about two women trying to procure an illegal abortion to the angsty, arty story of two handsome male writers, best friends, struggling to deal with their alternating successes, no?

I suppose taking a movie on its own merits is preferable to pre-judging one based on only a knowledge of their basic plots, but still, before seeing the films Reprise and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days this weekend I would've told you I'd expected a different reaction.

All that said, I agree pretty wholeheartedly with a lot of Roger Ebert's review of Reprise; an excerpt:

"That word "love" is such a troublemaker. For characters like those in the movie, it represents an attainment like feeling patriotic or missing your dog. It's a state not consuming, not transcendent but obligatory."

I liked the film more than Ebert, but he gets at the fundamental problem I had with the film, which was its reserve. I can't decide if it was meant as a commentary on this generation or not. That these characters had intellectualized everything to a set routine of how they were meant to live their lives, but felt no passion about anything, or what. I think the film hints towards that in spots, but it did become hard to care about them when everything seemed so perfunctory.


mle said...

Yeah but when you're in a state of apathy and ennui-ridden yourself, it hits just the right tone.

You're old. And you're happy. Not the right audience.

RJ said...

You're right . . . this is kind of a pointless comparison.

I kind of loved Reprise and it's my #1 of the year so far. In some ways, it reminded me of one of my favorite films: The Best of Youth. I DESPERATELY need to see 4 Months . . . though. EVERYONE loves it

Jason Adams said...

They were contrasting against each other in my mind since I watched them right beside each other, and theyre both sort of grim European films with similarly washed out color palettes, one featuring best friends male and one featuring best friends female... sort of makes sense, anyway.

Jason Adams said...

Also, Reprise will not be on my top 10 at the end of the year. It was a fine film, but it did nothing for me.