... is a cheesy chick-flick. Yes, I know. This is not the most heterosexual thing that has been said on the Revolution, but its true. While I do have a significant axe-to-grind with hardcore Kleenex-sponsored chick-flicks, some of the new, moderate "coming-of-age" variety are rather watchable and well-made, if you will (like The Holiday, in recent times, and of course, my all-time favorite, Fools Rush In). Therapists have stated that a guy's admitting to his appreciation of things which have belonged in traditionally feminine territory, is a good way for him to reap benefits of exploring their emotional side (read: get lucky).
Anyway, I saw this one a little while ago, and its more of a rom-com than a full-on chick flick, but enough disclaimers. It took me a while to get my hands around what made me set away my typical scoffs/guffaws, and actually appreciate the sentiment behind it. Perhaps one of the things that got me enticed in the first place, was the fact that the title was such an apt definition of the way our generation thinks, most of the time. And of course the fact that the film had the same name as one of the best Oasis albums ever.
First things first. Abigail Breslin is a young, feisty Ellen Page, without some of the over-the-top attitude, which has the tendency to get really old, really quickly. She retains the movie's innocence, very effectively. And for as much as I love Van Wilder, I never thought that Ryan Reynolds would mature into such an intense actor as exemplified by his performance in DM (have y'all seen The Nines? He's cataclysmically brilliant).
DM is not as stereotypical as you might imagine from the promotions, in terms of its script. There's a distinct honesty about the film's trajectory. Almost as if the scriptwriters were saying "Well, that's how things are. Face it!". The flow of relationships through this film, and the characters' reasoning for beginning, stalling, ending and rekindling them (or the lack of reason, thereof) is what makes DM special. Because there are no answers, and there are no right decisions. Only decisions which you make, based on circumstances that surround it. Only words you say, because everything that happened up to that moment, propel you to say them. You know those moments when you meet someone you never expected to meet ever again in life, randomly? And those several awkward seconds or minutes where everything comes back so rapidly, as if to rewind, freeze and fast-forward time, all with the same velocity. DM has at least half a dozen such moments, and they're all handled with the same care, without making the audience weary. Now that is challenging.
Each relationship subplot is something that each of us can relate to, at some level. The cast is literally handpicked for them. Isla Fisher. Rachel Weisz. They leap out of the screen into reality, sinking comfortably into their simple or wayward or inherently confused characters. And each relationship has a lifecycle of its own, almost like a buffet where you get to pick what you want from them, based on your taste/thoughts - and therein lies the brilliant uniqueness of the concept behind DM. Something which I can only define as "selective periphery". Laying out parallel yet distinct processes for the viewer to extract his/her own meaning, relation and appreciation.
DM lingers on weeks after you see it, although you may not realize that this will be its impact when you first see it, and one would distinctly hope this isn't a result of personal introspection. Clearly the critics circle resounds my opinion (73% and Certified Fresh on RT), and one would attribute that primarily to DM's lack of pretentiousness. It doesn't try to preach, solve or resolve. It just is. Even though, Bill Clinton says, "it depends on what the meaning of the word is is". No, Bill, it doesn't. Because it just is.
In other unrelated trivia, DM is one of the first films I have seen which broke the 5-5-5 Hollywood number code. High five, anyone? ... Anyone?