I’m going into the next movie on TSPDT, In Praise of Love, pretty blind. The only thing I managed to learn about it is that it’s directed by the same guy that did Breathless (which I actually liked) and that Roger Ebert gave it 1 star (not very promising). I have no choice but to watch it though as this is #995 on TSPDT. Here goes…
15 Minutes Later…
So I’m 15 minutes in and I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. There are clips of interviews with random people about a play or movie or novel and there is a guy flipping through a book with no words. I’m incredibly bored, confused and uninterested.
The Next Night…
I got through another 12 minutes of the movie and I still don’t know what’s happening. I also just don’t care. I don’t know who these characters are or what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. Maybe this is one of those fancy art house movies where there is no story and you just have to “feel the movie”. If that’s what it ends up being then it lost me before I even turned it on. I don’t much care for these kinds of movies, but I won’t leave something unfinished so I’ll do my best to power through it.
2 Days Later…
Now there is a scene where the woman is speaking french and I’m reading her subtitles, but a man is speaking English over top of her and I can’t concentrate on what either of them is saying. I can’t make any connection between the last scene and this one. I’m done.
5 Days Later…
I can’t move on with the list until I finish this movie so I’ve mentally prepared myself to push through the rest of this thing. It’s only an hour… I can do this. Some more talking about random things. Then an approximately 3 minute long scene where the camera is pointing at the back of a man and a woman who are talking to each other. Here’s something the man says, “What you’re saying is interesting. Things beginning, things coming to an end. *Train sounds and no subtitles so I don’t know what he says* Not your story or mine, but, whatever happens, our story. Even if we aren’t acquainted. History.” *rips out hair* What does that even mean? Those aren’t sentences. I can’t. Interest level has hit an all time low. I have no dialogue or visuals to keep me interested. Get me out of this nightmare.
I will keep on going though because I want this to be over. Oh great, someone died and he gets to keep one of her books. Now it switches to color and they start talking about history or something, and just like in school my brain put on a hat and coat and left. I lost track of time, but I think around 10 minutes later my brain came back and I was treated to the first scene I actually cared about at all. A man is talking about Americans and the woman asks who he means since Canada is in North America, and Brazil and Mexico are also technically America. I was somewhat amused by this. This gave me the strength I needed to go on.
I’m in the home stretch now and this is where I start to feel like this is just a movie about ideas. There’s no real story and it feels sort of pretentious. It’s almost like he had an idea for a movie, but instead of making the movie, he made a movie about having the idea for a movie. Honestly, I’d much rather watch something with a full story that left me feeling what he was trying to convey, rather than listen to random ideas strung together against the backdrop of seemingly random images. On top of that, this movie has a Pulp Fiction structure where the scenes aren’t chronological so you have to struggle against that at the same time.
No it’s not… the movie keeps going through the credits. Please just end my suffering.
The Real End!
The sweet, glorious ending and I’m finally free! I’m just so sorry this review had to go this way. I hate saying only negative things about a movie. Originally I even wanted to scrap all of this and just write a short review politely saying that I did not enjoy this motion picture but that it might be good. Who am I to criticize something like this which I don’t even understand? But this is my blog and I want to be as honest as possible and not go along with what everyone else says just to fit in. I also know I said many times I had no idea what was going on and to be totally honest, I didn’t even try to find out. This was just one of the most uninteresting movies I’ve watched in a long time. It’s sort of like reading a really difficult essay where you don’t know half the words so you just let your eyes glaze over and you force yourself to move your eyes across each line but don’t absorb anything you “read”. That was this movie… I let the movie run in front of my face and I kept my eyes open. Maybe one day I’ll rewatch this and understand why it made it on to this list. For now, I just don’t get it at all. To me it was pointless and I don’t know why it’s in the top 1000 movies.
Verdict: 5/10 In praise of it being over