Sunday, December 26, 2010

All About Steve.

I tried to watch this a few months ago. I can't remember why, maybe to cause myself some discomfort or as punishment, but I turned it off after about thirteen minutes. So I was a little apprehensive about doing it again. . .

All About Steve, 2009. Directed by Phil Traill. Written by Kim Barker.
starring: Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Thomas Haden Church.

"Convinced that a CCN cameraman is her true love, an eccentric crossword puzzler trails him as he travels all over the country, hoping to convince him that they belong together." (IMDB).

Yeah, it was horrid. To be fair, the director had only done television up to this point and the writer had done exactly one other screenplay, but yeah, who okayed this? Since I actually made it through the whole thing this time and could appreciate the message, if you could call it that (Bullock's character, Mary Horowitz is eccentric, kooky, and annoying but in the end realizes that she likes herself just the way she is), I also learned that the entire film and the roundabout way it actually *gets* to that end is completely random and unbelievably thrown together. And this is my beef with Sandra's films and chick flicks in general: PUT SOME WORK INTO IT, PEOPLE! I saw How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days back when it first came out, thinking I would hate it but I ended up kind of digging it because it played on stereotypes about annoying chicks. I'm not trying to be harsh or unsentimental, but this was just a story of an annoying chick being annoying. I guess the strongest point of it (for me) was that it let me know that at least I'm not that bad. . . 

Something Nice: Sandy physically looked very cute in this and she has really nice legs.


Jess B. said...

I am NOT a chic flick fan for this very reason: there is no reason or importance to most of them. As long as a hot guy falls for the pretty chick, then it must be good. BLAH. Very few Chic flicks have a story of substance. Or plain old logic and common sense for that reason.

Anna said...

agree. my senior paper for school was on how quentin tarantino did more for women's film and discourse on film in general than anyone before him as he was the only one showing intelligent women facing legitimate problems that they themselves solved (without just jumping on some dude's arm and escaping).

Donald said...

First of all... an eccentric crossword puzzler? That's the dumbest character trait ever.

Second of all... those are some pretty big words to say about Tarantino. I can't comment until I read this paper, but did he really do all that much for female empowerment? Other than Jackie Brown, I can't think of one likable female lead from one of his films.

And I know you like the Bride, but she wasn't a strong female archetype. She was a sociopath.

Anna said...

yes, it focused on jackie brown and the first kill bill (the second one hadn't been released yet).

and i've said before that tarantino might not even be aware of what he's doing, (and elmore leonard shares in this) but Jackie Brown has to deal with a legitimate problem, being an older woman and having to basically do what she has to to be able to pay her rent. this is a common problem FOR WOMEN and not too many directors make films about it, it's always about the man, the man, the man that will sweep her away and take care of her.

i know you hated the bride, but if you can get around the fact that she was an assassin, THEY TOOK HER CHILD! it obviously didn't come out until the 2nd film, but it's something that until KILL BILL has been treated like something cheesy and sappy (NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER, VARIOUS TV MOVIES, ETC.) this film showed it violently and almost comically, but underneath it all is the primal reaction of a mother taking revenge on the people that did this to her. it's been done in foreign films before, but not in anything mainstream, and it's major. many critics had a problem with it, (armond white, some austrailian white chick i can't remember her name)

they assumed the film was only about the violence and nit-picked the ethnicities of her victims, the methods of their executions, etc. but i think lost the main point. she quit the life for her daughter because becoming a mother meant something to her. this isn't me reading into something that isn't there because it comes out in the very end during her conversation with bill. He cannot understand how she, a killer, could have taken off her superman suit and just arbitrarily changed who she is; that she would make that kind of sacrifice is completely beyond him. Mothers make sacrifices all the time; and many times their partners are completely baffled by the decisions they make. THis is something from real life that is addressed among all the stylized, artful filmmaking. And it's important.

More important than say, Sandra Bullock films.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

And then The Blind Side came out and everybody forgot about how terrible Sandra Bullock was in this film.