Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Leap Year.

Yeah, I saw it. So shoot me.

I have a lot of time on my hands, a valid metro pass, and $4 whispering at me to go to the movies.

Again, I went to the Rainbow Market Square, which has $4 Tuesdays. It's no swank cinema, but it serves the purpose. There are cool murals on the walls and a piano in the lobby. I guess that does sound kinda swank. It's not, honest, but I like its grittyness.

Also, before I write about Leap Year, can I admit that I am fully aware of the slippery slope on which I stand. I am dangerously close to letting this blog descend into me writing about cute boys all the time.

No joke, every day, I could write a missive about some new poor man who puts himself out there for me to ogle. I'm not proud of myself. I'd like to keep this a little more high brow, but I can't see that happening. I guess I shouldn't try to stray too far from my roots. If I've written about farting in yoga class, how can I start to have poignant political and philosophical discussions?

Because it would take effort?

Exactly. That's why I'm not going to bother.

I suspect getting twitterpated about The Lookers is too silly to be OK at my age. I should be worried more about mortgages and RRSPs and RESPs, not who's soaked to the skin in which movie.

As it is, I've got no job, no man, no kids and no money, so I guess this is an ideal pastime.

SO: Leap Year. Yeah.

I entertained the thought of walking out. (In all the scores of movies I've seen, I've only ever once walked out of one movie in the theatre, although there is one more I would have walked out of if I weren't restrained.)

The first hour was rough. Amy Adams is Anna, who is a persnickety cubed apartment stager whose idiosyncrasies are not endearing. Her boyfriend is dull but successful, and she wants him to propose. When he goes to Dublin for a conference without popping the question, she decides to take advantage of an old Irish tradition of women "being allowed" to propose on the 29th of February. She has a terrible trip to Ireland, and in her Louboutins, she's stranded clear on the other side of the country. She totters up to the local and the publican is also the cabbie! Har! Small towns are so funny!

She hires him to drive her to Dublin. She's got 2 days. He needs the money to save his pub. There are mishaps. Sigh.

Here's the thing: in this kind of movie formula, the Existing Boyfriend is supposed to be vile, but the Sweet Protagonist is blinded by love. Then she's supposed to think the New Guy is vile (and he's none too fond of her, either), which he might seem to be on the surface, but then, though a series of hijinks, they reveal to each other their fluffy puppy insides and fall in loooove.

In Leap Year, the Boyfriend's not so bad. In my mind, he just has some bad cell phone etiquette. Maybe I'm supposed to be appalled that he hadn't proposed, but I didn't care about that. That's probably because I didn't care about the Sweet Protagonist. There's not enough attention given to her in the beginning, and I wonder if more exposition was trimmed for some reason.

The New Guy (Declan) isn't so vile, either. I think he burped once, and ate a sandwich in a sloppy way. Otherwise, he's kinda stoic and regular. Well, regular if regular is the New Hottness.
I would be a full-on, stumbling alcoholic if he were the bartender at my local pub. You would have to peel me off the floor every night, weeping and mumbling about beards.

OK, besides me being profoundly distracted by Matthew Goode, I would have expected more from a romance being set in Ireland, too. I would never categorize this as a "love letter to Ireland." There were some very pretty scenes, but it was not the focus of the film. I think the filmmakers missed out on a bigger opportunity here.

I said the first hour was rough. It did get better. Sparks did start to fly and little frissons of breathless expectation did arrive, finally, but a little too late. I would have liked more of that earlier on, and more clearly defined characterizations.

So, I was not impressed, but I am going to draw a big heart around the initials MG in my pink poodle diary. I have lost $4 and 100 minutes, but gained some prey.


H. said...

Great. I hope the use of the name Declan in more movies doesn't turn it into Yuppie-fodder. :(

H. said...

Also, is it just me or is it really dumb that this didn't come out in an actual leap year?

Catherine said...

Dec is still a great name, but I can't see it catching on if your in-laws couldn't even pronounce it.

And yeah, I wondered about the bad luck of releasing it this year. Maybe it was supposed to be released in 2008 but has been re-worked for 2 years.

H. said...

Well, since it isn't a very good or complex movie, perhaps it was just conceived two years ago when some studio braintrust member happened upon this "quaint little Irish custom" on Wikipedia last Leap Day.

H. said...

Yup, according to the IMDB archives, this thing was announced in Spring 2008, and cast in the fall 2008.

Nothing like a wonderful piece of cinema that takes diligent craftspeople years of their lives to realize, eh? (Too bad this wasn't one of those... but also a good thing.)

As for me, I will stick to Matchmaker for my "Aren't those Paddies Cute" Irish-RomCom-Cheeze fix, thanks.

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