29 May

I rushed out tonight to the movies. Alone, as per usual. Just masturdating on Friday Night – Date Night. But I’ve been dying to see the new Cameron Crowe movie – Aloha – and I didn’t want to wait another day. Here’s my brief review: It was disjointed, ridiculous, uneven, thrown together, missing huge elements of plot, requiring massive suspension of disbelief throughout, and, well, mesmerizing. Brilliant. Mostly because there is no one writing movies today who turns a phrase like Cameron Crowe…

“The future isn’t just something that happens. It’s a brutal force, with a great sense of humor, that’ll steamroll you if you’re not watching.”  (delivered by Bill Murray)

And while there were times when the performances did not quite seem the stellar best we could expect from this particular A-list cast, there were moments. So many moments. Ironically, so many moments of silence, that were touching. It’s not like Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone are difficult to look at even when they are at their worst, but did ever two people have more gorgeous eyes? And both of them have the type of eyes that light up when they smile. I remember that feeling. And I’m pretty sure that there are hours and hours of exquisite raw footage that wound up on the cutting room floor. Heck, some of what was shown in the trailers didn’t even show up in the theatrical release. So this one might be worth watching on DVD with extras. But the music, ah, the music. Perfection. Set the mood for every moment without me even noticing it was doing that.

My two cents is that not everyone is going to love this movie. In fact, I bet many, many people are going to outright hate it, and call it garbage. I found it charming. It moved me. It is, at it’s heart, a relationship story, about several different relationships. And different types of relationships. Here were a few things in particular that I picked up from it:

(1) I really, really, really want to go to Hawaii. Really. So if one of you wins the lottery, please consider making that particular dream of mine a reality.

(2) I want to thank Cameron Crowe for creating the character played by Rachel McAdams. I identified with her on many levels. Most especially the way she craved words. Especially from the men she loved. And how it wasn’t really the words themselves, but the thoughtful effort required to share the words that was what she needed. She needs the people in her life to be present, to show up. She lost the love of her life when she asked him to show up to something specific, and he didn’t. He was selfish, and he lost her, because she walked away. She had to; even though she really didn’t want to. Hers is a strong character who comes across as vulnerable. She has a few great quotes about regret, and putting things back together after someone else wrecks them. She also gives Bradley Cooper’s character advice about how he needs to stop letting people go. She tells him to fight for the girl, the way he didn’t fight for her. Takes a big person to say that when she is still struggling with her own emotions.

(3) I have girl crush on Emma Stone. I want her to be my best friend.

(4) Alec Baldwin makes everything funny. Bill Murray has an endearing smile. Bradley Cooper is damn hot.

(5) There is value to myth. The entire film is interwoven with Hawaiian stories and myths. Cameron Crowe does a beautiful job of relating them to the symbolism of our everyday lives. Overarching themes of respect and honor, the return of a great spirit, a force to be reckoned with. The way belief in something greater and beyond ourselves can help us make sense of and enrich our lives.

Is it a perfect movie? Not even close. But I enjoyed it. I enjoy the sledgehammer to the heart that Cameron Crowe can deliver. A plucked heartstring he can achieve with just a few words. Less than 5, actually. Don’t bother telling me if you hate this movie; I kind of warned you. I’m not even necessarily recommending you run out to see it. But yet, this quirky, emotional girl found a lot to love about it.


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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim