This is the third movie I saw this year, I Love You, Man.
I've found that in general, I tend to avoid comedies in the theaters. In the past, I figured that if I were going to see a movie, I wanted it to be something big. It should be something worth seeing on a big screen. But as I've grown up to the fact that the movie watching experience is more than that, I made an attempt to watch a few more comedies in the theater instead of just waiting for the DVD release. I'll write about a couple over the next month.
I Love You, Man wasn't great, but it was pretty good. Paul Rudd works well with the other two leads, Jason Segel and Rashida Jones. Rudd and Segal were on screen together in Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I think that in the latter they were pretty funny together. They worked well in this movie as well. If you were to call this movie a romantic comedy, you could be referring to the man crush these two have on each other, and I think it worked.
Overall, it's a decent movie. There are enough funny parts, so I don't think you will be disappointed if you watch it.
But most importantly, it isn't too long. This is something I've totally changed my mind about over the past few years. I used to look at movies from an economical point of view. My thought was that if I'm paying x amount for a movie that's two and a half hours long or spending x amount for a ninety minute movie, I'm getting ripped off. Once again, I've grown enough to discount this now.
Now I truly appreciate some good editing, and I'm more likely to see a movie that doesn't go too much beyond two hours. With comedies, shorter is often better. I Love You Man was about an hour and forty-five. That's about the max.
This year, I think I've seen more movies that have been well under two hours, and they just seem tighter. I haven't felt nearly as many physically uncomfortable moments as movies slow down to the point where I start worrying about how numb my left buttock is. My legs are already pretty figgity in theater seats, so I don't need the extra uncomfortable time.
I wonder - did I more "short" movies this year because I chose to or because they are just getting a bit shorter? If they are, perhaps it has something to do with DVD releases. Everyone knows that you have to have some parts cut for the inevitable extended editions on the DVDs, so they can cut out a few things that they might have been reluctant to earlier?
My mini thesis is unproven by a couple "big releases this year, Transformers 2 and 2012, both of which, I understand, were rather long.
And of course, there are obvious exceptions to the rule. There have been many movies that NEED to be epics. I can't imaging seeing Gone With the Wind in the theaters. But watching it in parts at home - cool.
While watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, I remember hitting a point where I was enjoying myself so much that I didn't want it to end. so for those of you who hated the endings and endings and endings, I guess that's my fault.
When the makers of the movie are good enough, and if the movies are great enough, they can take their time telling the story and developing the characters. But it can be a risk. The editing process needs to filled with outstanding judgment. I felt that with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it was excruciatingly long for me. Perhaps a major cut would have fixed that (though I hated it for so many other reasons, I doubt it.) Yesterday I talked about Watchmen and how adding more content would have been beneficial. But I don't know if I wanted to spend more than two and a half hours in the theaters with it.
Lance wrote about The Bridge on the River Kwai today. So I took a moment to see what I wrote about it right after seeing it. It turns out that I wrote a very nice little conclusion for today's Movie-a-Day entry:
13. BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957)
December 1, 2000 - Excellent! This is one of those long movies that flies by. In the first hour, with the conflict between Obi Wan and the Japanese military guy (I'm so precise) was extremely intense. Sir Alec Guiness was incredibly cool. Then the rest of the movie built up nicely to the final scene, as we learn what the final fate of the bridge will be. Really amazing.