I probably should be reviewing Noah Baumbach’s newest film, Mistress America, but I saw this one recently and do plan to watch the latter! so stay tuned for that review.
Noah Baumbach is a director I am gaining interest in these days, being a friend and collaborator of Wes Anderson, it’s easy to see how they connect in their film making, the looks are different but a lot of the humour and atmosphere is the same. In addition there are many similarities in humour with Whit Stillman (Recently watched Metropolitan,1990) This type of humour and style of filmmaking, amongst the three (I don’t know any other directors like this? let me know of them please in comments!) can sometimes come across pretentious? or even too dry,with the characters not able to carry a lack of a plot. Also the lack of people of colour, is kind of disappointing, these are very male white directors and you can see that in their work. *Not saying I don’t enjoy their films.
However I watched Frances Ha, and that is one of my favourite films. I really loved that film, so I was kind of pumped for this one, with the pairing of Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts and its seemingly great story line. What started off fresh and promising , soon became… dull and disappointing by the end. This is very much down to personal preference, but the film didn’t go in the direction i would of thought it obviously could go down. Instead it went down a strange boring path that made the characters not so likeable, and hard to connect with. The annoying guy from GIRLS was in it and for some reason he just annoys me. I got what the film was trying to say, and while this film is supposed to be centred around a couple, i found it focusing on Ben Stiller and ignoring Naomi Watt’s characters goals in life, she becomes less important which I think is unfair, the female characters don’t get beyond a certain point, while the male characters become fully developed with their, hopes dreams and fears. The reason I have a problem with this is because it sets them up the go on the journey equally together but fails to do this throughout.
The ending was disappointing but also quite good? I thought a story about a couple who didn’t want kids would be stronger, but obviously the ending made sense with the dialogue throughout the film that told us that they had tried but had difficulty conceiving/miscarriages . SPOILERS: Their decision to adopt is fine… but I found their choice of baby to be so stereotypical of rich white celebrities, I didn’t know wether this bit was supposed to be a satire or serious… but the last scene was good in its message of how the characters felt.
I don’t really know what to make of this film, i felt overwhelmed in the end, felt there was something missing.