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Story of young, tragic love gets emotional, intense.
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A boy with a kamikaze pilot ghost for a best friend and a hobby of attending funerals falls in love with a girl who's dying of cancer. Remaking HAROLD AND MAUDE as a teen romance with a hot Maude and a ghost sidekick sounds like a bad idea, but with some brain-dead acting and a script that's sicklier than Mia Wasikowska's character, it's even worse than you would imagine.
- 366weirdmovies, Friday, December 14, 2012
I'm caught in a dilemma here, wanting to judge this film from an indie perspective and sensibility; at which point I would give this a fairly good passing grade due to the solid productions values and able performances by the two leads... but taken as a major, main stream production it fails for all the reasons that it makes a good indie. From the opening scenes I thought I was in a remake of Harold & Maude - and was hoping for dark satire - but what Gus Van Sant presents here is more of a quirky love story with two kids dealing with the big one - death. The dynamic is interesting with one of the characters refusing to succumb while the other has waved the white flag, all the while trying to make sense of his personal tragedy by becoming a funeral crasher (and please - do NOT pitch this as a Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler comedy!!!). The outward quirkiness and the offbeat nature of what is presented is a double edged sword - you can either dismiss it or accept it - just as the 2nd hand store clothing of the female role is either just right, or way too precious. However, what is for certain is that Mia Wasikowska hits all the notes just right here - real, vulnerable, yet with that spark of life and that slightly goofy, off center smile that makes you just want to hug her. Opposite Mia is the more difficult role of the shattered teen, and here Henry Hopper also manages the part well, managing to show his anger in a simmering fashion instead of boiling over (even if, as any teen would, he occasionally lashes out). Their quirky romance is just a bit too "aw gee", and since this budding romance is the center that the rest of the film spins around, then one will either enjoy the film for this teen based bit of nostalgia, or wish that a more serious tone were employed concerning the topic of death and how to deal with it. Perhaps this is the point - and the only way to approach the topic of death is with a modicum of gentle humor. Once again, I'm on the fence and can see this film from both perspectives - a sweet tome to youth and discovery, or a too precious look into two different perspectives on death.
- paulsandberg, Thursday, November 29, 2012
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper, Jane Adams, Schuyler Fisk, Ryo Kase, Rachel Cotton, Chin Han Director: Gus Van Sant Summary: After she is diagnosed with a disease that will soon claim her life, a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) strikes up an unusually strong friendship with a boy (Henry Hopper) who deals with the problems in his own troubled family by attending funerals. Gus Van Sant directs this touching drama. My Thoughts: "I really enjoyed the movie, it's story, it's character's, and the way it was told. Enoch is a quirky dark soul that has been crashing funerals and not doing much living. When he meets Annabel, she awakens him again and he starts living as she struggles with holding on to do the same. I really loved Enoch and Annabel together. I just thought as character's, they were really written for each other. Both are unique and spunky individuals who played off of each others quirkiness with such ease. It's really hard for me to like romance flicks, but this one won me over. I got drawn in by the tone of the film. It may not move fast enough for some though. The acting is great. I really love Mia Wasikowska. She is one of the great young talents out right now. This is my first time seeing Henry Hopper (Dennis Hopper's son) in a film, and he was fantastic. Showing great humor, loneliness, anger, and saddness. I loved him as Enoch. It's a sweet endearing film. A movie I would love to watch again."
- LWOODS04, Saturday, March 31, 2012