Review Date: September 16, 2003
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Producers: Sofia Coppola, Ross Katz
Bill Murray as Bob
Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte
Anna Faris as Kelly
But my main issue with the film, which like I said earlier, despite an extremely deliberate pace (read: very slow) managed to hook me with its existential theme dipped in the connection between human beings, loneliness, suffering, etc..., was its bottom line, which was a courageous approach to utilize (on the surface, all we're shown is two strangers meeting in a foreign city and spending some mostly frivolous time together), but not an altogether fulfilling one once everything was said and done. It reminded me a lot of ABOUT SCHMIDT in that sense, but at least with that film, I was overpowered by the time the final shot came around and understood some of what that journey must have meant, and felt like. Here, we get a resolution, but it wasn't a touching, emotional or particularly profound one...although I did love the "whisper"...brilliant! Then again, it took me three viewings of ABOUT SCHMIDT to fully grasp its deeper meaning, so who knows, maybe I was just a little slow on the uptake today. Having said that, if you're the type of person (kind of like my parents), who likes their movies straightforward, fast-paced, filled with obvious plot points or greater emotional impact, I'm not sure if this "artsy" flick will sit well with you. If, on the other hand, you enjoy contemplating your existence, don't mind sitting through a slow-to-develop "plot" about two strangers hanging out and connecting on some level or another, buy yourself a ticket to this film and discover its more insightful meaning to you. Oh yeah, it's also got some pretty funny moments featuring Murray's character, the washed-up actor, clashing with Japanese culture, in case you thought that it was just a dry drama. Personally, I had simply read/heard way too much hyperbole about this movie before my screening, so I couldn't help but feel a little let down afterwards. Hopefully, my review will lower your expectations a touch and allow you to fully enjoy the piece as it was intended. I would definitely catch it again some time, hopefully with a drink in one hand and a letter to my loved one in the other.