Inflight Entertainment

Posted by Lou. The time is 11.03am here in London, UK.

The one upside to too many hours spent in a plane is the selection of films available to fill the hours. As I was first of all flying on Christmas day I started off with a festive one...

Four Christmases
. Not as bad as I expected. In fact, sorta likeable and a bit funny. It also starts with an excellent subversion of traditional ideals - a professional couple insistent that no thank you they do not want to get married and aren't interested in having children and no do not want to spend Christmas with their families but are rather much more interested in heading off to Fiji. But - and I can relate to this - weather keeps them grounded in San Francisco, they inadvertently appear on a news bulletin about it, and are forced to spend Christmas Day travelling between their four parents' homes. Comedy ensues, etc (helped along by what an hilarious - yet strangely good - couple Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughan make). Unfortunately towards the end it then subverts the subversion, with a family Christmas making them switch their minds back towards a more traditional path, but I think they still managed to keep it away from being too sentimental or bullishly traditional.

From there I moved on to another film I had no interest in seeing - My Sister's Keeper. I have heard about the book (which I refuse to ever read), and always thought it sounded utterly ridiculous due to a late plot twist that to me sounded like it totally negated the real point of the story. Well, the film surprised me in that it is actually a very good, well-considered, moving film. I had the sore throat thing from trying not to cry, and actually considered stopping halfway through as I didn't think a packed flight was the best time to sob through a movie.

For those unaware, the story follows a family in which the oldest daughter is very ill with cancer, her younger sister having been born in order to provide a donor for her. The sister though sues her parents for medical emancipation so that she doesn't have to donate a kidney. The film very much focusses on the characters, providing an extremely touching depiction of the effect of the elder daughter's illness on all members of her family. It avoids hysterics and unnecessarily dramatic plot moments, just slowly unwinding a reality of being a terminally ill teenager. The child actors are absolutely fantastic - particularly Little Miss Sunshine herself Abigail Breslin - with the rest of the cast also working very well (though Cameron Diaz is far too young to be playing a woman who managed to fit in a highly successful legal career and three children, the oldest being 15). I would definitely recommend this for a rainy Friday night in watching DVDs.

Having hit a certain emotional mood I decided to do the long avoided task of watching The Time Traveler's Wife. Oh my god, it's actually worse than I expected. Clumsy, false, badly directed, badly written, badly acted, and just utter complete drivel. In trying to hit certain plot points relating to the time travel aspect they have entirely missed the real story (love!), removed the emotional involvement, and left behind a piece of shit that I would recommend avoiding at all costs. The picture I've used here actually really well captures the film in how awkward, artificial and lacking in chemistry it is.

I'd intended to sleep my way back to London but unfortunately wasn't quite managing to drop off so stuck to some short and light entertainment, starting with Paper Heart. Bel and I had both been following this film a bit as it is a docu-drama-comedy thing starring a young female stand-up comedian/ musician who decided to go out and make a film that shows a version of femininity closer to her own life. In it she confesses that she has never been in love, and doesn't imagine herself ever falling in love. She seeks to understand a bit more about it by talking to some people, and then the storyline veers into a fictionalised account of her meeting Michael Cera (the dude from Juno and Superbad), and them dating.

Overall I have to say it was really disappointing - it neither provides an insight into love, nor provides any sort of drama or comedy in the fictionalised parts. I mean, fine to watch on a flight when you're half asleep, but if I saw that in a cinema or paid to watch it on DVD I'd be left feeling like I'd just wasted some money. But hopefully with that first feature out of the way she can go onto something with more depth as I found the idea of the docu bit very interesting and she herself is engaging.

To finish up the flight I sleepily put on The September Issue, the long-awaited documentary following the top members of the Vogue team as they put together the bigger-than-ever September issue. I would love to see how Anna Wintour reacted to this film, as the show is rather stolen by her Creative Director Grace Coddington. Whilst Wintour and the designers come across as a distant and extraordinarily snobbish bunch of people, Coddington is portrayed as a hard-working down-to-earth creative genius who seeks to create beautiful works for the magazine, often standing up to Wintour in order to do so. There is one particularly telling moment after Wintour sees some photos in which Coddington has involved a member of the documentary crew in the photoshoot... but I'll leave that one for you to see yourself. Definitely a very insightful documentary that I would highly recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in the fashion biz.

One thought on “Inflight Entertainment”

  1. Inflight movie marathon!

    I must confess to having always had a wee twinge towards wanting to see "Four Christmasseseseseessss" just bc the poster cracks me up:
    She's so wee! He's so huge! And it's CHRISTMAS!! LOL!

    I must do a recap of some of the films we binged on over the break... Not all of them, bc that would just be embarrassing for the sheer multitude...!