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Month in Review: February 2011

by on 2011/02/28

Geeky movies?  No problem.

Romance?  Pfth.

Geeky romances?  Now that’s more of a challenge.

Nearly by definition, geeks are less interested in people than things.  But with February containing the first — some would say most loathsome — of the Hallmark holidays, it seemed a fitting challenge to draw up a geek/romance Venn diagram.

So what exactly makes for a geeky romance?  Well, geekiness allows for a certain flexibility.  The stories could involve artists, analysts, the awkward, outsiders, collectors, and fantasists alike.  Still, they all have this interest in common:  the pursuit of, or need to understand, loving relationships.

Yes, a “relationship” of some sort is present in many (even most) stories, but fewer make it the Ultimate Goal.  For the following selections, love is the prime directive.

And so we present geeky romance highlights for February 2011, a list of five:  favourites, surprises, disappointments, and least-liked, as well as the movie I’d most like to see based on the recommendation of that certain someone for whom a good vampire is hard to find.

Favourite Film:
Before Sunrise (1995)

“Anything evoking such spontaneous surprise — especially after a dozen viewings, over a decade and a half — is worth my unqualified endorsement.  Before Sunrise deserves to be sought out, seen, and celebrated . . . and not just because of a sequel it doesn’t know it’s setting up.”

Honourable Mention:
High Fidelity (2000)

Greatest Surprise:
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

“I had a lot of fun with Mr. & Mrs. Smith.  I wasn’t expecting much, but I was proven wrong.  Any bumps are smoothed out by the overall speed, interest, and entertainment value.  The end result is a fun and funny, even endearing, game of cat and mouse.”

Honourable Mention:
Secretary (2002)

Most Disappointing:
Going the Distance (2010)

“Going the Distance becomes the very thing it could have commented on.  It’s like a bad joke, originally made in irony, becoming legitimately offensive with repetition.  Overlong, uneven, and oscillating wildly, its last best hope is a cast of indie ringers.  This effort is not a romantic comedy for geeks.  It’s pabulum for chick flick fans who think they’ve got some edge.”

The Graduate (1967)

“I don’t get it.  I never did and I still don’t.  Although I understand it, I just don’t find it fun.  That reaction may have been the filmmakers’ intent, but the point is academic.  While visually appealing, I find The Graduate less than enjoyable overall.  It’s weighty, slow, and only occasionally interesting.  It’s highest value to me is as a time capsule of its era.”

Show Me:
Brick (2005)

“Brick tells the story of Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an angry high school loner, on a mission to find out what happened to his beloved, Emily (Emilie de Ravin).

“As the mystery unravels, so does Brendan. As I reached the film’s climax, I was hooked, line and sinker, on Brick. In love with the art style, the film noir language on my lips for hours after the credits rolled, Brick is a new obsession.”

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