Stupid Matt Damon has money problems (you can tell because he stays up late at a cluttered desk frowning at an adding machine) so he decides to get small. His wife Kristen Wiig decides against the idea at the last minute, then he loses his palacial house in the divorce, moves into an apartment below hard-partying Christoph Waltz whose housecleaner is Vietnamese dissident Ngoc Lan (Hong Chau of Treme, Inherent Vice). These three hitch a ride with Udo Kier to the original small colony led by Dr. Rolf LassgÃ¥rd (A Man Called Ove), which is retreating into a mountain to wait out the impending human-caused global catastrophes. Stupid Matt Damon decides to go with them, then decides not to, then convinces Ngoc Lan he’s in love with her.

Katy says it’s like they asked each actor what they’d like to play (“a sea captain!” “a hard-partying smuggler” “a one-legged humanitarian”) then wrote a script around it. It tries to be a bunch of things at once, not so successfully, and there are awkward and obvious bits, but I appreciate the ambition, and Christoph Waltz looks like he’s having the best time. Second movie we watched theatrically in a row to feature Laura Dern.

Kind of like Sideways – a good-enough (but never great) drama about cheating (and now death) with an immensely appealing lead actor (was Giamatti, now Clooney). A very emotional journey for the characters involved, if not for us.

Robert Forster is going to hit you:

Hawaiian one-percenter Clooney takes care of 17-yr-old misfit daughter Shailene Woodley (star of an ABC Family drama) and 10-yr-old budding-misfit daughter Amara Miller (plus Shailene’s surfer-grinning friend). While his wife is dying in a coma, Clooney tries to find the realtor (Matthew Lillard of Hackers and 13 Ghosts Remake) who’d been having an affair with her. More wackiness as Clooney deals with a father-in-law (Robert Forster) who never liked him, and work with his co-inheritor cousins to decide what to do with a huge plot of unspoiled land (obviously they’ll keep it in the end). Except none of these things are wacky – it’s all played for sadness and empathy, which is fine if I’d been feeling it.

Finally the hype has died down enough that I feel safe watching Sideways (still 2 more years to go for LA Crash, and at least that long for Babel).

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Giamatti is a schlub with a bad novel, an ex-wife, a wine obsession and a poor social life. His buddy Sandman is a womanizer but about to get married this saturday. Road trip! Out to wine country to golf and drink and fuck strangers! Enter oscar-nominee Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh to complicate things. Sex ensues, and Sandman gets his nose broken and goes and gets married even though he’s an ass and P.Giamatti ends the movie getting back together with V.Madsen.

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Extremely not-bad, but never great in any way. I mean, I love watching Paul Giamatti do things, and nudity is fun and drunkenness is funny and relationships are hard, but the movie’s saying big ol’ nothing and seems a step down from Election (though I forgot About Schmidt came in between). Guess I could go back and read those hundred thousand reviews and discussions about Sideways posted online in 2002 and 2003, but it doesn’t seem like the kind of movie worth going on and on and on about either, god it’s less exciting than Little Miss Sunshine.

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Katy likes it, and kickball said it was crappy.

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