Match Point

So today I headed out to see a matinee of this flick with a friend of mine. We stopped off at the deli and I picked up twizz, water, and 3 musketeers. My friend picked up water and two italian ices. After we walked out it struck me that he was going to be eating TWO italian ices while sitting next to me! I was like, 'Hey! You can't go eating those next to me! With the scrape scrape scrapedy scrape! That's gotta be the worst call ever for movie snack!' He claimed he could eat it quietly-- but that so didn't happen. Scraping is scraping. It was even worse because he attempted to quietly scrape scrape which proved to be more distracting than the full-on scrape scrape. It took a good five minutes for him to finish one and he thankfully didn't go in on the other. I guess it just melted in the bag.

Anyway, Woody Allen. Blah blah. Made some of my favorite movies. Blah blah. Since Sweet and Lowdown he's sucked totally. Blah blah. Hollywood Ending and Small Time Crooks were so super sucky it was straight out depressing. And when Melinda and Melinda came out even though some people were saying, 'It really isn't bad!' It had to be at least half-bad. You could smell it. Woody seemed to be heading down the road of doing a yearly bad movie for the next 15 years... until surprising us all with his ironic death while skydiving in 2021. 

Then the murmurs about Match Point started to drift out from across the sea. That Woody had finally decided to move away from making movies no one asked for (stuff like Swap Up Switcheroo! Starring Tracy Ullman and Billy Crystal who play a bored married couple who each fall in love with their neighbors (Richard Benjamin and Madonna) and decide to swap spouses and still live next door to each other. Add hijacks, slapstick and Daphne Zuniga.) So I was kind of psyched to hear about Match Point- but I didn't really get my hopes up. I mean really... how good could it really be? The answer to that was actually pretty good! This movie held my interest. There was no fake annoying woody allen (ala branagh, biggs) There was no Manhattan. There was no Woody Allen making out with some young chick (thank the lord) and there was no umm... comedy. What? Who? Really?!

Match Point arrived at the movie a block away from me two weeks and it took that long for me to motivate to go do it. I was glad I did. I liked it. It was entertaining. The story was interesting to me. It moved along at a good clip. I wasn't sure where it was going and I dug that. The atmosphere was different and new. It didn't overreach. And scene to scene it held together ok. But unfortunately there were some relatively substantial issues.

The number one top issue was Scarlett Johansson. Umm... the issue was... umm...  she totally sucked. To the point where her performance was a non-stop distraction. It was the most stunning thing in the movie in some ways. She might as well been reading cue cards. Her facial expressions and even her body movements were totally out of sync. If she gets nominated for an Oscar its a disgrace to the academy. And it didn't help that there were also dialogue problems galore. Much of it was broadway stagey and some of the conversations were straight out stinkily stunkified. But even with all that stuff... I still dug it. I liked watching it. The ending was satisfying. And dangnabit I was proud of Soon Yi's hubby!

Three Good Things About this Movie

- It entertained.
- The flaws were so obvious you could move past them easier than if they were subtle.
- It was good to see some 70 year old dude just pull a right turn without signaling.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Scarlett Johanson needed to not do that... the whole time.
- It sputtered a few times and konked out more than once.
- Sometimes the dialogue was so far off I thought it was joking.

All in all I'd say this movie is worth seeing because it was a fun ride. Not a great rollercoaster or anything but more like a carousel. You go on it expecting to be bored but somehow it turns out to be more exciting than you expected. Round and round and up and down. Fun and fun! But man, how'd Woody miss the Johanssen friggin flounder fest. And worse still, she's starring in his next film too! (I IMDBd it.)  She's an unfortunate muse no doubt ... but if she saves us all from another Anything Else- it's probably worth taking the hit....

.... hopefully.