The Station Agent

Bomb Rating: 

This movie proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only are cell phones ruining Western Civilization, they are ruining movies along with it.

This movie proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only are cell phones ruining Western Civilization, they are ruining movies along with it.

This film is a lot less about a dwarf named Fin (Peter Dinklage) who inherits a train depot in a small New Jersey town and a lot more about when somebody's cell phone is going to go off during the film. And I'm not talking about people in the audience either. I'm talking about characters in the movie. Now that phone conversations commonly interrupt everyday life, they're popping up in films too.

Two characters will be carrying on a perfectly reasonable conversation when a cell phone interrupts. If the cell phone had not been invented, this conversation would continue, but since the cell phone has been invented and movies seem to think it's much cooler to mirror real life when it involves gadgets than when it involves things like, oh, Pearl Harbor, we're treated to tons of cell phones going off.

When those cell phones aren't going off, this is about a guy who just wants to be left alone, but comes into contact with two people: a hot dog vendor named Joe (Bobby Cannavale) who never stops talking and seems deathly scared of being alone and a woman, Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), who has recently lost her son in a tragic accident and seems in danger of losing herself. Joe's phone goes off because his sick father is calling him frequently. Olivia's goes off, but she never answers it. There's one other character, a librarian (Michelle Williams), whose cell phone also goes off.

I hope the filmmakers got some serious product placement dough for all that crap.

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