Waking the Dead
I'm not likely to explain this very well at all, but here it goes anyway: This film reminded me of an experience I frequently have while driving. I'll attain a certain driving inertia, in which I'm moving along steadily, strangely satisfied with my place in the world of motor vehicles, and then suddenly I'll realize there's something wrong with the car in front of me. I won't be able to put my finger on it at first, but it usually starts with the guy moving out of his lane slightly. Then he'll pull the other way. Then he'll hit his brakes. Then I'll realize what's wrong -- the guy is drunk, plastered, blotto. That's what watching this film was like. It all seems normal and then you slowly start to realize the people making the film are smashed. The thing is swerving around all over the place, totally out of control, and all you want to do is get past it.
I actually think there's a combination of drugs at work here, because it isn't that easy to make "The Sixth Sense" meets "Days of Our Lives." You really have to think hard to come up with that kind of crap. The premise here is that Fielding Pierce (Billy Crudup) falls for Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly). They're in love but their career goals start to tear them apart. He wants to be a politician and she wants to be an activist. Then she dies. Ten years later, about to be elected to Congress, Fielding starts seeing Sarah's ghost.
I was actually in the mood to tolerate a little melodrama in this film, but the kind of sticky drivel that begins pouring out of Sarah's mouth -- after a while you think she's selling love insurance. I was waiting for her to pull out papers for Fielding to sign so that for only 35 bucks a month he would have their memories when he was 70. Her super-liberal leanings don't help anything. If she's not talking about the beauty of pure love or telling Fielding how much she loves how much he loves her, she's spouting off about the importance of saving Chilean activists. She's like Joan Baez on ecstasy.
There's little doubt in my mind that had Sarah possessed smaller knockers, Fielding would have dumped her in a second, which really makes this film less about love and more about the psychological power of big knockers. That the filmmakers so desperately try to convince you it's about love gives you some indication of how pretentious the whole thing is.
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