Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Up In The Air

George regrets buying conjoined ventriloquist dummies
I'm not going to write a big long film review of Up In The Air, the latest offering from the team behind Juno. In effect, that pedigree should be endorsement enough. All I will say, if you're interested, is that it's funny, has a message, is genuinely thought-provoking if you let it be, and (best of all, and the real reason I'm writing about it) it does NOT succumb to that most annoying of all Hollywood traits, the tacking on of an unrealistic feelgood ending to satisfy the masses. Mr Clooney doesn't get the obvious happy ending some cinema-goers may expect, and the film is all the better for it.

My loathing of the crowd-pleasing but story-damaging ending can be traced back to watching Falling In Love in the early 90s. A decent enough romantic film, with two fine leads in DeNiro and Streep, it is nevertheless utterly ruined by an entirely unrealistic ending clearly designed to leave a sweet taste in the audience's collected mouth. It made me gag. Worse, it made me fume. Maybe where I was emotionally at the time didn't help, but there you go - whatever the reason, I fumed. Even now, about 20 years later, I can feel myself getting annoyed...

So hooray for Up In The Air, which doesn't make me gag or fume, mercifully. I heartily recommend you rushing to your local independent cinema to watch it. Or it will doubtless be available on Amazon before you know it.

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