Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spoiler Alert: Sad Dads go Bowling and Get Traffic Tickets



Two movies in two weeks feature widower dads learning to move on with (not from) loss. In "Dan in Real Life," Steve Carrell feels that he might be able to love again for the first time since his wife died when he meets life force Juliette Binoche (she laughs, she listens, she cooks, she hugs, and she's great with kids). In "Martian Child," John Cusack feels that he might be able to love again for the first time since his wife died when he takes steps to adopt a child who is either odd or disturbed but qualifies as a life force because he is a child and therefore does not have to cook or hug or anything except for be young and need love.

The movies have some other similarities. Both use bowling(!) as a marker for happy-fun-bonding time (has the bowling association banded together for product placement? Both feature rattled and sheepish dads getting stopped by the police for traffic violations. Both have someone show up at exactly the wrong time, creating consternation and misunderstandings. But that probably happens in more movies than not. Cusack is going to be bereaved again soon. His next film, "Grace is Gone," is about a man whose wife is killed in Iraq.

5 comments:

David said...

I would like to see both of these movies. I have always been a fan of John Cusack, and I think it is going to be interesting to see Steve Carrell break away from his more comedic roles. Isn't it interesting how movies seem to come out in pairs sometimes. It is almost like the idea was pitched to a couple sets of people and one said no, but then stole the idea and twisted it around alittle bit so that they could steal the spotlight. Volcano and Dante's Peak, Contact and Armageddon, you can't tell me that someone wasn't getting ideas form someone else.

Nell Minow said...

You are right, David. There are a lot of examples. Another one is "Antz" and "Bug's Life." I don't know if people are getting ideas from each other or it is just certain stories that seem to resonate with the times.

martoon said...

this looks like quite a good movie, will have to check it out although I must say im getting rather sick of Steve Carrell, he is not someone i find funny - so it will be good to see him not trying to do this.

Nell Minow said...

I'd love to know what you think after you see it, Martoon. I agree that it is good to see Carell as an actor, not a comedian.

psyche said...

I think this is a nice movie i heard a lot of things about this one in many forums...