evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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Thoughts on Vicky Christina Barcelona

I watched Woody Allen's Vicky Christina Barcelona last night, and am driven to ramble about it.

You should know that this film received a truckload of award nominations and wins for acting, screenwriting and "best film." I'm not going to address the acting (which is fine, but none of it amazed me, personally. I would note that while I find Scarlett Johansson exceedingly pretty, she doesn't do so well projecting on-screen chemistry). What bothered me most is the feeling that if Bob Novice submitted this screenplay to his Screenwriting 101 class, the reaction wouldn't be "OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME DON'T CHANGE A SINGLE WORD!!" No. His classmates would pounce and shred it like those little blue guys in the feeding frenzy from Galaxy Quest: "Your act structure is weak, the plot point reversals aren't significant enough, your protagonist's emotional throughline actually goes nowhere, she doesn't pursue her primary goal, she just sort of waffles about, and you've got a freakin' NARRATOR explaining everything to us!"

But this is a Woody Allen picture, so he's forgiven these weaknesses? Even praised for them? Puckey. (You can tell I'm not a big fan of "If a beginner does it, it's crap, but if a Living Legend does it, it's GENIUS" double-standard.)

The film is billed as an exploration of love, but what's new and different mostly seems to be that a polyamorous relationship is shown in a positive light. I guess that's highly unusual in mainstream films, and is therefore mind-blowing to viewers in the Midwest.

I know, if I hadn't gone into this expecting a great movie, I probably wouldn't have felt so disappointed. Watching "Vicky Christina Barcelona" isn't a bad way to spend ninety minutes. I just don't see what all the fuss is about.
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