Saturday, 7 September 2013

I think you're a 3!

The Way Way Back.

Welcome to another review of a Jim Rash written film where I don't talk much about the movie itself, which is a sweet, though not exactly subtle tale of an awkward teenager on his holidays (my other was The Descendants - found here-, a fine film that I choose to talk about my parents and grandparents instead of reviewing because of a thing that i'm going to examine instead of the film now).

I don't suppose there is one reason why people watch films, or teevee, or read comics, or novels or whatever it may be. But something I hear a lot is the idea of 'switching your brain off and enjoying it' so I guess escapism in my not qualified, totally unstudied surmise is possibly a lot of people's main reason (I would be interested to hear people's thoughts on this - all 4 of you that might read it). 

But I don't see it that way. I don't see it as escapism. I don't want to escape my life but connect to it. I don't really understand how people fit together. Just the other day a friend of mine asked if i had a 'Best Friend' and my answer was no.  I don't have anyone close. No confidant, no best man. I don't want to be so twee to suggest movies fill that role because that's kinda fucking stupid and sounds like the sort of writer's conceit that would make me roll my eyes. But they exhibit a power at times that is hard to qualify. 

The Way Way Back very much makes me think of myself at that age in a way that is both uncomfortable and slightly liberating. I never had Sam Rockwell (as a sort of manic pixie dream dad-figure) but I did okay. But I want that connection in Transformers, Alan Partridge, Saga or The Uncanny X-Men. The best literature and culture pop or otherwise doesn't tell me what it is but what I am. 

That connection doesn't have to be profound. My favourite comic of last year The Nao of Brown was deeply heartfelt personal and resonant but I love Hawkeye almost as much though the connectors may be different. I don't want to escape into Hawkeye, I want to engage with it. And it's a smart, silly, funny book so that's easy thankfully.

Postscript. So this may be the most dully pretentious terribly shallow thing and, like the dread pirate roberts, I will most likely kill it in the morning. But The Way Way Back is a lovely, charming film and well worth seeing.

Post postscript. Yeah of course this doesn't cover the many multitudes of reasons why I like the stuff I like but I'm in an odd mood - Jim Rash seems to bring out the reflective nature in me (and strangely enough stars in the teevee show that had similar, though further reaching effects - he did write an great episode of that too).