Monday, January 31, 2005

Worst. Movie. Ever (almost).

I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but I feel compelled to issue the following public service announcement: Please, for the love of God, don’t rent the movie Wimbledon. You will never get those two wasted hours of your life back.

I rented this so-called "movie" on Saturday night ("movie" meaning "formulaic schlock"). Technically, I didn’t rent it. My sister did. I was with her at the video store on Saturday night. When she first suggested renting Wimbledon, I said, "No way am I watching that crap."

The problem was the movie we really wanted to see, Friday Night Lights, was out at all three video stores we went to. The other problem was that Jane looked like she had escaped from 999 Queen Street West (which isn’t too far of a stretch considering she used to work there).

She was drowning in blue flannel pajamas patterned with dozens of egg-sized, smiling snowmen wearing top hats. The pajama bottoms were tucked into the kind of serious winter boots you might find someone wearing in the Arctic. She hadn’t washed her hair in a couple of days either.

I too was wearing pajamas, which consisted of yoga pants and a fleece jacket. If I hadn’t also been wearing thick wool socks and my mom’s plastic sandals, I could have passed for someone on their way home from a workout. (In our defense, we had just driven back to Toronto from the farm and were emotionally drained and physically exhausted.)

So there we were, looking like Thelma and Louise near the end of their adventure. We were standing at the counter of the third video store asking if anyone had returned a copy of Friday Night Lights when we heard loud laughter behind us. We turned around to see four people in line staring at Jane and pointing at her outfit.

"Let’s get the hell out of here," said Jane, who was mortified, yet laughing hysterically at the same time.

"We still need to get a movie so just pick something fast," I said.

And that’s how we ended up renting Wimbledon.

The basic plot went something like this: boy tennis pro and girl tennis pro meet at Wimbledon. After a brief courtship, boy and girl sleep together and fall in love. Boy plays really well and advances to the finals because girl inspires him. Girl plays really badly and fails to advance because boy distracts her.

Boy and girl fight. Boy is so upset, he loses first two sets in the finals. Girl sees match while at airport on her way home. Rushes back to cheer him on. He wins. They marry. The end.

It’s not so much the unoriginal and unimaginative plot line I had a problem with. It’s the obvious lack of research that went into the film. Like the way these alleged "tennis pros" drove to some seaside town during the middle of Wimbledon, and stayed up all night drinking wine and having sex. As if! Also, they go for a 10-mile training run and she’s wearing Converse. Converse! This is Wimbledon. Not the Saskatoon Open or whatever.

Real athletes would have focussed on the game and hooked up afterwards. And they would never, ever, go for a run in Converse. How do movies like this get made and who watches them?

Speaking of bad movies, I did not have to watch any on the flight from Toronto to Vancouver today. West Jet has little TVs in every seat with 24 channels of live satellite TV. All passengers get their own personal TV. Had I known this in advance, I would have scheduled my flight when the good shows are on. I was stuck watching Canada AM, Regis & Kelly and A Wedding Story.

I probably should have just slept instead. I think I’ve hit a level of sleep deprivation so deep that I’m no longer tired.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning. I had read a favourable review of this on-line recently and had actually been considering renting it. Glad to know better.

Still, I love my formulaic schlock (which I watch a lot of to rid myself of the bad habit of really thinking), so here's two tips in return:

1. 13 Going on 30, with Jennifer Garner, isn't too bad, especially if these lines mean anything to you:
"We are young,
heartache to heartache we stand.
No promises, no demands
Love is a battlefield."

2. Envy, with Jack Black and Ben Stiller, is just absolutely, terribly, beyond belief stupid.

:)

Rob Cottingham said...

Someday video stores everywhere will post Rotten Tomatoes ratings for every flick on their shelves. (Of course, by then they'll all be out of business because we'll be downloading films directly into our frontal lobes, while the MPAA -- which will have superceded Parliament, Congress and the United Nations -- legislates against piracy through telepathy. But I digress.)

Wouldn't have saved me from The Manchurian Candidate, though. I'm in a tiny minority here, but for what it's worth, I found the dialogue stilted and laden with exposition ("As you know, son, I took measures to separate you from your one true love shortly after you graduated, so that your political career might exceed your father's" is about the level of some of it), and very few genuine surprises in the plot (especially if you've seen any other brainwashing movies... especially that TNG episode where the Romulans capture Geordi and convince him to try to assassinate this Klingon official, and hoo boy, ...but I digress).

Sarah said...

Actually, one of the worst movies of the year was Open Water. Man, did that stink. Avoid that one too. And if you like foreign films, stay far, far away from the French film Ma Mere (unless you think group sex involving a mother and her son is cool).

-- Sarah

Anonymous said...

:O)

taminator1969 said...

If you haven't already seen it, I recommend Office Space as a rental.

Heck, even if you've seen it, rent it again! :)

Sammy said...

I watched The Chronicles of Riddick this past weedind and haven't been the same since... what was I thinking? I think even Wimbledon would have been better than that.

Sarah said...

I've seen Office Space. Pretty funny. Um...does anyone have any GOOD movie recommendations?

-- Sarah

Anonymous said...

I need to say something in my defense here! First of all, I was doing laundry since all my clothes smelled from the BTU escapades at the farm (I only brought 2 pairs of pants) and since HILARY would not give me any pants, I had no choice but to wear my pyjamas. I think the snowmen are cute by the way. Anyhow, I had no shoes and again, HILARY told me I could not wear her shoes since I would get salt on them, but she said I could wear her boots. I thought they looked a little Napolean Dynamite-ish, so I put them over my pants. I thought I was being funny! And finally, I had just had a shower 2 hours earlier so my hair was washed, take that back Sarah! It was humorous, and I never said "let's get the hell out of here", I was laughing way too much! The way I look at it, if I could bring a smile to our faces and those of people around us, my job was done! Ok, back to my assignment that's due in 3 hours...

Brian Feltham said...

Hey Sarah:

I hear ya with the bad movies. Nat and I rented "without a paddle" this weekend. I do have a confession to make though, I did laugh out loud.

Anyway, a list of good rentals. There is the fantasic series, "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset". "Intermission" is also a great flick that was huge in Ireland when I was there last year. "Garden State", that's another winner in my books and I have to admit, I enjoyed "de-Lovely".

Sarah said...

Bring on more movie recommendations! I'm always looking for good movies.

Jane...your hair was washed when we went to the video store? Sorry about that. It looked so bad that I figured you hadn't washed or brushed it.

Speaking of Napolean Dynamite, now that was a good movie!!

-- Sarah

Anonymous said...

It all depends on what your definition of "good" is.

For video fodder on those nights where your brain is dead and you just need a cheap laugh, I would recommend either Dodgeball or Anchorman: The Life of Ron Burgundy.

Both are formulaic schlock -- but well-done, with some genuine yuks.

As for serious films currently in theatres (at least in T.O.; it might be different in a hinterland city like Vancouver :) ), I'd recommend:

- Finding Neverland
- Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
- Million Dollar Baby
- Sideways
- Bad Education
- The Merchant of Venice

Bill D.

Sarah said...

Awesome! By the way, Anchorman was hilarious. I love stuff like that (Zoolander, Dodgeball, etc.). But I also like more "quality" movies too. Really want to see Life Aquatic, as well as Million Dollar Baby.

-- Sarah

Anonymous said...

And now that I've mentioned the semi-highbrow ones, I'll confess to feeling a pull to see Assault on Precinct 13. Haven't seen stuff get shot up real good in a while! :)

Bill D.

PS: I haven't seen it yet, but Hotel Rwanda got a standing O at the Toronto film festival.

PPS: This is Ron Burgundy saying 'Go f**k yourself, San Diego! :)

Sarah said...

LOL!

Sarah

Anonymous said...

Hey, this says anonymous but it's really Dan.

The problem with Wimbledon is that it portrays a British player winning Wimbledon.

A Brit winning Wimbledon? No chance, mate.

A movie with a plot like that should be considered science fiction, altough I'm sure it went over well with moviegoers in the U.K.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this says anonymous but it's really Dan.

The problem with Wimbledon is that it portrays a British player winning Wimbledon.

A Brit winning Wimbledon? No chance, mate.

A movie with a plot like that should be considered science fiction, altough I'm sure it went over well with moviegoers in the U.K.

Anonymous said...

hey, this says anonymous but that's just because i'm choosing to stay anonymous...for what it's worth, i liked wimbledon and believe it or not have actually seen it twice...i also have no life...please don't judge me too badly...on the other hand, i really like paul bettany...not "like like", mind you, but i think he's a great actor adn bloody hilarious...and the reason she's wearing converse (which i also thought was stupid) is because she didn't have any of her own runners tucked away in her little black dress and seeing as how he had only slept with her once, he wasn't going to trust her with his really good shoes...ooh ooh or maybe they were left over from his junior high days and they were the only ones that would fit her even...now, that makes more sense...

Anonymous said...

anonymous here again...i should also probably mention that i really like your blog.....will probably be back to peruse further...thanks...

Sarah said...

She was wearing his Converse, of course. But the point is, a real athlete would not go for a run in Converse. Borrowed or not. She could injure herself. Kind of a picky point but it ruined the movie for me. I need to get a life, obviously.

Sarah