Thursday, May 26, 2011

Impossibly Romantic: Waiting for Forever

Starring: Rachel Bilson, Tom Sturridge Category: Romance

This movie is from a rare breed, the romance movie. Not a romantic comedy. Because love can be serious and meaningful. Too often Hollywood tacks on comedy to romance thinking that is what people want. But like a good novel, a romance movie is at it's core and execution about love and the things we do for it. This movie is even more unconventional as is about love at the beginning of life and at the end of it. It is about love between parents and their children, between brothers and between two people who share the deepest meaning to each other.
Growing up, Emma and Will were best of friends. They shared everything and spent most of their time playing together. Most important of all Emma was there for him when his parents died. As he tried to make sense of it all and in an inspired moment, Emma gave him something so simple but special to Will. Something that made him cope with what was happening and hang on, something that he would carry with him forever.
Will used this as the center point of his reality. He put Emma and her gift at the center of his reality, in a harmless way really. While the rest of the world around him grew up, Will held on to his sense of innocence and his enduring love for Emma. Even though he moved away, one day he made a decision to be where Emma was. Not stalking her but being in the same places that made meeting her was a possibility.
Emma's father's illness leads them both back to their hometown. Now home, Willy's friends and family make Will face reality by facing Emma. Emma in turn, has to deal with her parents and their relationship facing death. Will decides to confess everything to Emma. This in the end is both good and bad. For the rest you have to watch the movie. Please. This movie needs all the support it can get. Watch it now on Amazon Instant Video.
This movie is hard to judge because it is unconventional. It has a very indie flavor to the story but visual-wise it is full-on hollywood. Everything is bright and shiny and clean. Everything is so well lit.. Which is why a lot of people mistake it for one. First of all, the movie is full of well-developed characters. Everybody has a back story and they shine in their brief moments. We can see the ailing husband trying to prepare his wife to lead a life without him, a brother who is resentful that he has to be the responsible one and two friends who grow up to be a family. I think it is a bit too busy. With the plot about Emma's boyfriend and his attempt to frame his mistake on Will, it become overloaded. I think less time should have been spent on it or it could have been dropped altogether. The plot tries very hard to avoid the cliches whenever possible. At points where it just can be maudlin or have 'cute' or 'redemption' moments, the movie chooses a more realistic path. This leads to a huge pay-off in the end. Be patient and it'll come.
A lot of people on IMDB have compared this to Benny and Joon. It does seem that the actor playing Will was channeling a young Johnny Depp. I don't agree because Benny and Joon is about a love between two special individuals. It is about their special situation, dealing with adversity together.
This movie reminds more of a small movie called Late for Dinner, starring Brian Wimmer, Peter Berg and Marcia Gay Harden. The movie plot is different but at the heart of both movies, is an undying love that refuses to give up. It is about a young family dealing with the tribulation of starting a family life. It is also about what choices can one make if they are frozen for 30 years and wake up to a world very different from when they first closed their eyes. I can't believe it's also on Amazon Instant Video. This movie is about a decent, loving husband who thinks of only what he can do for his family whatever life may throw at him. It is very romantic, especially when it comes to choices he makes with regard to his wife. The end sequence is very beautiful and you can't help being drawn in. Find it and it will be worth your time.