Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jason watches HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE

I'm trying to sneak in a few screeners I have at home, before I get too busy with Docfest. Full disclosure, this movie was made by a man I once publicly described as a giant, empty scrotum. Further disclosure, I never feel like I can give a movie a fair screening on DVD at home. My opinion may change greatly when I get a chance to see it on a big screen with an audience. Anyway, here we go:

Morty is a sad, lonely, pathetic man. In the opening scenes he takes what might be the saddest bong hit I've ever seen. It's not just sad in that he a loser sitting around wasting his life, it's that he gets no visible joy from the bong hit. He doesn't even have another loser friend to smoke with and giggle like a retard.

Instead of friends, he has an ex. And she has friends who occasionally talk to him, but more often talk about him to each other.

If there's one thing sadder than his loneliness, it's his faltering, incompetent attempts to alleviate his loneliness. He delivers cringe-inducing lines like "What? I don't think it's weird to say I love you? What's so weird about that?" Or he awkwardly tries to talk to the receptionist at his psychiatrist's office.

To top it all off, he's unemployed and broke. More awkward painfullness comes from that. Early on there's a scene where he meets a friend (okay, more his ex's friend) and tries to convince her because he did her some unnamed favor recently she owes him some money. Eventually, his money problems become so untenable he actually has to perform a little side work in the dirtiest, most unscrupulous profession ever--he becomes a back-alley psychiatrist (more disclosure, I fucking hate psychiatrists). Okay, really he just gives advice to a friend (of his ex) and agrees--just so that it's not awkward--that he should give him some money.

You know, I'm afraid I'm giving you a view of Morty that's all bad. And actually I'm pretty sure in real life I would have a hard time if I were Morty's friend. But I should make it clear--I feel for Morty. I see a lot of my insecurities, fear, self-loathing, and simple poor social behavior in Morty, and I understand him. Yet more full disclosure: I wasn't always (and am not always now) as awesome as I'm sure everyone thinks I think I am. In fact, I've been known to be more than a little bit self-loathing at times.

I also want to make clear, no matter how many times I've used the word "painful" to describe Morty's life, this movie is also pretty funny. It's painful humor, but I like it. Prime example from early in the movie: Morty gets a job working for an artist (cleaning out her basement after a flood). She's describing her new shot which is extreme close-up photography of male genitalia. She describes projecting these penis shots on a wall 8 feet tall. Morty perks up a bit at the thought of giant genitalia. Then she describes how you can see tiny hairs and bits of disgusting crud and crust, and Mort tries not to look sickened. That's supposed to be funny, right? I'm not the only one, am I? Anyway, if you find that funny, this movie is funny.

It has occurred to me that this movie has made me want to reveal more about myself than I usually do. I don't know what to make of that.
Post a Comment