THE ENGLISH PATIENT (1996)

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Elizabeth

What can I even say about The English Patient? It’s one of my absolute favorite movies. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it. I love the book and this is one of my favorite book-to-film adaptations because the fact that a movie made from this book was even possible blows my mind, much less a movie as great as The English Patient.

There are a couple of downsides to watching The English Patient: it reminds me how incredibly underrated Ralph Fiennes is and makes me mad that’s never won an Oscar and it makes me cry every time. It’s so incredibly beautiful; it’s shot beautifully, the actors are beautiful, all of their relationships are so beautiful and interesting. I think my favorite relationship of all is that between Almasy (Ralph Fiennes), badly burned and dying, and his nurse Hana (Juliette Binoche). Several other characters remark that Almasy and Hana must be in love, but they genuinely aren’t. They love each other, but in a more familial way. They identify with each other. They’ve both suffered extreme loss and pain and deal with it together. They heal each other, both literally and figuratively.

In high school I was particularly enraptured with Almasy and Katharine (Kristin Scott Thomas)’s relationship, and watching it now I think it’s because their romance is so intense that it’s easy for a teenager to identify with it. Though it’s even more intense and crazier in the book, their tumultuous relationship in the movie is definitely kind of teenager-y because they’re obsessed with each other and have such intense physical feelings for each other it’s like they don’t even know what to do with themselves. It’s sort of scary but very beautiful.

Though in a many, many, many ways, The English Patient is tragic, it’s not completely devastating. It’s just a movie that has everything.

Also, if you’re a fan, you should read Roger Ebert’s review of The English Patient because it not only reminds you of how awesome the movie is but how great of a writer Roger Ebert was.

Christopher

I remember pretty well when this movie came out. What I remember the most was my parents watching it and hating it. So as I grew older I really had no desire to see a movie, mostly set in the desert, that was horribly reviewed by my parents. I mean I think the desert is pretty but whenever I think of a desert I just want to fall asleep? It’s kind of a weird feeling, almost exactly like how I feel about malls.

Elizabeth had been wanting me to see this because it’s one of her favorites. And I have to say I really enjoyed it too. I thought the story was pretty interesting and an awesome surprise that Naveen Andrews was in it. I always thought this movie would be far too boring but it ended up being the opposite for me. It was compelling throughout.

Now, this isn’t a movie I feel like I really need to see again, only maybe with some commentary. But it’s a movie I’m glad Elizabeth brought to my attention, cause it was easily a movie I haven’t thought about since my parents watched it XX years ago.

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HOW TO DEAL (2003)

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Christopher (spoilers!)

SPOILERS***********************************************But let me say, that does not matter for this movie cause trust me no one is ever going to really want to see this. It’s so awful, mostly in the way that everything is so shitty for everyone in the story but all the main character cares about it that she, a 16 year old girl, isn’t sure about marriage and love? VOMIT. Okay, so the story goes that the main character, I don’t even remember her name cause she’s a moron, but she is a girl that is confused about love. We find out quickly that she has a friend who’s madly in love with a guy, and they have a wonderful relationship. Her mother is getting divorced while her sister is getting married. Her dad is a radio DJ and left her mother not for a young sexy girl, just for another woman that tries to be smexy? The main character kind of likes a boy.

So the story goes; her main friend’s boyfriend dies cause of a heart defect. Her mother is insanely lonely cause her dad left. Her dad is just kind of a bro, we’re supposed to hate him but he’s just kind of a guy. And her sister is in a relationship with a guy that’s nice but they argue all the time. So everyone is miserable (except for the guys, except the dead one . . .) And while everyone is in so much pain around her she gets mad when people don’t help her out with this “love” thing. And she not only gets upset, she literally runs away! So what finally helps her understand “love” thus ending the movie is her finally loving a guy. So literally the answer to the title is that in order to deal, you need to find a man for your life. SO WEIRD? AMAZING! Oh, also, somewhere in there she and her love interest get into a car accident and he bails on her at the hospital, but they quickly mend that.

Okay, so now that you know the story, here is my real theory about this movie. Everything just goes so downhill for all of these characters in such awful ways, the only real answer for this movie to make sense, is that it is seen through the eyes of a high school girl that overreacts to everything. And everything that happens in the movie is a result of her being upset and multiplying the damage a hundred fold. So, for example, the friend’s befriend dying all of a sudden, in real life he just broke up with the friend. Her getting into a car crash, in real life her mom just had to pick her up at a party. The parent’s divorce, well that was probably real, but it also could just mean the dad worked a lot. So the whole movie is a strange illusion. So this movie is kind of one of the best bad movies I have seen in a while (since An Invisible Sign) . It’s so bizarre!!

Check it out!

Elizabeth

I distinctly remember seeing this in theaters the summer after my freshman year in high school and while I’m not sure what I was expecting, I was super disappointed in it. I was disappointed that it had music from The Flaming Lips and Cat Stevens, I was disappointed that they expected us to believe Mandy Moore was a 16 year old “weird” girl, but most of all I was disappointed that in the end, “how to deal” is just find a boyfriend who falls in love with you, and all of your problems are solved! Great advice.

This movie is hard to watch because it reminds me how awful 16 year old girls are, no matter what. I know this because I was one and was around them and I don’t really need to watch a whole movie about it. How to Deal suffers from similar tonal problems as Big Money Rustlas in that it seemed like no one really knew what the point of the movie was. Halley (Mandy Moore) doesn’t have a lot of problems, but she thinks she does. On the flip side, her best friend Scarlett (Alexandra Holden) falls in love, watches her boyfriend die, and gives birth to her dead boyfriend’s baby all in the span of the movie. Why is the movie not about Scarlett? Who gives a shit about Halley’s bullshit problems?

I guess for the entirety of the movie we’re rooting for Halley to finally start believing in love and marriage, but I have no idea why. I guess she finds it in the end, but it also doesn’t matter because they’re 16 year olds.

BIG MONEY RUSTLAS (2010)

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Elizabeth

How do I put this? Big Money Rustlas is a western comedy musical parody movie made by Insane Clown Posse. The tone was very hard to interpret because I don’t think anyone involved with the movie really knew what the plot was or what the point was.

Big Money Rustlas is pretty sexist and pretty gross. But at the same time, I’m not exactly the intended audience, so maybe it’s right up the alley of Insane Clown Posse fans. I don’t really want to know either way.

Christopher

WE FINALLY SAW THIS MOVIE! I wanted to see it when it came out. But I never did. I wanted to watch it when it appeared on Netflix. And we finally did last night.

I mean, I pretty much know what I’m getting into when I try to take a look into the going ons of ICP but Big Money Rustlas is even more enjoyable than their infomercials! The best way I could prepare someone to watch this, would be to imagine the most comprehensible movie a middle school boy could imagine. There is so much unnecessary cursing, jokes go on way to long and are constantly repeated, and there are zombie ghosts?

There really isn’t too much to say other than it’s always good to have a little ICP in your life!