I do something I know is wrong, the guilt feels like little needles
stuck in my brain. I can try to ignore them and just go about
my business or I can flinch in shame at the pain. Over time, I
might get used to the needles, or sensory fatigue may let me forget
they're there. But then things happen that occasionally jam some
a little deeper.
I do something I don't know is wrong, but someone points out to
me that it was, I don't feel guilty. I just get really pissed
at the person who points it out and blame them for my troubles.
I worked at the Family Dollar, I once stole a Sprinkles the Shower
Clown. Immediately, I felt awful for doing it, but then every
time I saw his silly face spitting on me when I bathed, a little
more scar tissue grew over the guilt needle. How crummy can you
feel when you're giggling AND getting clean at the same time?
The needle is still there, though, and it occasionally jabs me,
like when I see on the TV those kids with the bloated bellies,
covered with flies, and I think, "Those kids need Sprinkles more
than I do."
why you don't want to go through life as an asshole: because those
needles never go away. When I'm an old man, I don't want to have
so many of them in my skull that everything I do creates searing,
maybe you do want to go through life being an asshole. Some people
never feel guilt and shame, so they do what they think they can
get away with. Who's better off in the long run: the guy who gets
away with a crime and forever feels shitty about it, or one who
gets away with it and feels nothing?
Allen spends a lot of time thinking about guilt and shame, in
a very Dostoevsky way. Probably more than me, and I have a huge
stash of stolen German pornography and shameful drunken experiences
that I should apologize for. Really, stealing the porn doesn't
shame me. It's how fucking bad it is, and that I keep watching
it that plants more and more needles in my skull.
addressed guilt as self-imposed punishment in Crimes and Misdemeanors,
which was pretty good. In that movie a man has his mistress killed.
He gets away with it and rather than shame, he feels relief. Meanwhile,
other people doing far less horrible things suffer because they
basically revisits the same theme in Match Point. Only,
this time he doesn't pretend to be funny. That's okay with me
because his jokes were becoming the pretty damn stale gags of
an old man. I say that as someone who can sit through seven ventriloquists
at the Elks Lodge Open Mic Night because they give us free beer.
Point is the story of a former tennis pro (Jonathan Rhys-Meyer)
who marries into money, gives up tennis and grows very accustomed
to his new family's wealth. He loves his wife (Emily Mortimer),
but he lusts after Scarlett Johannson, a failed actress with low
self-esteem but loads of sex appeal. While his wife is focused
on conceiving a baby, Meyer is out pounding the pony with Johannson
and accidentally knocking her up.
wants Meyer to leave his wife, but the fucking coward has gotten
so used to luxury that he isn't eager to going back to being poor.
Besides, once she's pregnant, she's nowhere near as appealing
to him. So he kills her, staging it like a robbery, and ultimately
getting away with it.
most surprising about this movie is how unoriginal the premise
is. First, Allen is ripping himself off. Second, he's ripping
off Fatal Attraction and its many shittier imitators. The
basic premise here is the same as in every story of the doomed
affair and the "difficult decision." The only difference is that
Allen directly references Dostoevsky in the movie and that he
speaks of the role of luck and fate in deciding who gets punished
and who doesn't. In short, some bastards are lucky and get away,
others are unlucky and don't. Still others are honest, and don't.
So, it's best to be a lucky, spineless bastard, I guess. Sort
of interesting premise, but not when tied onto the back of a tepid,
recycled drama full of stifled characters. And it would be even
better if Allen hadn't already told us this once, and if it didn't
sound so much like he's pouting about it.
movie takes place in upper-crusty London, which gives the characters
a formalized blandness. They all speak within a limited range
of personality and emotion, and all have similar senses of wit.
They're fucking dullards. Johannson is different as the only American,
but she's given a role that devolves quickly from confident lush
to whiny, clingy screecher. If I wanted that I would spend more
time with Mrs. Filthy's sisters. Her dilemma, being pregnant with
a married man's child, is supposed to make her sympathetic. But
she's the whininess overwhelms any sympathy we have. Rhys-Meyer
may be under sedation. It's hard to tell. The character's soullessness
is shown through a lack of emotion, which is perhaps the most
boring way to show it to us.
movie looks all warm and overcast, like I imagine London is in
the summer. But Allen has no real idea of what he wants to show
us, so it ends up being as hackneyed a postcard view as Eurotrip.
There's the Thames, there's the Bridge, there's Buckingham Palace.
On and on.
Match Point is a failed experiment. Like the time I tried
gluing glitter onto rats and selling them as exotic pets. Good
idea, but somebody else got there first. And that guy selling
the gold-star mice here in Arvada is making buttloads of cash.
Two Fingers for Match Point. I admire Allen for
realizing he's not funny anymore, but I worry that he's not even
original when he's dull.
Want to tell Filthy Something?