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Dec 4, 2008

Fletch's Film Review: Synecdoche, New York

I'm tired, I don't feel well, and it's been a long day, so I've invited my other personality, Slappy Jones, to write the review for Synecdoche, New York. Take it away, Slappy:

Hey folks. So I went to see Synecdoche to with Fletch, Mrs. Fletch, Mrs. Slappy and some other friends of ours (and their alternate personalities as well) a few weeks ago, and 17 1/2 of us still haven't made up our collective minds as to how much we liked it. I mean, there were definitely some varying opinions as to how good, bad, or indifferent it was, but the general consensus was definitely positive. We were all confused about some things (like the infamous burning house you've probably heard about), but with so many of us (and let me take the time to say that Mrs. Fletch's alternate personality's alternate personality Victoria is just a doll. I mean, should you ever run into her, please give her my best.) around, we were all around to help each other out. I'm 88% sure I now understand 91% of the movie, and am 74% sure I need and want to see it again to understand at least 7 of the remaining 9%.

Wait just a goddamn second here, Slappy. Sorry to interrupt here - it's Fletch again - but Slappy just seems to be all over the damn place, and isn't making a lick of sense. I'll give him another chance. Slappy, please please please be more coherent and give a cogent review of the film.

Jeez, what an anal retentive tool. Sometimes I really hate sharing the same body as that guy.

Anyway, in case you've been living in a cave, Synecdoche, New York is the story of one Caden Cotard (even his name is code for stuff - really, just look it up), a playwright whose life is going all flipsy-dipsy-topsy-turvy of him, from constant maladies to an inability to gauge time and space to a pseudo-lesbian wife and hypophobic daughter that are set to skip town on his loser ass. Long story short, he decides to do an epic play of gargantuan proportions, both figuratively and literally, in which thousands of people will play out life in general, all within the confines of a large warehouse, and then like the snake that eats its tail, will repeat that cycle until Caden has a guy playing himself, who also has a guy playing himself, who also has a guy...guess which one I liked best?

Personally, I loved the film. Fletch - well, he couldn't get past some of the symbolic things in the film that didn't seem to symbolize anything in particular, but I say any movie that features three or more versions of the same character (more or less) is tops in my book. That goes for you, too, Being John Malkovich. Ah ah ah - wait a sec - who let Multiplicity in the room? Ok, maybe not any movie with that, but you get the gist. Now, if only The Island had had another version of Scarlett Johannson, maybe we'd have ranked it in the top ten for that year, but with just two --

Ok, I give up. Slappy, you're fired.

Fletch's (and Slappy's!) Film Rating:


"It's in the hole!"


8 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Synecdoche, New York"

Jason Bellamy said...

Well done! I love reviews that capture the spirit of the film!

elgringo said...

My favorite line: "I'm 88% sure I now understand 91% of the movie."

That's pretty damn good, percent-wise, anyway. Maybe the movie's not as hard-to-understand as I thought it was going to be.

Adam Ross said...

I made the mistake of taking several members of my family to see this movie over Thanksgiving. They all hated it, I loved it. I think it's a credit to the movie that you get lulled into periods of "okay, nowwww I get it!" followed by, "wait a minute, is that a zeppelin in New York?"

Great acting and casting put it over the top for me (Tom Noonan! Diane Weist! And hey, Emily Watson's naked!), and it managed to be pretty damn funny as well (the "everyone has a tattoo" bit had me rolling).

Dead Pan said...

Nice. I like that you decided to take a totally different writing style, since the film has been written about a lot already, and it added to the charm of the review.

Farzan said...

Good review Fletch, it sounds like a winner

The Mad Hatter said...

Great review to a very odd, yet very well made movie. I had three months to stew on it between watching and writing...and I *still* struggled with it!

What makes me laugh, I've been getting quite a few hits on my blog through people Google'ing "synecdoche new york explanation"...

...hell if I can explain it!

Fletch said...

Thanks, all. Like many, I had trouble figuring out where the hell to start with reviewing this. It's been two weeks, and I had an inkling that I wanted to pull the same move that the movie does, so I just ran with it.

Truth is, I'm really not sure how much I liked it or not yet. I mean, I'm a lover of Kauffman's work (even Human Nature), but I think this might have been too much and am one of those people that think it might have been better with Gondry or Jonze at the helm. Who knows, though - I might see it again and think it's the best damn movie ever. Right now, it probably resides in my top 10 for the year, but towards the bottom of that list.

Adam - yeah, the Watson nudity was a shock, even moreso because Morton didn't get nekkid, and she seems to do that in just about everything. Hope Davis's role absolutely killed me.

Sarah said...

Great review. I can't wait to see the film -- once it gets to my dad-blasted suburban city, that is. Grrr. Sometimes I really hate being stuck in the sticks.

Stephen Colbert interviewed Charlie Kaufman on a recent episode of "The Colbert Report" and it was hilarious to hear his attempt to explain the twisted, twisted plot.