Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Match Point

Yesterday afternoon we went to see the new Woody Allen film.

J is a massive Woody Allen fan (he cries every time he watches Manhattan), and after forcing him through horrors like 'the Grudge' (it had SMG in it!) and 'Serenity' (it had Whedon's name on it!) I think it's only fair that I subject myself to some complete unfunny celluloid neuroticism every once in a while.
I need to stop snogging married men in the rain / in random English countryside locations

And the cinema visit paid off! Even J thought the film was crap. In fact, I gave it more credit than he did.

Click here to jump safely past it.

The film is as you might know about a sort of love triangle / quadrangle, and about how luck pays a large part in how our lives turn out.

It was one of these films where it's so much like life that it becomes completely trivial. People cheat on their wives. Their lovers get pregnant. That's just how it is. There is, as I see it, no reason to record this fact on film if you're not going to add anything to it.

Scarlett Johanson plays Nola, a young but failing US actress who has moved to London, where she becomes engaged to upperclass playboy Tom. Tom's sister falls in love with Joaquin Phoenix's tennis trainer Chris, who again falls in love with Nola.

In short, Chris marries the sister Chloe, Tom dumps Nola, Nola gets pregnant and starts making a fuss. Although Chris loves neither her nor his wife, he doesn't want to lose his upper-crust lifestyle, so shoots Nola and gets away with it through a string of increasingly unlikely circumstances, illustrated by Britain's finest comedy actors, falling over each other to be in a Woody Allen film.

So far, so boring. There are a couple of scenes with great potential, but the film essensially falls down on the points I always think Allen's films fail at; don't worry, they're too many to list here.

What I wanted to get at was the character of Nola. Nola describes herself as "sexy" as opposed to her sister, who is "classically beautiful".

She says she's the kind of woman that men think has a certain something. When she is asked if she does, she says "noone asked for their money back yet."

Although in the beginning she, like Chris, is only preoccupied with the money and high-life of the family she hopes to marry into, once she gets pregnant she wants to build a life with Chris, who comes to realise he is only in lust with her.

Then she gets shot.

It's melodramatic and ridiculous, but I think I'm like Nola. Men always seem to think I've got a certain something. I think it's because I make them feel good about themselves.

Then they feel kind of threatened, and go off to marry someone extremely boring and unchallenging.

Interestingly, J remarked after the film that he was ashamed to say so, but Chloe (nice but dull wife of Chris) really reminded him of his upper-middle-class ex.

So the question is, how can Nola hang on to what she has? She is a dreamer, who refuses to give up what she is passionate about for what would be sensible. She's the film's only smoker, which probably is meant to mean something.

She oozes sensuality in a fashion men find addictive, yet when they have her, they don't really know what to do with her.

While in no way claiming to have Scarlett Johanson's lips, I know what this is like. I started out in life as someone's lover, and I've never really considered that this is significantly different than being someone's girlfriend.

Maybe all I need in my relationship is a bit of luck.

I need the tennis ball to hit the top of the net and wobble over to the other side in a sure-fire point-scoring way.

And Overactiveimagination's Dawn is right in her comments yesterday; I should stop thinking of myself as Nola, because I don't want to be her anymore.

Although she does dress like a goddamn goddess.


  1. overactive-imagination10 January 2006 at 21:39

    Yay! I'm so glad that made sense to you. Alot of poeple would be offended but somehow I knew you wouldn't be.

    You ARE fantastic and J obviously knows that. I wouldn't never suggest you go against your customs but Girl....if you wanna keep the you beeter let him know that YOU KNOW how great you are.

    Have a good one!! and YES! come to America. You can stay here and teach me all about soccer.

  2. Maybe you need as little luck, or maybe you just need to live for the moment.

    The compliments with which I liberally pepper your comment board aren't meant to be taken lightly... when I say that I'd love you for myself, what I'm really saying is that I'd love a woman who thinks, and talks, and writes just like you do. And I'm a man known for my exemplary taste.

  3. Known for your exemplary taste is good, although you do, like I, seem to attract a fair share of mentalists...

    I will come to the US soon, I haven't been there for ages! Am hoping to do East and West coast both, but that's maybe a little much to hope for.


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