Amazon Holiday

Monday, January 19, 2009

Medicine for Melancholy

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: After waking up from a one night stand, two Black people with nothing in common besides the shade of their skin, spend a day together trying to get closer, despite that fact that the woman has a white boyfriend, who's away on a business trip.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketStop! Imagine if Before Sunrise took place in San Francisco, and had hardly any dialogue. Yes, this is a movie about two people talking, that has almost no words.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: The woman's emotional arc might. Let me paint you a picture. When she wakes up next to him she seems deeply annoyed, and yet she agrees to go to coffee with him. When he shows up at her house with the wallet she left in the cab, she seems deeply annoyed, and yet she lets him come in for a drink. When he won't leave the house (which she tells him belongs to her boyfriend), she seems deeply annoyed, and yet she agrees to spend the rest of the day with him... Not only that, she starts to smile and laugh at his lame attempts at humor. Then out of nowhere she angrily snaps at him, "This is just a one night stand!" Which is obviously followed immediately by playfully running around San Francisco and taking a ride on a Merry-Go-Round. Although it was never mentioned that she might have a mental disorder, I have to imagine her psychosis is the reason for the "medicine" mentioned in the title.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Yes!... Oh, no, wait. I was just having a bout of dyslexia and I thought the question said, "Will this movie make me cyr?" Hold on a minute, it doesn't make you cyr either.  That's southern for "care."  It's true, ask anyone from the south. (Disclaimer: I've never met or spoken to anyone from the south.)

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It's nominated for 3 Independent Spirit Awards-- which is a dead giveaway that the movie will be esoteric and make you feel very sleepy.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: I find Wyatt Cenac to be a little too understated for my taste, both here and on The Daily Show. But he's also specific enough in that thing he does that his whole acting style could catch on as a hip joint.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Disjointed and non-sequitur are two words that come to mind. I would like to mention the cinematography, too, which was one of the only interesting aspects of the film. They shot in 97% color, so it looks like they shot on colored film and then developed it in black & white. I thought it was a pretty cool effect until I found out (during a Q & A with the director of photography) that this look was only chosen because they couldn't figure out another way to light the Black actors without making their skin look chalky.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: It's supposed to be about the growing socio-economic divide occurring in San Francisco as the poor get pushed out due to gentrification. It's not... But there is a random scene where we see a group of concerned citizens, who have nothing to do with the rest of the film, discussing those ever-so-timely Propositions 98 and 99 from last June's California ballot. In case you didn't get the memo, they were about getting rid of Rent Control and they didn't pass.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: The filmmakers clearly know a lot of aspiring Indie Rock musicians, and they put all of their music in the film. So the soundtrack is pretty good if you like that sort of white boy independent stuff. That said, I'm not sure it went well with the characters in this story who are constantly discussing the Black man's place in this city.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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grotto said...

I love the format of your reviews. A lot of info is provided with a minimum of words.

Monique Elisabeth said...

Thank you! Come again!