Saturday, October 27, 2007

If you don't understand why it's funny that Prudence comes in through the bathroom window, this movie is a gigantic waste of your time

My sister and I saw Across the Universe last night. It was...uh...interesting. To say the least.

Of course, it's the musical that uses the Beatles catalog as its songbook. The plot itself is pretty throwaway, so the film has to sell you on its musical sequences. The ones that work are spectacular: "Revolution" becomes a snarled missive to self-righteous war protesters, and "With a Little Help From My Friends" is the perfect soundtrack for a montage of drunken college debauchery. The best, though, is a moment near the beginning of the film, when "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is turned into an unbearably sad and poignant expression of longing. Several of the other tunes are used to good effect, as well.

But when they don't work, it just gets silly. Bono and Eddie Izzard join the film about halfway through to pad the running time with utterly pointless (and boring) renditions of "I Am the Walrus" and "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", and a draft sequence set to "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" was working just fine without the absurdly heavy-handed symbolism grafted to the end. (Seriously: the draftees, still in their underwear, carrying the Statue of Liberty and moaning, "She's so heavy!")

I highly recommend the movie if you're a big Beatles fan, because it might help you through the movie's slower sections. Dr. Robert's psychedelic bus ride won't be any less childish and boring, but die-hards will at least understand why it's there. If you don't like the Beatles, I'd stay far away.

Call it ***.

Now playing: The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows
via FoxyTunes

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