Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Strangers in Good Company - movie

Ok, I probably shouldn't post this, in the chance that one of my friends might see this and tease me about renting a "chick flick" - but I don't care. It was a good movie. (And to be fair, I would fully accept the teasing - time to man up ;)

So, this movie came up as a netflix recommendation. I have watched so many independent and foreign films that I never know what netflix will recommend to me. (I would imagine I'm a real pain to the netflix algorithms because my movie tastes are so varied).
If you're a guy, and reading this, you can stop now, and go watch a baseball game, or some other manly cliché. But, if you don't care what other people think, and would like to see a good movie - OR maybe gain points with your lady next time you have to rent a movie together ;)
Ok, moving on...
This was a strange movie, I will admit. It's called Strangers in Good Company (imdb). It's not a complicated movie to review actually as the storyline is straightforward. A bunch of elderly women (in their 70's and 80's) are on a bus trip out in the country, when the bus breaks down. The women find an abandoned house and decide to take refuge there until (hopefully) someone finds them. Ok, I should fess up... I missed the first 5 minutes of the movie! I put it on, and pushed play, thinking I had time to take my dinner dishes out to the kitchen, then I got sidetracked putting away some leftovers, and by the time I came back in, I missed the part about the bus breaking down! I never went back to rewind it, cause it didn't seem important to me at the time. Oh well.
So anyway, these women, using their wits and skills learned over a lifetime, try to survive on their own. In a way, it's a sad movie. There is a lot of talk of death and dying, and reminiscing. But at the same time, you tend to feel happy for them for living a full life and having these stories to tell. Imdb uses the word Melancholy, and I suppose that fits well. It's certainly not an action adventure movie at all, but it was entertaining. A sort of raw look at the human spirit, and the frailty of getting old. Now, here's the strange part... None of the women in this movie were professional actresses, and apparently there was no official script. So the dialog is free flowing and awkward at times, just like in real life.
The cinematography was very well done too. It was filmed in Canada, and some of the scenes were just so peaceful.
My biggest complaint... Some scenes were - shall we say - altered to keep the movie progressing. One example, two of the women try to set up a makeshift fishing net, using a pair of pantyhose. Later, they hold up a string of large fish caught in this "net" - I'm sorry, as someone who has fished before, there is NO WAY this contraption would ever catch a fish larger than a minnow. It was obvious they added this into the movie, and it really bothered me.
If you're looking for one of those movies that probably only 5 other people have ever seen, then go rent this one. It's a gem, in spite of some rough edges.

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