Essay #2 (still keeping it light): Benjamin Button and Forrest Gump
Continuing with my essays thematically, these two movies are the same play with a different cast. Evidence!:
1. Nothing makes a kid with a weird (yet sympathetic) disability need a dad less than a strong southern mom with a catch phrase (life is like a box of chocol*2&$%/Ya never know what’s comin’)!
2. Nothing makes you into a man like a good war!
3. Nothing makes a good war like a foul mouthed, sea-faring older commanding officer/drunk who will teach you how to curse and screw women.
4. Nothing makes a better friend than a black guy who talks weird. As long as he doesn’t stick around too long.
5. Nothing makes a better life crush than a blonde girl with high-minded ideals who treats you like shit most of your life then finally settles and ends up with you.
6. Nothing lets the audience know they’re seeing something meaningful more than some bullshit CGI feather/hummingbird floating in on cue.
7. Both are long. Button gets younger, Gump gets smarter; you get older and dumber.
8. Both end with montage-y fanfare involving a child. Gump with Haley-Joel Osment and Button played by the next Haley-Joel Osment.
9. Both main characters never do anything. They just ride a historical tide.
10. Both movies were WRITTEN BY THE SAME GUY.
And the letter (back by popular demand).
The outdoor shower: sorry neighbor! (and by sorry I mean your welcome)
Essay #1: Arrested Development and The Godfather
These two wonderful works of screen art are each other’s comic/dramatic yin and yang. Perhaps their paradigm was birthed by Joseph Campbell. Evidence!:
1. The protagonist in each is the second oldest of four siblings (3 boys, one girl). He is named Michael. He is the most capable and, despite his desire to escape his family, ends up leading them into illegal forays when the patriarch is neutralized (jail/attempted assassination). Despite being continually drawn in by the family to serve as their savior, both Michael’s want their children to lead better, cleaner, more moral lives.
2. Michael(s) older sibling is a hot headed idiot (Sonny/Gob). Let’s call him James Caan Arnett. JCA is quick to lose his temper and even quicker to hop in the sack with most ladies. He should be leading the family by rights but is ineffective/dead.
3. Michael(s) younger brother is basically retarded (Fredo/Buster). Both stick close to home, have their behavior greatly influenced by Michael, and end up with wounded women who drink a lot and that they cannot please (that drunk blonde/Liza Minnelli).
4. Michael(s) has a really shallow, materialistic, wounded sister they must care for. The sisters end up with dipshit men who depend on them for money, that they can boss around and that are probably gay (that Marlboro man/Tobias Funke).
5. Both families are headed by corrupt fathers who talk a lot about caring for their families but are sociopaths. Magnetic, charismatic sociopaths.
The mothers of the families diverge in their roles but maybe that’s because of the era the two were filmed in. You’ve come a long way baby!