I hate stupid kids—especially when they unintentionally ruin the lives of Hollywood hotties. I became aware of this fact today when I went to three different movies, all somehow involving children whose necks you just wanted to wring.
The tragic events in Atonement, a sweeping period piece adapted from an Ian McEwan novel, are set in motion by a young girl who falsely accuses James McAvoy of a heinous crime. Look at that man! James McAvoy is incapable of evil. He has sunshine shooting out of every orifice of his body!
One of the many reasons I love James McAvoy is that he refuses to succumb to Hollywood pressure and has said that he will never whiten and fix his English teeth. In my fantasies he's a bit toothy, but you know what? Sometimes that's okay.
Atonement is a serviceable romantic epic, which suddenly layers itself during its final moments. It does, however, sag in the middle—the plodding WWII section (A-bore-ment, if you will) is kicked off by a long, indulgent tracking shot of a war-torn beach. Bitch, this ain't a DePalma movie! Just shoot those majestic vistas, and get on with it already! [SPOILER ALERT.] What "it" is, actually, is a story that is certainly the only work of art that features characters whose lives fall apart because of the word "cunt." I'm not kidding. [SPOILER ALERT OVER.] Keira Knightley sure does sweat and get wet a lot in it though, if you're into that kind of thing.
The only reason that Ethan Hawke agrees to participate in a jewelry heist that goes terribly, terribly wrong in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is because his daughter whines about wanting a $130 ticket to go see The Lion King. What's a hot dad to do? Embark on a life of crime, of course!
It's not as exciting as it sounds, as the movie unfolds in a series of flashbacks and time jumps that don't amount to much more than flashbacks and time jumps. Marisa Tomei sure does flounce her boobies around a lot in it though, if you're into that kind of thing.
When did Adrien Brody get to be so buff? Why haven't I charted the development of his physique over the years? What's wrong with me?!
Admittedly, the children who fall into a river and must be saved by the brothers in The Darjeeling Limited are not really that stupid, but I really wanted them to fit into the theme of this post, so work with me here, would you?
Adrien is most affected by the river incident, an incident that is meant to be the spiritual anchor in Wes Anderson's sort-of India road movie. No, I never have been a big Wes Anderson fan, and I never will be, but The Darjeeling Limited is amusing and often funny, as it grasps for spiritual significance where I suspect there is none (as in David O'Russell's I Heart Huckabees). No wet or naked chicks here—sorry.