Fellow Movie Lovers
Not every movie experience should resonate with the profound and phenomenal; some should just look good and simply entertain at the superficial level. “Chloe” fits into the latter! Loosely based on the 2003 French film “Natalie” which seemed more plausible, and depicts the simple scenario of a gorgeous, fortyish Doctor (Julianne Moore) who suspects her equally charismatic Professor husband (Liam Nesson) of having sexual proclivities beyond the marriage boundaries. So instead of hiring a private detective with a state of the art camera she procures the services of a young, magnificent professional, Chloe (dangerously, beautifully portrayed by Amanda Seyfried, a quarry leap from the ingénue in Mamma Mia); tantamount to placing Dracula in a blood bank!
Visually the movie is polished to a fine veneer; every frame glows flawlessly. The actors rise to the level they were given, somewhat higher than a puddle but boots are not required. Enough sexual titillation to prevent napping and a rather sensational climax.
It will fare better on Netflix in the comfort of your home, in the room of your choice.
Another single title that was billed and drilled by many critics to flirt with the profound, but alas, this critic went with great expectations only to be sadly disillusioned with this, at best, sophomoric depiction of a pathetic forty year old searching for the essence of life and love in all the wrong places.
Ben Stiller (who might eventually actualize his potential) plays Roger Greenberg, fresh from a mental institution, recovering at his absent brother’s home in Los Angles. In one of the first scenes he claims his lack of Jewishness, because his mother is of Italian descent; lost on many, but delectable fodder for the neuroses of Woody Allen and the Coen brothers.
Greenberg establishes a tenuous relationship with Florence Marr (Greta Gerwig) the housekeeper and dog walker. Mahler, the dog, has the most intriguing role in the film and is the emotional catalyst for the bonding of Roger and Florence. Gerwig is interesting to look at but her diction replicates someone on life support or drugs. She is a talented 26-year old filmmaker and screenwriter and worth watching as a flowering actor.
Viewing this film and listening to the droning monologues as Greenberg (who has most likely spent thousands on physiatrists’) tries to convince himself and the world that he is on the road to recovery by doing nothing; he cannot even complete the doghouse for the deserving Mahler; wondering if this is a generational dilemma but subsequently reminding myself of all the accomplished forty year old adults I am privileged to know.
A shimmer of substance are the letters Greenberg composes and submits to the New York Times; they spark of intelligence and complacent ingenuity.
Greenberg’s only salvation lies in finding a job, at minimum wage and realizing that only by Doing can one Become…
Those who loved “A Serious Man” might find something endearing in a less serious boy!
ALMOST TWO STARS! (OUT OF FIVE)