Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Future/Past of Hawaiian Airlines

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
directed by Nicholas Stoller
rating: 2 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

It isn't the improbability of K-Bell and Mila Kunis fighting over the half-assed "sensitive guy" (read "stay-at-home slob") ministrations of Jason Segel. Movies are fantasies, I get that, and there seems to be more than enough goodwill in the Apatow tent to let me be unexpectedly charmed by Russell Brand for two hours (seriously). And you're right, what's wrong with watching beautiful people smile and be sweet in lovely Hawaii? Absolutely nothing. But for better or worse, Segel didn't write a comedy; he wrote a "serious relationship" movie with lots of funny parts, and everything that isn't funny in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is egotistical, unaware, and mean. For me, Segel's obliviousness to everything in women except the casting director's good call on physical grace and beauty is the film's bottom line. If I was Linda Cardellini, I would wonder how on earth I ever dated a guy that long who knew so little about me.

Riding Giants (2004)
directed by Stacy Peralta
rating: 3 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

So surely there's a backlash against the "tow-in" surfing style that Laird Hamilton embodies these days, right? The jet ski and rescue team, the helicopter crew and the noise? It seems antithetical to original loner Greg Noll, trolling Waimea Bay with his prison-stripe trunks for Point Break waves of the century. Peralta's film might be hagiographic, but it's also pretty genuine myth-making, which is a different beast. Myth-making inspires, which means Olympus belongs as much to the anonymous friend who thought to record Noll's early Hawaiian exploits on camera as the gods prevailing over their first 50-footer.