In My Queue – ‘The Notebook’ and ‘Wristcutters’

31 Mar

Today I’d like to start a new feature here on Scene Now, called In My Queue (yes, I’m a Beach Boys fan; could you tell?:)).

I’m a Netflix subscriber so I thought I’d tell y’all what’s on my queue and what I’ve been watching.

Last week I rented “The Notebook.” Ohh, bad choice for me. I’ve heard so many people say they love this movie, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Basically the story follows Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams), a young couple with a couple of hurdles to overcome.

It wasn’t a bad movie at all  — in fact, it was beautifully made. I just wasn’t sure why I should care about Noah and Allie. Didn’t care about them in the beginning, didn’t care about them in the end (I know, it’s like I have no heart, right?). There were some really romantic scenes, but everything felt fast for me. Maybe I need to read the book?

Which brings me to this week’s selection, “Wristcutters: A Love Story.”

I noticed in the trailer for “Wristcutters” that a reviewer said something like, “this is one you’ve never seen before.” And that’s so true. I saw another reviewer called it “‘Wizard of Oz’ for suicidals,” and that’s a good way to describe this film.

After Zia (Patrick Fugit) kills himself, he’s send to this kind of afterlife populated by people who have committed suicide. He learns the girl he killed himself for has killed herself, too, so he sets out with his buddy Eugene (Shea Whigham) to find her. I’ll be vague and say hilarity ensues. Shannyn Sossamon, Tom Waits and Will Arnett also star.

This is a movie you’ve got to have a morbid sense of humor for – it’s not described as a “black comedy” for nothing (think “Heathers”-esque). You’ve got to be able to find the satire in all of the suicide, you know? And there are a lot of nice touches – for example, the soundtrack features artists who’ve killed themselves, like Del Shannon and Ian Curtis.

I had a few problems with the movie, but at the same time, I’m not sure I could really justify them – I mean, there really hasn’t been a movie like this, so can I really complain about a few silly plot points?

But here is why I am writing about both “The Notebook” and “Wristcutters” – whereas I didn’t care much about the couple in “The Notebook,” I cared a lot about the folks in “Wristcutters.” I felt like I didn’t learn enough about Noah and Allie to care whether or not they ever worked out their relationship in “The Notebook.” Yet, I really didn’t learn much about Zia before he went on his journey, yet I cared a lot about how he ended up. Maybe I just identified with him and the other characters more.

Too, I liked the premise of “Wristcutters” better than “The Notebook.” I’d heard “The Notebook” was a tearjerker, so anytime I feel like I’m being bullied into crying/feeling for a character, I’m immediately turned off.

So I enjoyed “Wristcutters” way more than I did “The Notebook.” “Wristcutters” isn’t for everybody – again, you have to have a morbid sense of humor to really find it funny. Again, though, this isn’t to say “The Notebook” is a bad movie – I’m just not one for tearjerkers. But if you love them, you’d love “The Notebook.”

Here’s the “Wristcutters” trailer:

Other recent things I’ve seen via Netflix were “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset.” You’ve probably seen these already, or at least the first one, in which Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are 20-somethings touring Europe together and they fall in love in the course of about a day. Both the original and the sequel had problems, but I enjoyed them both. I about threw a fit at the end of the second one, but I understood it, too. I won’t say more so I won’t ruin it.:)

For some reason I’ve been on a big romantic movie kick lately. Next week, though, I’m getting “Fido,” which is certainly not a romance! Can’t wait to see that one – and tell y’all about it. 🙂

To see what’s available to rent tomorrow, check out our dear Melanie’s blog – Oxford Film Freak.

Talk back – what have you rented lately that you loved or hated? What are you excited about renting?

3 Responses to “In My Queue – ‘The Notebook’ and ‘Wristcutters’”

  1. oxfordfilmfreak March 31, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    Oh My. I love Wristcutters. Sincerely, I saw that film over a year ago now and I still obsess about it when I drop things under the passenger seat of my car. Such a great film and a great short story!

  2. Alan April 1, 2008 at 6:18 am #

    Cool feature Sheena. I missed it in the theater, but I would like to see Will Smith in I Am Legend. I was watching TV this weekend and saw Tom Hanks in Castaway and got me thinking about it.

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    […] out this cool new feature at the Scene blog from Sheena Barnett where she reviews rentals she loved or thought was a waste of […]

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