Just when you think it's safe to say a movie looks awesome, someone goes and tells you Paul Haggis had a hand in writing it.
Well, maybe if Casino Royale is good, Haggis can redeem himself for Crash in my eyes. I enjoyed Million Dollar Baby well enough, before the ponderous self-seriousness of Crash sullied it in hindsight. And Haggis created Walker, Texas Ranger, so surely he's got a solid action movie in him, right?
On the other hand, after The Last Kiss, Haggis has a lot more to answer for. Inexplicably, it's picked up some good reviews, but the trailer suggests a movie that's thoroughly intolerable. Why do the girls Zach Braff is torn between have to look practically the same? And why does one of them have to look like Rachel Weiss, which adds to the confusion even more? Why does Braff's voice-over tease us by mentioning a Scrubs-esque fantasy featuring Hulk Hogan if we're not going to cut to that very fantasy, Scrubs-style?
But these are minor annoyances. The biggest piece of bullshit in the trailer is when the girl from The O.C. says something like, "Nowadays life moves so fast, we freak out way before our parents did... because we don't have time to feel." Has a movie ever offered a supposedly profound line that was so obviously wrong in so many ways? The problem experienced by Zack Braff's character, as well as any angsty thirty year old who might relate to him, is precisely that life moves so slowly that there is too much time to feel. You have option paralysis because of your crushing freedom and surfeit of opportunity. Don't compare yourselves to your parents, you thirty-year-old whiners. They were on their third kid by the time they were your age, probably paying down a mortgage and juggling way too much responsibility to mope around wondering how they really feel about feelings. Only the current generation, with its celebration of prolonged adolescence, helped along by enablers like this movie, has the luxury of spending so much time feeling that the self-absorbed anxiety of the teen years can last forever. Shut the fuck up, Girl From The O.C. Maybe that line would be okay if it were in a comedy trailer, and right afterwards we saw a reaction where Zach Braff looks at her like she's a retard, but the soulful music here suggests we ought to take her observation seriously.
The only line in the trailer that makes any sense is when Tom Wilkinson is telling someone, presumably Braff again, that his feelings don't matter to anyone and he should get over himself and treat people right. I don't know whose side the movie takes, but I do know Tom Wilkinson always plays a jerk, so there is that to consider. Even if these views are treated with equal validity, that is giving way too much credit to O.C. Girl.
Now, I'm not saying I'm not a pathetic overgrown child who's terrified of growing up myself. Such is the curse of our generation, and there are other, legitimate reasons why being "an adult" is a scary idea for us. But I'm not going to ask for your pity over it, and I'm sure as hell not going to blame it on life moving too fast for me to feel.
Paul Haggis, Casino Royale better be every bit as awesome as its trailer. I'm just saying.