Writing On Spec

An award caliber procrastinator discovers a new and dangerous pursuit to keep him from actually writing another script. Why another Blog? I love to talk screenwriting. I love to talk story. I live in Richmond, VA. It's almost easier to get produced than find another screenwriter here. We are the anti-LA.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Match Point Sucks

ok - that's just my opinion and i'm interested in hearing why you don't think it does. I want opinions from writers like me who should have something more than to say than "it was boring" (which it was - like watching paint peel under natural conditions).

First off - I'm not a Woody Allen hater. I actually own at least one of his films. So this is purely a discussion on the film as it stands.

My perspective:

1) Going off traditional advice to make the main character engaging. This one wasn't. He wasn't "good at what he does" because as a professional tennis player, he quit because he wasn't good enough. He wasn't funny. He wasn't doing anything "special" just a tennis pro. There was nothing supernatural involved. He had nothing or no-one to care for to show him as a concerned person or a person with a love of somebody/something. So right off, I could care less what happens with/to him.

2) There was a tension in the film like something was about to happen - it just never did. Or at least not in a satisfying way. It was completely predictable and very minor - very "every dayish" in nature. Almost like watching somebody's life go by - minute by minute.

3) The stakes were rarely raised during the story. What if he doesn't get the tennis pro job? He'll get another job. What if he doesn't meet the girl? Oh well... What if he doesn't marry her? Whatever... no consequences until the big P issue and then what happens is SO predictable and lame.

4) There was rarely *any* conflict at all in the whole film. Little bits here and there, but largely it was one slice of life scene after another.

5) Entertaining. I don't believe that this was really entertaining - although that really is subjective.

6) It doesn't pass the MC (friend of mine) test. If you came into this movie 30 minutes late, what would I have to tell you to catch you up? In this film, "he's a tennis pro dating that girl. Her family has a lot of money."

Your thoughts?


Blogger wcdixon said...

ouch...I'm almost afraid to comment - well, here goes nothing.

I enjoyed it because, for a change, pretty well all the characters were greedy, selfish, more concerned with lust than love, almost rotton. It was a dark drama about a variety of evil people engaged in a struggle for survival of the fittest -- or, as the movie made clear, the luckiest. It played around with a version the great cosmic joke: justice and fairness have nothing to do with where you end up — it’s all about the breaks.

And on that particular night(as in, on another night I might have popped out disc after 20 minutes and thrown in 'Underworld' or 'Predator' or 'Road Warrior'...again), I found it relatively engaging and then afterwards, found myself mulling some more about the movie's lack of moral qualms and how that relates to so much of life today. And then there's that saying... "I'd rather be lucky than good." Summed it up for me.

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 1:41:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

I didn't see all the lucky breaks in the movie. He appeared, to me, to be a character much like The Talented Mr. Ripley.

No luck. All intention.

The only thing I could imagine as being lucky was a thief picking up the ring, but I equated that to a bad toss. A plot device even.

I watched Hollywood Ending and enjoyed that immensely. So -- at least it's not Woody Allen, it's the film for me.

I'm guessing it's "artsy" which just annoys me. I'm one of "those" folks that prefers Art to be on a wall or in a book, but not on a silver screen. There - I'd like entertainment.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 1:02:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the movie...saw it a few months ago, so I can't really go into details. Regardless, one knows right off the bat if they enjoy a movie or not and I def. did.

- Allen

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 at 7:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just added you permanently to my Favorites folder based on the title of your post alone.

I'd consider myself only a mild fan of Allen's, and really only his older stuff at that. I hated - no, HATED - Match Point, though, for the reasons you state as well as these two:

The luck convention - fine, life is like this sometimes, based more on luck than justice or morality, but Allen hits this nail so many times throughout this movie that it becomes a blunt, lazy, narrative tool, not clever insight. He paints himself into story corners and then slips away under the "luck" excuse each time. I don't buy it. It's not ironic or insightful; it's just bad storytelling.

This movie's not at all sexy - for an affair-gone-wrong movie to really work, we need to truly understand the choices the characters make. Think of how hot and innovative Body Heat was or The Last Seduction. There's none of that here - a rain-sodden tryst in a nasty field of weeds? A hackneyed tear-the-clothes-in-passion, they're-arguing-then-they're-doing-it scene? Contrived and predictable. And it goes to show how far removed Allen's become from actual people and situations. And that he's creepy.

Anyway, those are my two bits. If anyone's interested, I've got a related rant about Allen's upcoming Scoop here http://burbanked.com/2006/06/07/you-must-choose--hollywoods-comic-existential-genius-or-a-little-girl-with-paegent-envy.aspx

Thursday, June 8, 2006 at 3:44:00 PM EDT  

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