Up in the Air
6/10 (unfulfilled potential in its search for inoffensiveness; shameless advertising for the worst airline in the world)
This was a good movie, and refreshing considering most of the idiotic “rom-com” fare that we waste millions of dollars on as a species. I only went to see it because I had been assured from various sources that it wasn’t overly cheesy. It didn’t disappoint in that respect.
Besides the annoyance of having to suffer through one long American Airlines advertisement, my only gripe with the movie is a personal preference (but then again this is my own website so I don’t need to apologize for shite): The movie really missed the boat on a fascinating subject by glossing over the absurdity of Clooney’s job in the first place. He is employed to fire people. I’ll put that another way: he is employed solely to tell people they are no longer employed. Does that not sound completely insane to anyone else? I understand that this was not the main thrust of the film, but just by addressing the subject for a couple of minutes instead of paying snarky lip service to the phenomenon with a few lines, the movie could have been significantly better.
What’s more, there was the doubly-absurd insanity of “revolutionizing” the industry to fire people by internet. Granted, there was a subtext throughout the movie on the dangers of losing traditional human contact: Clooney not having an official “home,” the girl´s boyfriend breaking up with her by text, missed connections, etc. But this issue of the breakdown of human communication and contact is an important phenomenon that deserves to be addressed more head-on in a movie that has already proven its intelligence. There was a huge gaping hole in the film that could have been filled with such existentialist observations. What better chance to address this than when she fires her first guy by internet and he storms out of the room? How hard would it have been for him to notice the same woman that had just fired him sitting in the very next room? This could have gone in any number of directions, all of them equally worthwhile. Instead, all we got was Clooney worrying about having to change his traveling lifestyle. Lame.
17 March 2010