23
Jan 09

My 10 Worst Films Of 2008: 1: The Good Night

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I didn’t walk out of the The Good Night because I fell asleep. HA HA – what an irony when the film itself is about sleeping! I did not fall asleep for very long, but I wish I had. You have probably already detected a theme in this list of the kind of films I particularly dislike. Yes rubbish action movies that turn out to be boring. But also middle-class indie smugfests where unlikeable people moan about their not very bad lives and do lots of stupid things. Well The Good Night, which should have been good, turns out to be the worst of these films. EVER.

It stars Martin Freeman in, what is hopefully, a movie career ending film. He plays an ex-minor indie star who is now “wasting his talents” writing jingles. He is miserably married to Gwenyth Paltrow who acts extremely well as a dissatisfied wife annoyed her mopy husband. Which considering Freeman’s main problem appears to be being stuck writing jingles makes her the most sympathetic person in the film because he is an absolute twat. Problem is the film doesn’t work if Gwyneth is sympathetic, because Freeman is going to start having an affair with a woman in his dreams: played by Penelope Cruz. Hence the name of the film, as Freeman explores the world of lucid dreaming with Danny DeVito as his teacher.

There is possibly a good film about lucid dreaming out there. Imagination can be stretched and some interesting special effects can be mined. The Good Night uses its premise to let Freeman shag Cruz, and that’s about it. Because then it turns out that Cruz is real, is an model Freeman saw in a poster, and he creepily tries to hook up with her. GUESS WHAT. She is not like his dream version at all. Freeman is disappointed BECAUSE HIS CHARACTER IS A TWAT. Repeat, fade to obvious TWIST ending.

So why is The Good Night the worst film of the year? Undeniably because it is quite dull, and you care for almost no-one in the film. Simon Pegg rocks up as Freeman’s obnoxious old bandmate, who actually is much nicer that bitter old Freeman. But even he is a wanker. Dream Cruz is a simpering sex object, real Cruz is a clichéd latin temptress (I fear this version of Cruz turns up in Vicky Christina Barcelona too). But there is the core of a good idea in The Good Night. What if your dream life is better than your real life. What if you can control your dreams? All are interesting questions completely squandered for a stab at a romantic tragedy. That well known successful genre. Freeman is apparently at his best playing everyman characters. There is nothing everyman about this whinger, and he drags the whole proceedings down. Couple that with seriously drab direction by writer, director and brother of one of the stars Jake Paltrow and you end up with a turkey. Indeed there is something rather odd about a brother trying to portray his sister and her failing marriage to a British popstar in such a bad way. Something which comes across in the film as an overall nastiness, which goes with the leads misanthropy.

None of this has got anything to do with the fact that I don’t dream, and therefore find people talking about their dreams super extra boring. Though I don’t and I do.

So there you go. My worst film. I’ll tell you my favourites in a months time I daresay. But in the meantime you can suggest films worse (yes Lennie, I know: The Happening) and maybe I’ll see the to put it to the test. Remember I saw The Love Guru and it just missed out on this list.

Comments

  1. 1
    Mark M on 23 Jan 2009 #

    I’ve never even heard of this! So it had a proper release and everything? Christ…

    Cruz in an English language movie is the Mark Of Doom (apparently her character in VCB is more batshit than sultry, but does that mean better?).

  2. 2
    Pete on 24 Jan 2009 #

    Out in January last year with a minor promotional push. Not sure which of my self destructive impulses led me to see it.

  3. 3
    Pete on 30 Jul 2010 #

    Inception made me think again of the awfulness of The Good Night. It almost made me glad to say I saw it so I could yet again say how poor it is. But I think I was right about it killing off Freeman’s movie career at least.

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