Everything's Gone Green posterEverything’s Gone Green
I used to love Douglas Coupland’s books, lu-huh-va-hah. I’ve passed the house’s “#1 Coupland fan” badge to John now but I still like some of his stuff, particularly his earlier books. He wrote the screenplay for Everything’s Gone Green and there are quite a number of Coup’ moments in the film – ones that just evoke the feeling of the books and things that seem to be directly borrowed from them.

Like in most of his (particularly later) books, the story of Everything’s Gone Green isn’t the best feature (it’s rather cliche in fact – nice boy gets seduced by the dark side but gives up the evil power for a girl) but the telling is great. Humorous scripting, fun characters and random asides that work well.

The photographs and colour tone of the film, along with the indie soundtrack, also help to create a wonderful texture – and we really, really want to go to Vancouver now.

The Big Bad Swim
A random choice but one that paid off. An offbeat – I’m hesitant to call it a comedy but for want of a better word – comedy about a group of people learning to swim and their depressed swimming instructor. No one shoots anyone, nothing explodes and no one uses semen for hair gel – just a well observed piece with interesting characters and a tiny little dog called Danger (Carla’s new nickname).

The scenes between Paget Brewster and Jess Weixler were superb – the scene where they’re drinking wine in a living room felt so natural and the chemistry between them was amazing. I also liked Paget’s character Amy’s relationship with the “astronaut” – I liked how he was good looking but in a normal, non-Hollywood way.

The film wasn’t perfect – I felt the background swimmers weren’t drawn out enough for us to become involved with them but the bits of their stories that we did see interfered with the telling of the rest – but all in all, it was enjoyable.

Stranger than Fiction
Awful title. AWFUL. And starring Will Ferrell. But I’d heard things about it – although I couldn’t remember what they were – and the story sounded fun so we gave it a try.

…And it was surprisingly good. Beautiful graphics at the start and I thought the character played by Maggie Gyllenhaal (who I increasingly admire the more I see and hear about her) was great – an intelligent, creative and driven woman, trying to change the world one cookie at a time. I also thought Emma Thompson did a great job – it’s ages since I’ve seen her in anything and I want to dig out her other (non-period) stuff now. Will Ferrell did a good job too but at the end of the day, it was still Will Ferrell – and Dustin Hoffman seemed rather I Heart Huckabees.

Elements of the film – such as the obsession with numbers and the observations of minutae – reminded us of a book called Mr Phillips by John Lanchester, which I found a few years ago and got John to read recently. We enjoyed the book so didn’t have a problem with the similarities but I guess John Lanchester might feel otherwise… :)