Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Heroine Goes To The Movies: The Perfect Getaway

Saw The Perfect Getaway this weekend with BMT. You guys, it was THE BEST!

It's impossible for someone of my poor skill to write about without spoiling. I feel comfortable saying just a few things. For those of you who don't know, it's a thriller starring Steve Zahn (love him!), Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Marley Shelton and some other young actors I don't recognize. Zahn and Jovovich play one of three couples who meet while hiking to a remote beach in Hawaii. On their way to the beach, the couples learn from other hikers that a pair of newlyweds has been murdered in Oahu, and police believe the killers are a couple, and that they've escaped to the national park where all our characters now find themselves. Awesomeness ensues.

First. It's not a slasher flick, so don't worry that I'm trying to convince you to see Friday the 13th or anything. There is remarkably little violence, and I say that having a weak tummy for movie gore. The whole movie is based on tension. But the source of the tension is one of my favorite literary tropes: cognitive dissonance. It's like a cinematic Benito Cereno*! The movie's greatness lies in the way it makes you uncomfortable with the delta between what you expect the characters to do based on your assumptions about them, and what they actually do. "Why does everything seem a little off?" is the question which pricks you the entire time.

Second, it's got a sense of humor about being a thriller, which makes it entertainingly meta. Zahn and Olyphant spend almost the entire film talking about how to write a great action screenplay, a conversation through which the movie tells you that it knows what you expect to happen, and then it (awesomely) both gives you what you expect, and it doesn't. I knew these conversations were clues, and I STILL couldn't anticipate the next scene.

Oh, it's SO GOOD, but beyond what I've written I can't go without spoilers. I definitely give it Our Heroine's Lace Handerchief of Approval, though in the interest of full disclosure, BMT would only go so far as to describe it as "good," not as far as, "the best film so far of 2009" which is how I described it. Make of that what you will.

The trailer, you guys:

* Hollywood, take a memo: Our Heroine, has always, always, thought Benito Cereno would make a FANTASTIC, murky period thriller.

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