Jason Reitman is so hot right now he’s on fire. He directed Thank You for Smoking and Juno, both of which I absolutely adored, and he’s impressed me again with Up in the Air. I loved this film. The dialogue and nuances were perfect. Being an organization freak, I was all into the montage at the beginning where George Clooney’s character, Ryan, is going through airport security. He snaps his luggage around like the professional traveler he is. What intrigued me most about the film (other than a major twist I did not see coming at all, except that the girl sitting behind me loudly whispered to her friend that it was about to happen which, of course, totally ruined it for me, but it was still so good I almost didn’t care) is this: I can’t decide if the ending is depressing or uplifting.
We all like a happy ending. Isn’t that one reason we read books and watch movies, to come away from our escape with a positive feeling about our real lives? The thing is, some of my favorite movies are depressing. Like, really depressing. We’re talking About Schmidt depressing. I just love that movie so much. Why? Because it’s amazingly realistic. It shows the ugly details of our lives in a way most movies won’t even touch. That’s why I also have love for American Beauty, Closer, Year of the Dog, The Shape of Things, and especially The Safety of Objects. Maybe it’s because I prefer movies and books that feel completely real. In a lot of ways, I feel a greater connection with depressing movies than uplifting ones. Although I also love movies with happy endings because they’re like instant mood improvers, I despise the big Hollywood ending where everything is outrageously wrapped up in a big red bow in the last five minutes. But a happy ending that makes sense and feels real? Awesome.
Now it’s Coffee Talk time. Think about your favorite movies. Are most of them depressing or uplifting? Why do you think that is? Discuss amongst yourselves.