Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-four - I'm Reed Fish, "but who cares, really?"

Okay, so I was mining the Suggestions Queue for quirky romantic comedies and happened upon a films I'd never heard of before called I'm Reed Fish. I probably wouldn't have watched it purely for Jay Baruchel as, not that I hate the guy, but his attempts at leading man material the past few years have been a bit disappointing (see: The Sorcerer's Apprentice and She's Out of My League). Honestly, the only thing I have truly enjoyed from him in recent memory was How to Train Your Dragon.

That being said, what hooked me was the fact that sharing the lead with him, supposedly, was Alexis Bledel. As a card carrying fanboy of Gilmore Girls, I was instantly sold... then I found out she's not so much a co-lead as supporting love interest.

Curse you, Movie Posters and your lying ways!

You see, the film is about Jay's main character, the eponymous Reed Fish, and how his life is supposedly thrown into turmoil when his childhood best friend/soul mate (who is NOT Alexis Bledel) returns to their small town and throws his heart out of whack. Reed is already engaged and about to be married (yes, TO Alexis Bledel), but he very obviously has cold feet and they argue about the most mundane things... like asparagus.

Anyways, long story spoilerifically short, Reed manages to alienate both the women in his life and pretty much ends up the butt of all the anger in his town as folks are jealous and gleefully wrathful that he seemingly had it all with one gal... then ruined it attempting (and failing) to get the other.

On top of that, there's this whole undercurrent of "living up to one's father" but that angle is corrupted by the fact that Reed's father killed himself, his wife, and his son's fiance's mother in a drunk driving collision... and Reed is trying to emulate him for some reason? Wha-huh?

But, wait! There's more!

About a half an hour into the picture, we're treated to the revelation that we're not actually watching Reed Fish's fall from grace... we're watching a movie WITHIN a movie about Reed Fish's yadda, yadda, yadda, and not only are Alexis Bledel and Schuyler Fisk (odd name, cute actress) actors in the meta-film, you're not sure until the end which one of them is playing the fake version of the "real life" mysterious girl whom Reed invited to the screening... the woman he REALLY loves.

The premise, itself, is one giant tease that awkwardly provides the framework for a long series of shots of Jay Baruchel looking depressed or goofy or mildly annoyed with his character's small town life. To be honest, it mostly leaves me cold and I find myself disappointed overall.

With that in mind, I do want to point out the good bits. Katey Sagal does well in her maternal role as the mayor, Maureen, though there really isn't enough of her for it to help the overall film... and I'm always happy to see DJ Qualls get work, even if he has the range of a thimble.

On the whole, though, I think the film is too scattered and awkward to be much of anything quality and its advertising (the blue poster that is on Netflix) is deceptive. It really felt like a waste of time.

I would almost say it was an admirable failure, as the meta device of the movie screening is an interesting concept, but it was so shoddily executed that it actually lost points for the film. Props for the attempt, at least, though.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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