Sullivan’s Travels

July 13, 2006

Hollywood seems to like movies about movies.  I don’t know why, but somehow Adaptation was well recieved at the Oscars.  But what is this movie, really?  A comedy?  A drama?  A social commentary?  How about if we just call it a big pile of steaming poo.

From the first scene I knew I wouldn’t like the movie.  A bunch of old men talking in an office about how in order to make “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” one must go out and find “trouble” (as if trouble was a place or state of being).  The lead, Sullivan is wearing pants up to his chest with his tie tucked into them.  It repulsed me to see fashion being abused in such a way, with no purpose in the movie for it.

When they started off in the bus following Sullivan I thought it was a bit similar to Domino.  But I don’t think people have a special spot in their heart for watching the realities of the underprivileged or “troubled”.  People watch reality TV all the time for the rich and famous, the glamourous, the extraordinary and the everyday, from kitchens to islands.  What makes something interesting is that there are interesting people involved.  Tyra Banks doesn’t cast girls because they are beautiful, she casts them because they are religious freaks, have weird illnesses and disorders, are complete bitches or piss themselves while wearing a diaper on TV.

Then the movie goes into an absurd chase scene with fastmotion speed similar to those Benny Hill shows where he gets chased around with women.  Again, is this a comedy, drama, wtf?

The movie picks up when Veronica Lake enters the scene.  Her cool but girly voice and beauty make the film watchable.  However, her character is poorly developed.  They don’t even give her a name, she is just “The girl”.  She seems a contradiction, as she has not enough money for food and a place to stay, but when offered the use of a rich person’s house for a few weeks, she says she wants to go out with a guy she just met and find “trouble”.  First off, I think this girl would already know what hardship is like, and secondly if she liked the guy enough she would have been content to wait at his house a couple weeks.

Fake sneezes- bad in movies.  Always bad.  Stop putting them in movies, please.  They’re bad in every single movie where an actor pretends to sneeze.  Thank you.

Anyhow, they go off and live like bums for a few days, and we see a nice little montage with happy music as they play off some cute little physical comedy like itching bedbugs.  But don’t give money to poor people, because they will just mug you anyway.  Poor people aren’t really people, they’re just like extras in a movie.  So much for social commentary.

So in the last part where he really is in “trouble” because he hit a guy in the head, he is immediately release when they find out he’s some big name director.  So even though I know the moral they’re trying to push in this movie is “The world needs comedy because film should be an escape for those less fortunate”, the moral I got out of it was “If you have money you can buy yourself out of a 6-year prison sentence”.  I think the latter is more true anyway, since I don’t really like comedies.  When I want escapism I go for a good sci-fi or action flick. 


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