Film Friday: Good until it starts...

A few weeks back, I was watching one of my guilty pleasure movies... When Harry Met Sally.  I was doing it for the purpose of capturing some nifty photographs, but I got lost in the film.  I love this movie, and I was completely absorbed up until the point Harry and Sally hook up.

Wait?  You mean, you didn't realize they got together?  Come on.  It's a friggin' romantic comedy that's not directed by Woody Allen.  You have to know they're going to wind up snogging.  And by this time, there's no excuse for you having not seen the movie.  It's like being angry when I tell you that in The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis was a ghost all along...

The point here is,  I love When Harry Met Sally right up until the point where the movie starts to fulfill its purpose.  I would love that movie if it was just When Harry Met Sally and Then They Remain Friends.  It's a great movie... until all that romance starts. 

And then I started thinking about it.  Movies that I love up until they do what they're supposed to do.  And it seems to be a fairly common occurence with me.  I loved District 9... up until it turned into an action movie.  I loved Fight Club... except for the "Fight Club" scenes.  My favourite parts of Gladiator had very little to do with the gladiatorial arena (if the movie had been called Russell Crowe Goes to Rome for Three Hours, it'd still probably be on my top 50 list)  And I always love zombie movies... up until the last act, where there are "too many zombies". 

I know what it is, too.  All of these movies have a change of gear somewhere in the midpoint.  The film shifts, making a change in direction and genre, and for some reason, I always pick up on it.  It almost feels like I'm watching a new film somehow related to the first.  For example, through most of the movie, Harry and Sally are talking, enjoying their friendship and helping each other out through a rough period in their lives.  And I love that.  And then, while we know it's coming, they kiss, and the movie turns into a romantic comedy, whereas before it had been a comedy with some romantic overtones. 

Or in District 9 - we get a movie that is filmed like a documentary (and an allegory on Apartheid), and then, about halfway through, there's a giant robot in a slum blowing stuff up. 

And so it goes.  Fight Club changes from scathing observations on the modern American male into a "Crime is fun" show with a bit of a twist.  Gladiator becomes less of a showpiece on ancient Rome and more of a classical tragedy with some political machinations.  As for zombie movies - they build up on the isolation and loneliness, and establish that humanity is the real evil... and then this moral play breaks down about halfway through, and we see zombies tearing people apart.  Usually for at least half an hour.

My fix?  It's simple.  Watch a movie until it's halfway done, and then write my own ending.  That way, nobody gets hurt. 

So, have you seen this great new movie?  It's called The Sixth Sense.  I just watched it, and it turns out, this little kid can see ghosts, and then he gets eaten by wolves.  Oh.  And have you seen Planet of the Apes?  Turns out that the apes weren't on Earth all along... and they wind up eating that kid from The Sixth Sense.

I should make movies, man.

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