The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

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OMG I saw Up in the Air and… meh.

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 by billsimmon in filmmaking, movies | 6 Comments

Like Juno, Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine before it, Up in the Air is a fine, somewhat tepid little Hollywood film with an indy flare that will get the Academy’s panties all up in a bunch at Oscar time, and movie pundits will wonder aloud why more films can’t be made with “heart.” And people who don’t really see all that many films will gush at what an achievement it is, even though it’s really nothing all that special except insofar as it sort of barely subverts the most banal and obvious of romantic movie cliches.

Okay, perhaps that’s a bit harsh. I actually liked the film. But seriously, the critics need to get over themselves. This film is fine. It’s cute. Like the films mentioned above, it’s a comedy with a heart. It’s utterly unoffensive. Yawn.

Jason Reitman is only 32. With this, Thank You for Smoking and Juno under his belt already, I think his future is bright. I just wish he’d take a risk or two. I bet he’d be capable of something pretty great if he let himself try.



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  1. Amen, Bill. Amen. We might not agree about the brilliance of the National Treasure franchise, but I do agree that each one of those movies was more “meh” than the last. There’s plenty of great and popular films made with “heart” that aren’t overly self-indulgent precious twee-fests…Punch Drunk Love, Me & You & Everyone We Know, and Adventureland come to mind…

  2. On December 29, 2009, billsimmon said:

    Still haven’t seen Adventureland… gotta check that out. Re: the National Treasure thing: we caught part one on cable last night and I see the appeal, but it was like nails on a chalkboard for poor archeology student Emily. hee.

  3. On December 29, 2009, billsimmon said:

    …and we watched three episodes of COmmunity on NBC last night and that show actually says more interesting thing about human relationships than Up in the Air does — it’s funnier too.

  4. Yeah. Community is currently the best comedy on TV. And Troy and Abed are TVs cutest couple…

  5. Also…for the record, Adventureland isn’t as brilliant or interesting as Punch Drunk Love and Me & You & Everyone We Know…it’s just a solid comedy/drama with heart, in the Judd Apatow/Paul Feig mold, but a lil bit sadder…

  6. Advenurelabd is a perfect film — possibly the only true heir to Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    I almost walked out of Juno, but after 30 minutes it got… mildly enjoyable.

    I like Clooney, I love black comedies, the premise sounds intriguing, but Reitman is a poser. TYFNS was pretty fun, though, but mostly cuz of Eckhart’s performance.

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