The Merry Gentleman

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Micheal Keaton has aged very well. He even seems taller than he used to be. He's in great physical shape, and for the first time in his life, can play sexy.

"The Merry Gentleman" hits a note that's hard to capture - its initial set up makes you think it will be a thriller, however it smoothly transitions into a character piece. There are devices and scenes that encourage the audience to find humor, without disrupting the overall dramatic tone.

I recently saw Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience" and I feel he tried to do a very similar thing, with just the opposite results. That film was so disjointed and meaningless, that I wasn't even inspired to write a review. But I digress...

The idea behind "The Merry Gentleman" came from a question: What’s worse, a good person who treats you badly, or a bad person who treats you with kindness?

Kelly MacDonald, plays Kate, whose lovely lilting Scottish accent and unassuming wholesome, beauty is just the combination that flawed men seem to find ever so appealing. She's on the run from her abusive cop husband (Bobby Canavale) She's the object of attention for a divorced, recovering alcoholic investigator (Tom Bastounes [and Producer]) and the savior and potential lover of a suicidal hitman(Keaton).

We know off the bat, that Keaton's character, Frank Logan is a cold killer and we aren't clued into much more than that about him, and yet somehow, Kate and Frank's slowly developing romance is very touching. She is unaware of his true profession, she seems to be drawn to his lonliness. His initial motives for seeking her out are left up to the audience. However, it becomes easy to understand why such a private man would allow her in.

Personally, it hit home because I've lead a very clean-cut, wholesome, uncomplicated life and I often wonder if I might find someone who looks at me as the antithesis of all he's been through and cherishes that fact. Although, I suppose that's just another way of saying good girls are always attracted to bad boys.

This film is Michael Keaton's directorial debut. He actually was only set to be the lead, until the writer/director, Ron Lazzeretti fell ill. In order to take advantage of the spring Chicago weather, Lazzeretti felt it was best not to hold up production.

I have a feeling most critics are going to say the movie feels long. And that they are going to complain that not enough background story is revealed or that the crime plot is too vague. I would agree, except that for me, if I feel entirely engaged and there's no obvious oversights, then it works!

Food Footnote: Twice Kate is taken to dinner by Bastounes' character and she leaves the restaurant before her entree arrives. I don't care how bad a date is going, I always remain for the meal!

Rating: Pretty Index Toe

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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