Monday, 16 June 2014

Film review: L.A. Without a Map (1998)

This... this. I don't know how to properly describe how happy this made me. Not just because David Tennant and Johnny Depp are some of the sexiest people alive and they're both in this, or because it's directed by a Finnish guy (not that I'd be nationalistic at all; it's just kinda funny), but because it simply has such a plot that oozes warmth.

I mean, the first half is literally some of the best-made light romantic comedy stuff ever in any film, and then it gets pretty depressing in a really subtle tumble of sorts, which is pulled of awesomely. That Moss dude made me think of Jesse Pinkman, although he never said "bitch" and he didn't cook meth. Or do anything else, really, besides being unbelievably chill and saying "yo" more often than the word "fuck" is said in The Wolf of Wall Street... but for some reason, I chuckled at the thought that there was some similarity. I don't know, I find similarities in places where none exist sometimes. :P

Anyway, I'm still trying to hold myself over how absolutely unbelievable it is that David Tennant and Johnny Depp were in a film together, and so long ago of all things! It's like, I literally came across this film because I thought of them having sex together while I was chatting with a certain person about actors and stuff, and then I decided to randomly google "David Tennant and Johnny Depp", and...

...well, you can imagine. ALL MY BONERS, and so on (no, I didn't actually get a boner, but...) I'm not trying to sound incredibly creepy here or anything, it's just that they're both really, really great actors and and good-looking, and even though Johnny Depp wasn't in a big role in this (in terms of screentime, at least), he was awesome and the film wouldn't have been the same without him.

I could milk loads of interpretations out of this and find all kinds of deeper meanings and symbolism, but I'm fairly certain the start and end of all that, in actuality, is with the realisation that the sanity of a person talking to a poster of Johnny Depp would come under question in just about any other context. But it's never made a big deal out of, nor does there seem to be any concern over the potential mental health issues that the character Richard has aside from being called "degenerate" at one point and that thing at the party near the end. Or the fact that he literally moves halfway across the world to be with a woman he met at a graveyard.

...

I mean, the guy's pretty fucking nuts, right? But that doesn't matter, because he's in love, right? Right? Right.

No, but seriously. Those "right"s weren't sarcastic "right"s.

Of course, that could be just because it is a romantic comedy/drama film and not a psychological thriller or something. Even the tiniest changes in tone could've flipped this on its head and turned it into the latter, although subtly. As a matter of fact, the middle portion of the film does actually get pretty close to being not just depressing but also disturbing in a sort of fleeting cringy way.

Still, the tone is one of warm happiness and love of the most "vanilla" type you could possibly imagine, down to the problems that apparently every couple has for some weird reason that I'll never be able to understand. You know, like, jealousy and such. But yeah, it's a pretty awesome film and I'm sure I'll want to watch it again someday in the future. I'm gonna give it 92/100, because it got a little draggy at parts and could've expanded a lot to become interesting instead of entertaining and satisfying instead of pleasing; there were swings at subplots all over the place, but none of them seemed to go anywhere, which was pretty disappointing. Disregarding that, it's definitely one of those films that everyone should watch!

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