MMI: Jeff, Who Lives at Home
The movie is named after Jeff. And we follow his quest for purpose. But Jeff’s story is, fittingly, I guess, entwined with that of his brother: Pat. Pat is a huge bitch. The definition of “bitch”, in this case, is someone who is too afraid to take responsibility for his or her own situation and is incapable of engaging in direct, honest conversation. Basically, we’re talking about someone who is insecure. Which is why we spend a majority of the film watching Pat scream and shout at his wife and at Jeff. He feels so weak he has to lord power over those closest to him. This is also why he buys a porsche. And it’s also why he wrecks his porsche. His insecurity and bitchiness is so severe, has such an intense gravity the entire narrative ends up revolving around Pat and his insecurities.
I thought Ed Helms did a great job. But these are the hardest movies for me to watch, when a character like this is a MAIN character. I don’t care what happens to a whiney, self-involved asshole who is angry and doesn’t know how to deal with it so is just mean. I mean, is it an accurate portrayal of a real person that exists? Yes. I’m sure every person who watches this movie has had a manager who looks like and acts like Pat. Is Pat sort of redeemed? Kind of. I think the film does a good job of incorporating Pat into the theme of the movie: every character has something that’s missing (like in the Wizard of Oz). Pat is missing some very important “anti-chach” cream. Do I care that he finds it? No. But as big of a bitch as Pat is, he is still way less of a bitch than George Valentin, the most overrated, most pathetic character film has ever seen.
Cinema Beans: Bachelorette
There are actually quite a few bitches in Bachelorette, but Kirsten Dunst's Regan tops them all. Extending the conventional idea of gluttony beyond food and drink into pure selfishness, director and writer Leslye Headland pens a character so smug and self-consumed that she literally relishes in the prospect of her best friend's unhappiness during her own wedding. It’s an entirely unique, psychological take on gluttony, as she just takes takes takes. Regan, of course, gets what she has coming to her, but not before dishing out some serious dirt and upending some lives along the way. James Berardinelli used some of the precious space in his transparent review to compare Regan with Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter. For once, I agree the damn guy.