Friday, May 13, 2011

Something Wild (1986)

Up-tight Charlie (Jeff Daniels) and free-spirit Lulu (Melanie Griffith) set out on a wild road trip that veers all over the map both geographically and emotionally.

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I love sub-genres. Comedy, action, foreign, etc are far too broad. It feels like heresy to have both My Sister's Keeper and The Godfather in the drama section at your local video store. I applaud Netflix for their use of genres like "Independent Underdog Comedies". I also applaud film critic Nathan Rubin for coining the term/type "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" because it created a sub-genre where Something Wild could be considered a masterpiece.

If you were to compile a list of the greatest "comedies" of all time, Something Wild would rank somewhere in the 500s if it was lucky. I'm not saying that it's an un-funny movie (in fact it's pretty hilarious (and also frightening at points)) but if you were to judge it against the works of Chaplin, Keaton, Brooks, Wilder, etc. it would have to take a back seat. Now if you were to instead make a list of the best "manic pixie dream girl films" of all time, Something Wild would come in pretty close to the top.

Though it's streaming on Netflix, I really recommend you check out the beautiful new DVD/Blu-Ray that Criterion just put out.

"Remember, no matter what, it's better to be a live dog than a dead lion."

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