North Texas Daily

3 movies to mourn the summer with

3 movies to mourn the summer with

3 movies to mourn the summer with
August 06
19:00 2019

Well, the summer is metaphorically over for those of us unlucky enough to be seeking degrees. Here are some films that might help ease this hallowed season’s passing.

Manchester by The Sea

This movie will cheer you up by plunging you deeper into the pits of despair than you thought possible and replacing your depression with the deeper more searing depression of every single character in the movie. Reminding you all that it could always be worse.

You could be Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), a man whose guilt and trauma has withered him into a cynical and quarrelsome version of his former self.  Then you could be roused from your lonely cloistered life for the first time in a matter of years by the death of your brother and the responsibility of caring for your nephew in his stead. That’s the grim beginning to this film, and believe me it only gets darker from there.

Writer/director Kenneth Lonnergan seems dead set on ripping your heart out as he unfolds a straightforward narrative that feels all too real. Pretty much every character that shuffles into the narrative has dealt with trauma and are coping with it to various degrees of success.

Yet, Lee in particular is on the precipice of letting his trauma completely defeat him, and the journey to see if he does is as poignant as it is heartbreaking. You will probably cry, and once you’re crying you can use that as an opportunity to mourn your own losses, make a day out of it. You’re Welcome.

500 Days of Summer 

This film makes the cut for a variety of reasons. First, and most importantly, it has the word Summer in the title and I’m not that creative.

Secondly, we could learn a thing or two from this movie’s message of accepting when beautiful things fall away to make way for new possibilities.

The movie doesn’t take place over an impossibly long summer, rather, 500 days encompasses the entirety of a relationship — scars and all —  between Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel).

The movie does not unfold chronologically; you could be in day one in one scene and day 300 in the next. This clever plot device allows the film to explore the genre of romantic comedy in a unique way.

The same trapping of the genre are still present and done well. There is an immense amount of chemistry between the lead actors and the love story itself works. Nonetheless, what sets the film apart from others in its genre is its self-reflective nature and visual style.

Big dance numbers play alongside experimental film sequences and it all weaves together seamlessly. It’s just the kind of bittersweet film that you may need. 

Hot Rod 

The last two films put you through the emotional ringer and gave you catharsis through the pain of fictional characters. Perhaps they made you grapple with hard truths of life or ask existential questions. Hot Rod will do nothing of the sort.

There’s no hidden motivations, messages or social commentary. Just sit and let the absurd stupidity wash over you. You’ve worked hard, you earned it.

The film’s unique brand of stupidity is definitely not for everyone, but there’s an underlying innocence to it that makes for a breezy watch.

The movie centers around a delusional wannabe stuntman, Rod (played by Andy Samberg), that wants to raise money for his step father’s life saving surgery with his death defying stunts.

Rod’s motive for saving his step father isn’t just charity though. He wants him to be full strength when he fights him again for dominance.

The film is replete with completely otherworldly characters who are brought to life by talented actors such as Bill Hader, Ian McShane, Sissy Spacek, and Will Arnett. Let go, give into the stupidity, and laugh the pain away.

Featured Image: Flickr Creative Commons image titled “Oswego Drive In ”Mid-Century Modern” Dri” (CC BY 2.0) by Ted Van Pelt

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Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams

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