Oct/2018

Trailer Analysis – Being Flynn

by Justin Cline on Nov 19th, 2011

It’s so hard to imagine why Hollywood would want to change the title of the memoir that provides the basis for Being Flynn.  I cannot fathom the individual who wouldn’t want to see a movie called Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.

I guess that wouldn’t fly when it came time to air TV spots during CBS’ umpteenth incarnation of CSI, but then they’re the same network that gave us Bleep My Dad Says.  I’d be interested to hear what the alternatives were to Being Flynn.  How could that possibly have been the best?

One of the things that strikes me about trailers is not only how much of an emotional wallop can be packed into a couple of minutes of footage, but how often that wallop comes from the musical choices.  I doubt the subtraction of song snippets here would leave us with the same effect at the end.  The results would arguably be even worse if they were to substitute in something cheesy or overly familiar.

Speaking of cheesy and overly familiar, critics are already talking about how this movie is a return to form for Robert Deniro, but that’s just oversimplification.  Yes, Deniro’s had a few clunkers in his career, but who hasn’t?  Especially when they work as much as he does.  Not every script is Taxi Driver.  Not every director can be Scorsese.  Plus, there have to be times when the idea of just hanging out with Ben Stiller for three months must seem inviting, no matter how many lame-ass Focker jokes are involved.

Besides, as the trailer tells us, it may be Deniro’s story, but it’s told by Paul Dano, who has been turning in some great performances of his own from Little Miss Sunshine to There Will Be Blood.  It’s nice to see him growing into what I always considered to be an ugly face for a kid.  Anybody remember Taking Lives?  Yeesh.

Not having read this book, I wonder how far it delves into the madness that so often accompanies true creativity, and how far will the movie run with that theme?  Traditionally, moviegoers don’t flock to films about writers.  Everybody loves sausage, but no one wants to see it being made.

This time, it’s writer/director Chris Weitz who’s in charge of sausage production.  After a kind of tragic mishap with The Golden Compass–a great lesson in how to please no one with a book adaptation–, it’s nice to see him returning to the kind of story he excels at.  Like About A Boy, Being Flynn feels like it might be the best kind of drama, one infused with the natural humor of real life.  Hopefully, this movie is the reason why Weitz and Deniro took paychecks for Little Fockers.  Something good has to come out of every tragedy.

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