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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 61 The Long Dumb Road*

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You know an actor is electrifying when you sit through an entire credit sequence just to watch them do nothing.

We watched:

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I think Richard’s proposal in the diner may just be the cringiest moment since Favreau’s repeated phone messages in Swingers.

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3 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I think Richard’s proposal in the diner may just be the cringiest moment since Favreau’s repeated phone messages in Swingers.

That confused me because her face and actions seemed to indicate she said yes.  The no came so quickly I wouldn't have "heard" it if I hadn't had subtitles on.

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I'll jump in because I think, based on Letterboxd anyway, I probably enjoyed the movie the least. I still enjoyed it and would rate it positive overall I just really didn't like the last 15 minutes or so. Nat's turn just felt more forced because he's suppose to have changed than actually motivated by actual character changing. He just goes a little too hard in too fast and then after initiating the stealing back of the stuff and leading the breaking in, but then go back to unsure to jumping in the fight into the fight just seemed a bit much to me. I could buy it a bit more if his character had slowly been changing over the course of the film, but it just seemed to all come on a bit to quick and convenient for me. Yes he was robbed at gunpoint and a kind lady shared her world view but he shouldn't have been that changed or charged to where he was out Jason-ing Richard.

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I thought sure he was going to declare his love for the casino waitress before the credits ended.  Not sure if I am happy I was wrong. 🙂

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4 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I think Richard’s proposal in the diner may just be the cringiest moment since Favreau’s repeated phone messages in Swingers.

For a split second, I thought she might say yes...but it wasn't that kind of a movie.  

I liked it overall.  I think the 2 leads were fine and I like a good road trip flick.  The Fast & Furious dialogue - that was all Jason, right?  

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Just now, tomspanks said:

For a split second, I thought she might say yes...but it wasn't that kind of a movie.  

I liked it overall.  I think the 2 leads were fine and I like a good road trip flick.  The Fast & Furious dialogue - that was all Jason, right?  

Yes. I think he said on Conan or somewhere that they were allowed to improvise to a degree and that conversation was pretty much just them riffing.

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I hope after watching this we will all be a little bit more polite with our drive through orders

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11 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

I'll jump in because I think, based on Letterboxd anyway, I probably enjoyed the movie the least. I still enjoyed it and would rate it positive overall I just really didn't like the last 15 minutes or so. Nat's turn just felt more forced because he's suppose to have changed than actually motivated by actual character changing. He just goes a little too hard in too fast and then after initiating the stealing back of the stuff and leading the breaking in, but then go back to unsure to jumping in the fight into the fight just seemed a bit much to me. I could buy it a bit more if his character had slowly been changing over the course of the film, but it just seemed to all come on a bit to quick and convenient for me. Yes he was robbed at gunpoint and a kind lady shared her world view but he shouldn't have been that changed or charged to where he was out Jason-ing Richard.

I didn’t really feel it was coming out of nowhere. He had been getting more and more aggravated as the movie went on, and I think after losing his car, and then his camera and possessions because he trusted Richard (again), he was just done.

I think I was a bit let down by the end, though. I’m not really sure where the characters are at the end - metaphorically speaking. I get the ambiguity was kind of the point, but I felt unsatisfied. I guess I wanted a little more closure.

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4 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

I hope after watching this we will all be a little bit more polite with our drive through orders

I was with Richard 100% in that scene. Nat was showing terrible drive-thru etiquette.

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4 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I didn’t really feel it was coming out of nowhere. He had been getting more and more aggravated as the movie went on, and I think after losing his car, and then his camera and possessions because he trusted Richard (again), he was just done.

I think I was a bit let down by the end, though. I’m not really sure where the characters are at the end - metaphorically speaking. I get the ambiguity was kind of the point, but I felt unsatisfied. I guess I wanted a little more closure.

This was a debate I was having with myself after the movie, should we have seen more of Nat before he met Richard? I think that's where the problem was coming from for me. Richard was so out there and such a wild card that most any person would shrink back a little. Who's to say that Nat when talking with the Taissa Farmiga isn't who he was before the trip. Was that him being himself without Richard being around or was that him actually growing a bit? I couldn't tell.

I also agree about the ending. 

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I enjoyed the ending. The stealing of Francois' car was satisfying to me. Also I took the very end as Richard didn't really change at all, he just went straight to the slots and moving his life to Vegas (where certainly his wild nature would be uninhibited). Nat continues on his journey, walking on to the train, to keep moving forward. It didn't seem all that ambiguous to me! 

I do agree that a little more pre-story would have been helpful in fleshing the characters/story out a little more though. 

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19 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I enjoyed the ending. The stealing of Francois' car was satisfying to me. Also I took the very end as Richard didn't really change at all, he just went straight to the slots and moving his life to Vegas (where certainly his wild nature would be uninhibited). Nat continues on his journey, walking on to the train, to keep moving forward. It didn't seem all that ambiguous to me! 

I do agree that a little more pre-story would have been helpful in fleshing the characters/story out a little more though. 

I guess by “ambiguity” I just mean I don’t know where Nat’s journey goes from there. Like, did he establish his art philosophy or not? What is it? He doesn’t look happy. Is he going to drop out of school?

As far as Richard, yeah, I think you’re right, but I found that unsatisfying. I guess I wanted Richard’s journey to be a bit more dynamic. The movie ends with him (apparently) changing very little. Nat has changed, but I don’t know to what degree. That’s where I’d want closure. Something to show me how he’s changed and not just “he’s not the same as he used to be.”

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32 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

This was a debate I was having with myself after the movie, should we have seen more of Nat before he met Richard? I think that's where the problem was coming from for me. Richard was so out there and such a wild card that most any person would shrink back a little. Who's to say that Nat when talking with the Taissa Farmiga isn't who he was before the trip. Was that him being himself without Richard being around or was that him actually growing a bit? I couldn't tell.

I also agree about the ending. 

First of all, thanks to everyone for participating in this diversion from form. I really appreciate it, especially since we weren't able to organize or connect with a Rabb.it screening.

Anyway, I think Nat was sort of an undercover loose cannon, or at least someone given to spontaneous behavior. First, he lets Richard into his car and into his life after just seeing him get fired in a very loud confrontation. This man is clearly unbalanced, but Nat is up for letting him join the ride, even as Richard begins to down beers in the car minutes after meeting Nat. Second, it was NAT who encouraged Richard to seek out his high school love, which is a CRAZY idea. Maybe that's more born out of naivete because he's lived a very sheltered life, but it does she potential for him to make spur-of-the-moment, risky, emotional decisions, even if he is not as explosive as Richard.

And to @Cameron H.'s initial comment about watching Richard at the counter, I think that speaks to how much I like the characters in this movie. I too watched Mantzoukas just sit there and do nothing because I enjoyed spending time with these people so much, even if the narrative itself was, admittedly, rather weak. It was a character study and it worked, not the way a Hal Ashby movie like The Last Detail does, but I still enjoyed it.

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3 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

As far as Richard, yeah, I think you’re right, but I found that unsatisfying. I guess I wanted Richard’s journey to be a bit more dynamic. The movie ends with him (apparently) changing very little. Nat has changed, but I don’t know to what degree. That’s where I’d want closure. Something to show me how he’s changed and not just “he’s not the same as he used to be.”

I totally agree. Nat is so young and inexperienced, he's bound to change a lot in school, whether he pursues photography or not, but that is a totally different movie. For Richard, I would have liked a more definitive statement about where he is going, if not exactly where he ends up. It would have been nice to see him more affected by his time spent with Nat at the end.

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I guess Richard got money by maybe selling Nat's stuff and the car?  He seemed to have no problem with money at the end but the entire movie he was flat broke.

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Did anyone else notice that in the beginning of the movie, Richard says something like "in my 35 years on this planet," but then later he says that he met the love of his life when he was 15 years old, which was 25 years ago, making him 40.  

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Just now, tomspanks said:

Did anyone else notice that in the beginning of the movie, Richard says something like "in my 35 years on this planet," but then later he says that he met the love of his life when he was 15 years old, which was 25 years ago, making him 40.  

I did! Honestly, I just chalked it up to Richard's scatterbrained nature. Like, he loves The Fast and Furious movies, but has no idea that they made more after the third one. 

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10 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

I guess Richard got money by maybe selling Nat's stuff and the car?  He seemed to have no problem with money at the end but the entire movie he was flat broke.

Maybe he had money the whole time and was just scamming Nat? Maybe he makes it a regular practice of taking vulnerable young men under his wing and using them for a ride and a good time? Yikes... this movie just became problematic.

ANYWAY, did anyone else feel that Nat throwing away Richard's knife, and then Richard asking about it, was a set-up to some later confrontation? I thought that was going to be a sort of blow-up between the two and a test of their friendship, and maybe through Nat explaining why Richard with a knife frightened him, Richard would come to realize something about himself. It seemed like we never got resolution to that seed.

@tomspanksYes, I did notice that. I laughed at it and maybe thought it would be a runner through the film, like we would find out he was actually 50 or he would continually (and perhaps wildly) lie about his age.

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1 hour ago, Cam Bert said:

Yes. I think he said on Conan or somewhere that they were allowed to improvise to a degree and that conversation was pretty much just them riffing.

This was the most joyful interaction between the two guys!  I really had a lot of fun watching this, but the Fast and Furious talk was just perfect.

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9 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

ANYWAY, did anyone else feel that Nat throwing away Richard's knife, and then Richard asking about it, was a set-up to some later confrontation? I thought that was going to be a sort of blow-up between the two and a test of their friendship, and maybe through Nat explaining why Richard with a knife frightened him, Richard would come to realize something about himself. It seemed like we never got resolution to that seed.

YES! This is one of things that made the movie (ultimately) feel unsatisfying to me. It's set up to be something, but in the end, Richard is just kind of like, "Whatever." It's kind of how he moves on so fast from the Casey WIlson disaster. I guess it shows how mercurial he is, but again, there isn't really any kind of payoff. We only know Richard from this movie so it's not like we've had any time to develop a kind of affection for him where we might be like, "Oh, that's just Richard." It just comes off as anticlimactic. It's like if you saw a gun in the First Act and in the Third Act it turns out to be a water pistol.

Again, going back to Richard's static character arc, that's another reason the movie felt a little off to me. I feel like Richard had more of the emotional character beats, so for him to walk away at the end virtually unchanged seemed a little bit like a letdown. Not having Richard learn a lesson, but Nat has, kind of suggests that Richard is the person we should be striving to be more like - and that's insane. I guess I would have liked it if they had allowed Zouks to flex his dramatic side more. He was really, really good in it, but I feel like they limited him a bit.   

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20 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I did! Honestly, I just chalked it up to Richard's scatterbrained nature. Like, he loves The Fast and Furious movies, but has no idea that they made more after the third one. 

I'd chalk it up to improv or lazy writing not nailing down his age. 

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25 minutes ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

Maybe he had money the whole time and was just scamming Nat? Maybe he makes it a regular practice of taking vulnerable young men under his wing and using them for a ride and a good time? Yikes... this movie just became problematic.

ANYWAY, did anyone else feel that Nat throwing away Richard's knife, and then Richard asking about it, was a set-up to some later confrontation? I thought that was going to be a sort of blow-up between the two and a test of their friendship, and maybe through Nat explaining why Richard with a knife frightened him, Richard would come to realize something about himself. It seemed like we never got resolution to that seed.

@tomspanksYes, I did notice that. I laughed at it and maybe thought it would be a runner through the film, like we would find out he was actually 50 or he would continually (and perhaps wildly) lie about his age.

11 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

YES! This is one of things that made the movie (ultimately) feel unsatisfying to me. It's set up to be something, but in the end, Richard is just kind of like, "Whatever." It's kind of how he moves on so fast from the Casey WIlson disaster. I guess it shows how mercurial he is, but again, there isn't really any kind of payoff. We only know Richard from this movie so it's not like we've had any time to develop a kind of affection for him where we might be like, "Oh, that's just Richard." It just comes off as anticlimactic. It's like if you saw a gun in the First Act and in the Third Act it turns out to be a water pistol.

Again, going back to Richard's static character arc, that's another reason the movie felt a little off to me. I feel like Richard had more of the emotional character beats, so for him to walk away at the end virtually unchanged seemed a little bit like a letdown. By not having Richard learn a lesson, but Nat has, kind of suggests that Richard is the person we should be striving to be more like - and that's insane. I guess I would have liked it if they had allowed Zouks to flex his dramatic side more. He was really, really good in it, but I feel like they limited him a bit.   

Chekov's Knife

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3 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I'd chalk it up to improv or lazy writing not nailing down his age. 

I just meant that's how I explained it "in universe."

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3 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

It's kind of how he moves on so fast from the Casey WIlson disaster.

In my personal experience, this was pretty accurate. Like if you're smitten with someone for a long time, and it won't ever happen, it's all in your head, you just need that one thing to push it behind you. Sometimes that moment is hard to get to or find, but when it comes, it goes fast. That's what I saw happening here. I didn't take it as 'whatever'. It was an actual break in his obsession of her. If he were that mercurial, he wouldn't have held on to his feelings for so long, so I don't think that's an excuse here. He makes cringey bad decisions for sure, but I don't think they're totally crazy either.

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