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Harry giggles through LADY IN THE WATER!

Earlier the same night that I saw WORLD TRADE CENTER – a film about reality so harsh and cold and real that you’ll fight to catch a breath… I saw a bedtime story from M Night Shyamalan.

I honestly believe that somewhere between 75%-85% of those that go and see this movie that read this site are going to hate it. The others will love it or like it. It isn’t a division of intellect or emotional maturity that is the difference between the two, it is how you face the ridiculous non-logic of a bedtime story.

There’s a scene in the movie where Paul Giamatti’s character has to be childlike, so that this ol Korean lady will tell him the whole story, so he can figure out how to save the Narf that has come under his care. He drinks milk, getting some on his moustache, he curls up, laying down on their couch… and has a carefree look upon his face. The scene, if seen through a serious light is ridiculous, but to me – that scene is how you have to see the whole movie. This is a fairy tale, a bedtime story told by M. Night Shyamalan as a tale about where inspiration comes from.

At least, that’s how I see it. It’s about throwing out logic and practicality. It’s about letting go of being self-conscious. It’s about goofily marching forward with chocolate syrup on your face while gnawing on centipedes. It is about breaking the real world down and placing it in a ludicrous bit of bedtime illogic.

Can you handle that?

Can you forget who M Night is? Can you dismiss the media’s obsession with his working conditions? Can you just lay down on a couch and let a film tell you a crazy story about Ch-Chia Lawn Monsters and Tree Monkeys? Of Swimming Pool other worlds and destinies? Can you play like a little girl talking to a best friend naked in the shower? Then have that same character speak clearly later? Would you clap to save Tinkerbelle? Could you clap to save Tinkerbelle? And does the idea of clapping to save Tinkerbelle make you a bit giddy… or self-conscious?

You see, this is a film that asks you to not believe in the here and now. To not step foot in reality, but to step into a writer’s hands and just let him tell you a story, where he’s making it up as he goes along and where logic has little to no place. Where you can have a character with one gigantic muscled side of his body and tells everyone that he likes being scientific. It’s goofy like that. It’s innocent.

There’s a weird Miyazaki-esque-ness to the lunacy, but it never goes THAT crazy. It’s filled with crossword savants, stoner groupies, cereal box prophets, and a writer that’ll change the world at a price.

If you can’t just go with the story, you’ll find yourself trapped in what some will call the most pretentious ego-trip ever committed to film. The people that hate this film will compare it to the biggest disasters ever made.

That said, I fucking loved it. My Fiancee and Father Geek loved it. As did Robogeek. Several others didn’t. I can imagine and see where they’re coming from, I just don’t agree. To me, it reminds me of a Coen Brother disaster, in the eyes of those heathens that would claim such blasphemies. Like their 3 least critically loved films: THE LADYKILLERS, INTOLERABLE CRUELTY and THE HUDSUCKER PROXY. Me, I love those films. I love the goofiness and the eccentric “what the fuck, I’m shooting it” glee. The audacious sense of permission to be a little kid pulling upon your critic’s pigtails and feeding them to lawn monsters.

The movie is a blast if you can see it. If not, you’ll be absolutely miserable. Good luck.

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