Volume 93, Issue 12
Wednesday, March 18, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Something More something less
Gazette file photo
I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE LEFT ME FOR GRIFFIN. Michael Goorjian and Thomas Cavanagh suffer through life, love and the pursuit of nookie in Something More.
By Mark Lewandowski
Standing in the concession line to see Something More, there happened to be two large chested fellows discussing their choice of movie for the evening. One of them chose the still popular Sixth Sense, while the other was relegated to Something More by his significant other. His friend was less than impressed.
So I embarked on this apparent "chick flick," trying valiantly to discard my prejudice and cleanly digest the film. The opening did not help, as the credits rolled unoriginally to the over-played Tal Bachman hit, "She's So High." The first shot of the film was less damaging, as a mobile camera neatly slithered along a well lit basketball court floor searching with success for our faithful protagonist, Sam.
To Sam, the basketball court is important, as it is the place where he "gets away from it all," plays ball with his close friends and narrates his impressions of events to the audience. Sam likes to quote Kierkegaard, in philosophising on his lousy shots and bemoaning his unsuccessful love life, a problem not felt by his best friend, Jim. The movie begins to slowly revolve around these two characters and their few close friends, each at different stages of female engagement ranging from a playboy to an unhappily wedded husband.
This is where the movie offers something more than the average love story. The overlapping tales of these basketball buddies are complex and effectively connected. This is not a chick flick. It is a movie for a bunch of guys sitting around and agreeing, "I've been there," over wings and beers. Where the movie loses a little ground is that it was not advertised as such. If it was promoted as a soft and more casual Your Friends and Neighbors, it would have a more accurate campaign.
At times, it is unclear as to whether director Rob King has created philosophical twists in Sam's narration, or if he's just poorly researched. For instance, he refers to the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard as Norwegian. King could have also worked on the "cottage in the woods" lighting for the night scenes and character development. Worst of all, many moments of the film which are supposed to be funny are not, while some of the more sensitive dialogue is not treated with enough subtlety by the actors or the director.
Halfway through the narrative, the movie leaves you floating in ennui. This is traditionally the point where you become involved in the movie's interior mechanisms, or you go to the bathroom and don't come back. Gratefully, Something More gains in its last leg what it lacked in its first three. You begin to understand the characters and their motivations. As Sam's relationships blossom, so does the audience with the film.
In short, Something More is a misguided picture, rather than a doomed one. Seeking to please a variety of different audiences, from the intellectual to the crude, spreads the material paper thin. Perhaps with a more concentrated effort on a target audience, this movie might have achieved something more.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999