Last night I decided to re-watch Donnie Darko, since they so kindly added it to Netflix (even though I have it on DVD).
This is a film I was obsessed with when I was about 14/15 and as soon as I started watching it again I remembered why…
In all seriousness, there is a great feel to this film. It’s arty and pretentious, but without it being too much. The characters are interesting and different, but still likeable. It has a beautiful soundtrack and visually moves between the mundane and the brilliantly weird effortlessly.
Jake Gyllenhall is fantastic in this film. He portrays the pretty ordinary teenage boy but is always on the verge of a complete meltdown. At his core he is lonely and uncertain of his place in the world. He is growing up. I know I certainly felt like that in my teens.
It also has some pretty memorable sequences and quotes – I’m thinking the weird fluid that Donnie sees and follows and ‘I sometimes doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion’.
It’s very post-modern. Make of the ending what you will. I know how I feel about its meaning, you should be free to decide for yourself.
After finishing Donnie Darko I decided to re-watch The Day After Tomorrow (another teen favourite of mine, I wonder why…)
Look at his lovely face!
To be fair, this isn’t as ‘good’ a film as Donnie Darko. It tries to be clever but really it’s just another disaster movie.
Emmy Rossum is annoying (not jealous) and is a pathetic Damsel in Distress – in 2015 we like a strong, practical woman! She’s supposed to be incredibly academic (yay) but doesn’t tell anyone she’s sliced her leg open (boo).
There are some brilliant moments of comedy – I’m thinking when they’re discussing whether to save Nietzche and decide to burn the books on tax law instead (a wise decision). But also moments of actual nonsense – like Dennis Quaid trekking through the extreme cold to fetch his son.
Nonsense aside, I love this movie. It’s easy to watch and it has heart. Everyone loves survival against all odds – even if they decide to just wipe out Europe!