Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Fun in DysFUNction
Director Sam Mendes knocks the ball outta the park again. Remember the little film that won best picture in 1999...American Beauty? I loved the sheer comet brightness of both screen play and cast. Certainly one of my top five all time fave flicks. The idea of yet another dysfunctional suburban story, Revolutionary Road told so spot on without missing a beat from the original book version, so elegantly written by Richard Yates and directed by Mr. Mendes. The screen version of this epic suburban tale left such an indelible mark on my heart. Translating an epic piece of literature to movie can sometimes leave gaping holes in story development. My question was: how can the film experience stay true to the book nature of loss, love and loneliness? Can it really be summed up within a two hour movie. The answer this time: a resounding yes.
When I first read the haunting book Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, I was still a city dweller. The description of such a mundane existence, dashed hopes and the muddled dreams of a bright young couple who find suburban life intolerable was as foreign to me as Mars. In the movie version Mendes takes the cruxt of the story: a couple that seems adrift in a sea of sameness, crying out for change, to break from the ordinary for this once extraordinary couple. The movie chemistry and book both chronicle the motions of life as if stuck in an emotional idle. Fast forward ten years....Geez- those shoes seem custom made for the suburban subset of my so called life.
If wishes were fishes is the thesis of this cautionary tale. Trepidation and denial lend itself to real life. Yates elegant manor begs for an introspective look at the unhappiness that lies just beneath the surface of suburban life. Thank goodness for safety nets. Life lesson learned from my own dabble in the mysteriously myopic world of 95030? Did I forget to mention my house is on the market?