Movies Reviewed

How difficult is it for a young rich guy to a play a young rich guy? Not that difficult it seems, especially when you’ve got one of the all time leading, most heavily used plot points to develop your story. While some articles cite the movie as predictable and reminiscent of a Nicholas Sparks film, what triggered in my memory, almost immediately, was Pfeiffer’s work in To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. What is notable, however, is that I could recognize the latter movie as a work of quality art, which is something I can’t say about Mr. St Cloud.

At any rate, the lead role is played by a guy who, in real life, works on DeLoreans at his parent’s lofty estate on the coast of San Luis Obispo, and so the act of being inquired by the beautiful girl is something that probably comes quite natural for him, but plays out rather corny in the movie. The deal is, he has to pretend like he’s some sort of a social reject. This is where he struggled to play the part.

Now, I understand the use of car accidents for plot points because of the luring drama that is sure to unfold in the wake, and the plausibility quotient for representing reality by using a car accident to propel a story is actually quite high. According to statistics, “There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005” ( So maybe over the past few years I’ve been to the video store one too many times, and after watching the 20th or 25th car accident open a movie (this doesn’t blow the plot for y’all), I’m just getting a little wise to the Hollywood drama building gig.

One of the primary things to remember about love in the St. Cloud movie (and this doesn’t spoil the plot either), is to remember how easy it is to get the girl when you’ve got your own mini-yacht.

For the next movie, I have to declare, I’m not a huge Julia Roberts fan. This doesn’t mean I don’t like her, however. I actually have this curious respect for her as a result of something mentioned later in the article. And how I feel should not influence a person’s reason for going to see her in Eat Pray Love.

The whole idea of having to drop everything in life to go “find oneself” has many odd qualities about it. I mean, really, and according to the poverty factor, who in the wide world of sports gets to up and vanish for a year to travel the globe in mid-life so they can find themselves? Apparently Elizabeth Gilbert does. All along, as I watched her sip on fine wines only to magically appear on the harsh streets of India then luxurious Bali, I could only think, “I’m not involved with anyone, why can’t I do something like that? I don’t really need to find myself, but looks like a world of fun to do.”

Well, turns out the answer is for reasons that may or may not lessen the impact of the movie for some, but did for me, and this was the fact that her entire trip was funded in advance by her publisher with a book deal waiting for her when she got back. Mmm, okay, yeeaaahhh…uh huh…now I come to understand this “finding oneself” bit. Think that will come with a movie deal?

So now we’re onto some serious soul searching while traveling the world. Personally, I don’t find the value (though I’m glad she did) in relishing in the luxury of having life made, awaiting for you back in the states, while you’re supposed to be off finding yourself. If she had vanished without knowing where she’d live when she got back, where she would work, what she would decide to truly do with her life, I might have developed a little more admiration for the endeavor. In addition, what it must be like for Elizabeth to call home in the middle of the trip to scrounge up $18,000 in cold cash from her friends to give away to some transient islander must be something like self-glorifying rather than soul seeking. In any case, she found herself, which is more like, she found a way to make even more money while finding a new, apparently romantic even tolerable mate, which is admirable and commendable in and of itself…I mean, that’s what we all have to do as humans, right?

On a side note, and in Julia Robert’s favor, was the choice of having her play the role. Julia knows something of traveling abroad and living in harsh conditions resembling the India portion of the movie. She has a love for horses and so she decided around ten years ago to live among the Steppes of Mongolia to be near the world’s most wildest horses. She lived with, side by side, a family of Mongols during the breadth of her adventure, and I’m sure she endured an invigorating experience out there among the windblown Steppes.

As for the need to find oneself, I think, and in my personal opinion, this is one of those things one might hear more from a woman than from a man. It seems to be the defining line between genders, that aspect that women need to feel right in the world. Maybe there are men out there finding themselves in a more indiscreet manner, and maybe someone will point this out to me. The line certainly says a lot about a situation, a relationship, etc. “Honey, I just can’t do this…I have to go…to go…I have to go find myself!” It’s almost like the Seinfeld, “It’s not you, it’s me” routine with a side dish of expensive travel. But for all the women out there who truly need, and can afford, to go find themselves, then I wish them the best of luck, and who knows, maybe they’ll get a movie made about themselves in the process.

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