I didn’t plan to see Anywhere But Here. Natalie Portman
as a misunderstood teenager and Susan Sarandon as her free-spirit mother?
<<warning: uncharacteristically sexist comments to follow>> Hold on
girls, just let me grab my curling iron and waxing compound and we’ll psyche
ourselves up for this film!
Seriously though, there we were – stuck in the dirty, dirty town
of New Haven, with its ugly, ugly school of Yale, without our Yale connection so
we could go find a party at which to be sneered at and taunted for losing The
Game. So after treating ourselves to the gourmet delights of Popeye’s, where I
saw the fried corpses of at least two dozen chickens awaiting consumption on a
rack directly behind the cashiers, we trudged through the miserable rain
to a run-down little theater. What was playing? Well, we had time to see either Three
Kings or Anywhere But Here. I’d already seen Three Kings, and was also extraordinarily tired, so I figured I’d just go to the chick flick and
Accursed crappy chairs! Accursed theater! Accursed movie! I find
myself somewhat hesitant to write this review, for the simple reason that my
classmate, Natalie Portman, might someday, for some ungodly reason, stumble
across my site – but the fact is, her acting, for the part, was fine. While I
admit playing an angst-filled teen isn’t a necessarily tricky role, Portman
actually brought a few endearing and complex touches to the character.
But the writing is horrendous. Horrendous. Some of the lines
just grated on my ears like my roommate’s snoring. And that’s like a buzzsaw in
itself. Even the plot is bizarre – for instance, <<spoilers ahead>>
a character who seems to be integral to the story, who is definitely heading
toward some kind of important cathartic moment with Portman’s character, is
killed off in what seems an entirely random act. Killed off! My friends and I
just looked at each other and laughed at that point. What the hell was with this
As mentioned before, the dialogue is so wooden you could build a
campfire with it. It’s not Portman or Sarandon’s delivery – they’re just stuck
with crappy lines and a pair of bizarre characters. I suppose there’s some truth
to them – Sarandon’s character strongly reminds me of someone I know, actually –
but they just really started to irritate me in this film.
In summation, I’ll say this: I doubt I’ll ever watch this movie
So what’s the moral of the story? New Haven is a dirty, dirty
town, and I never want to go back.