THE SAME RIVER TWICE ... or the life and times of river rats. The kind of look-in-the-mirror self-preoccupation common to PBS. Airhead twenty-somethings, who dropped out in the '70's for nudist river-rafting in Colo., are rejoined in their middle-age. Documentary footage of the past is intercut with interviews in the present, moving back and forth between a nature idyll of lost youth and the clutter of ordinary suburban life.
Nowhere near as fascinating as Michael Apted's "21 Up" or "42 Up," not only because far fewer people are involved (3 couples), but because they're dull, bland, predictable, shallow, stereotypical.
Skewed population to begin with: exhibitionists. Not only nudists in their youth, but willing to live their lives in front of a camera (me, I wouldn't let a camera in my front door).
Only the main river guide kept to a nomadic bohemian life style. The nonchalant hipness that may have passed for charm in the young man is seen for its essential emptiness in the older one.
The rest became rather lusterless members of the middle middle-class, albeit, except for one, on the fringe.
I kept thinking only in the US could people drift along so limply, so self-indulgently for so long, carried afloat by the superabundance of affluence. The wolf howls much nearer the door in the rest of the world, e.g., Apted's British subjects -- we're so lucky.
Tick tock, for all this "deep" reflection on time, I kept looking at my watch.
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