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|Index||52 reviews in total|
I'm not much of a comedy fan, mostly because in recent years they've
strayed too far into smart-ass one-liner dumb-formula potty-humor
cardboard-cutout territory, which is fine if you like that sort of
thing, but I don't.
This, though, is an old-fashioned comedy with heart. Can Bill make his life better with the help of a precocious teen? Sure he can. But the way he gets there isn't just the standard formula, and that makes it a fun watch.
It also helps that the technical work is all top-notch, and the supporting cast is pitch perfect, from the staid father-in-law to the somewhat manic doughnut franchisers.
This isn't a movie that will make you guffaw and belly laugh for an hour and a half, but it does make you feel inspired and offers a few chuckles along the way. In that regard, it reminds me of "Charlie Bartlett," "Juno" and "Rocket Science."
I'm glad this style of comedy didn't die out because of the Farrelly Brothers' success. Their kind of comedy is redundant and dumb -- this type leaves you happy for a while. And Hollywood should do that more often.
I just watched Meet Bill last night, and while it wasn't fantastic, it
was definitely worth the watch.
This movie follows the main character Bill, who, after a series of downfalls, realizes life isn't going they way he wanted. He then offers to mentor a rich, self-assured high school student. In the end, the student more or less ends up mentoring Bill, and helps him to change his views on life.
I thought the chemistry between Logan Lerman (the kid) and Aaron Eckhart (Bill) was fantastic! they both did a great job with their role, and stole the whole show. These roles were out of style for both actors--I've never seen Eckhart do comedy, and Lerman's character was much more rebellious than usual. It just shows the talent of both actors, especially the versatility of Lerman. The rest of the supporting characters were slightly under-developed.
The style of comedy in this movie is more..."old school" in my opinion. It's not slap-stick or non-stop laughter, but the comedy is inter-weaved throughout the film, with several vary funny scenes and one-liners. I would say the film is geared toward audiences from the mid 20s to mid 40s. However, I am a 16 year old female, and I enjoyed the film.
The plot does get lost a bit, and some characters are under-developed, but overall it's a good independent film. Is it the best or funniest movie you'll ever see? Probably not. But it delivers a style of comedy not found often these days, and if you connect with the style and the story, you will definitely like this movie.
I attended the World Premiere of "Bill" at the Toronto International
Film Festival. That fact alone is actually surprising to me, as my
viewing habits tend to lean towards dramas, and this is anything but.
In fact, festivals this year have been weighed down by heavy films that
are about as dark as they come. "Bill" could not be more different, and
what a refreshing change and much-needed uplift is this all-out,
unabashed comedy. Co-directed by the husband-wife team of Bernie
Goldmann and Melissa Wallack (who penned the script), "Bill" has all
the elements required of the genre: characters to whom we can relate, a
clever storyline, and laughs aplenty.
Aaron Eckhart ("Any Given Sunday," "Erin Brockovich," "Thank You for Smoking") is Bill, smack dab in the middle of a life becoming all-too familiar. His job is falling apart (he begrudgingly works for his irascible father-in-law), his marriage is going to pieces, his body is going to pot, and, perhaps most horrifying, his hair is rejecting his head. Bill needs a change, fast, and is not-so-voluntarily signed up for a mentoring program at the local high school. He is teamed up with young Logan Lerman ("The Butterfly Effect," "Hoot," "3:10 to Yuma"), who plays The Kid, literally (Lerman's character is never identified by name), and the two join together in battle to fight the demons at the heart of Bill's midlife crisis.
A magnificent ensemble cast including Elizabeth Banks, Timothy Olyphant, Jessica Alba, and Kristen Wiig (and far too many more to mention) are all up to the task of providing enough comedic fodder to fill several films. Discussing their characters in depth would be too revealing, and my policy is to allow the reader to find a synopsis elsewhere if desired. Ultimately the partnership between Bill and The Kid is what drives the story, and the chemistry between Eckhart and Lerman is central to the success of the film. And it works. The Kid is smart, streetwise, sexy (or so he thinks), and has the self-confidence of someone thrice his age. In short, he's everything Bill aspires to be. It's a role-reversal device that's at the heart of many classic comedies, and Wallack's brilliant writing makes it work.
Despite being an independent film (read: low budget) "Bill" has the look of a Hollywood movie. The design is bright and the sound and editing give it a crisp, bouncy feel. Best of all, the cinematography with Peter Lyons Collister at the helm is second to none. He's one of the best in the business, a classic comedy veteran, and it shows.
It's always hard to single anyone out in a fine ensemble cast but in both screenings I attended Lerman stole the show. He unquestionably got the biggest laughs and was the crowd favorite. I hesitate to call him a newcomer, as at the tender age of 15 he already has 10 movies and 23 television episodes under his belt, but he's one to watch for and has a bright career ahead of him. But this is Eckhart's film to make or break, and his sense of comedic timing and puppy-like ability to elicit just the right amount of empathy from the audience create those touching moments that leave the viewer wanting more. And so I attended the second screening as well, and enjoyed it even more. And that's the true test of a comedy. From this writer's perspective, "Bill" not only hits its mark but is also sure to be a winner for years to come.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There's really no way so screw it, I'll be blunt. ONLY a female
writer/director would consider it a satisfying story where on top of
being shamelessly unfaithful, kicking around her husband, and behaving
like a spoiled, entitled brat for the majority of the film, not only
fails to redeem herself or receive any kind of come-uppance for being
such a bitch, but is rewarded by her husband who simply gives her what
we just watched him spend the entire movie working to acquire. WHO DOES
THAT??? I literally came away from this wondering if emasculation was
an intentional theme here. It's like watching this man get kicked in
the balls for an hour and a half just to pull himself together
(apparently by losing his gut and getting a haircut), give farewell
hugs and kisses to all the ball-kickers and we're supposed to applaud
this as his triumph.
I spent the whole movie saying to myself "I know a woman wrote this... I know a woman wrote this..." I came on IMDb to check it out and guess what. Wrote AND co-directed! Not that there aren't female writers & directors who are excellent at what they do. Not that a female writer/director is obliged to write "for" a male audience. Not even that a female writer/director can't bring feminist sensibilities to her work. But was the writer/director here really so pro-female (or anti-male) that the main character isn't even allowed to give his cheating wife the telling-off and/or retribution that she'd been begging for the whole film? Am I the only one who feels this way? Or maybe I'm missing the point. If I am, maybe someone could help me understand. Because I can't imagine any man who would think this "works". And I can think of quite a few women who would agree.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought this movie was utterly terrible. It was completely unoriginal and there were so many superfluous characters and scenes that is was just ridiculous. What as the Jessica Alba character supposed to be? What was she supposed to add? The Kid character was pretty pointless also. There was an endless series of scenes that, I assume, were supposed to be funny, but added nothing to the narrative. There is this whole subplot where we are supposed to imagine that the Kid and Alba might have some romantic chemistry, but it is just ludicrous. Also, one of the major plot points is Bill trying to win back his wife. However, we never get a sense of why he would want to do this. After all, she is uniformly terrible to him throughout the movie, and he doesn't seem that into her, until it's convenient for the plot. If they had taken out some of the more pointless scenes (especially the one with the Kid dancing around in women's underwear--what was that about?), and spent more time exploring the relationship between the two leads, then it might have made more sense. Aaron Eckhart is a very talented actor, and did the best with the story he had. However, there was no saving this train wreck. I would say that it would benefit from better editing, but in all honesty, it would have to be edited to the point of non-existence to be improved. Largely, this movie seemed like a low-rent, cheap rehash of some of the themes from American Beauty, without any of the depth, humour, or intelligence. They had the repressed husband attempting to break free, the bitchy adulterous wife, and drug dealing rebellious teenage boy. What a waste of time, and in Eckhart's case, talent.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reading the reviews here on IMDb, it looks like a lot of the reviews
are positive, which is leaving me scratching my head. The critics
panned the film, and while I don't always agree with them this time I
have to say I agree. What I don't get is that I don't see any of the
comments I would have expected to see. Case in point, there are several
scenes with Bill (a 40 year old man) smoking pot and drinking with his
teenage mentee. There's even a scene that implies that Bill and the kid
got it on with a couple of girls in a tent together. In the film, this
is passed off as no big deal, but watching it I was cringing. I guess
I'm just surprised. I don't consider myself to be that much of a prude,
but it just felt wrong. Maybe I'm out of touch.
Anyways, the film never hits the right notes, and despite a decent cast the actors all feel as if they are auditioning for different films. Bill seems to be in American Beauty, his mentee seems like he thinks he's in a national lampoon film, the wife in a dramedy, and Jessica Alba seems like she can't wait to leave the scene and hop on the first flight out of town. Apart from Bill, none of the characters are fleshed out even a little. This is particularly true for Bill's gay brother, who's only role seems to be to pick him up from jail and look concerned while Bill rants. According to the notes on the film there were a lot of last minute cast changes and, I'm guessing, script changes to accommodate the different actors. Whatever was done, the whole thing feels like it unraveled in a spectacularly bad way. I can't get the hour and a half of my life back, but its not too late for you. Save yourself and avoid this flick.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is like someone standing on a beach watching a man drown 6
feet from shore where, instead of throwing the drowning man a life
preserver, the sadistic watcher throws him a series of concrete blocks.
Aaron Eckhart is the drowning man, desperately trying to save himself
and this film, while the insipid script and lifeless direction of Meet
Bill keep dragging him down.
Bill (Aaron Eckhart) is less a character and more a collection of characteristics. He's got a pot belly and a bad haircut. He has his job only because he married his boss' daughter, even though his boss treats him more like an intern than an executive. He's got a gay brother and a serious candy addiction. I guess this mix of common and quirky traits is supposed to make the audience empathize and identify with Bill, but he's really just an annoying and self-pitying shmuck.
Bill is unhappy with his life and dreams of trading in his job at his father-in-law's bank for running his own doughnut shop. Then, two things happen. First, Bill is roped into being a mentor to a high school kid (Logan Lerman). Second, Bill finds out his wife Jessica (Elizabeth Banks) is cheating on him.
Let me digress for a moment. The high school kid in Bill doesn't have a name and is, in fact, listed in the credits only as "The Kid". If you ever write a screenplay, on behalf of everyone who might ever read it, I beg you to please, please, please give all of your characters actual names. You might think it's cute and clever to have one just be called "The Kid" or something, but it's not. It's stupid and aggravating. People, whether close friends or relative strangers, call each other by their names all the time and it's both very noticeable and irritating when a script goes out of its way to avoid that. I don't care if you think the character being nameless has some thematic significance. It's just dumb.
Returning to the movie, Bill freaks out when he discovers Jessica is sleeping with a cheesy local news anchor. He beats the guy up and gets thrown in jail. Bill also moves out of his own huge house and into his gay brother's equally huge home. He hangs out with The Kid, who tries to help Bill loosen up and enjoy life. Bill also takes up swimming and keeps trying to finagle his way into owning that doughnut shop. There's also a sex tape, a big party where everything goes wrong and a pointless subplot where The Kid keeps hitting on this lingerie store clerk (Jessica Alba). Not that hitting on Jessica Alba is pointless, but it serves absolutely no purpose in the story.
The things that happen in this movie either don't make sense or you don't care about them if they do. How does a dorky loser like Bill end up with a woman who looks like the incredibly appealing Elizabeth Banks? There's no explanation of what Jessica could have ever seen in him. Bill obviously gets paid a lot of money for very little work, has a huge house and a smokin' hot wife and we're supposed to care that he's not satisfied with all that? When we find out Jessica is cheating on Bill, there's no emotional impact to it because if you were married to a pathetic non-entity like Bill, you'd probably cheat on him too. There's absolutely no reason or explanation for why The Kid makes such enormous efforts to attach himself to Bill and try and help him out, like an overexcited hybrid of Ferris Bueller and Jiminy Cricket, and The Kid is so theatrically irreverent that you just want Bill to smack him. The story also connects Bill's growth as a human being to him shaving off his body hair, which is just odd.
This movie is completely uninvolving, even though Aaron Eckhart is working as hard in this film as I've ever seen any performer work in anything. He does everything but drop trou and show us his Little Eckhart to make us laugh or feel ANYTHING about Bill. All of his efforts, however, are smothered by the relentlessly limp work of these filmmakers.
Unless you enjoy watching a drowning man being thrown cement blocks, there's nothing in Meet Bill for anyone to enjoy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a bad movie. why ?
1. Plot makes no sense. (where are the kid's parents? Why did Bill shave himself?)
2. Horribly horribly uncomfortable to watch. (Bill and the kid entertain two babes in a tent. And we are led to believe that there is sex involved, and the next morning the kid is there in his underwear. So, they had an orgy ? A 40 year old, 15 year old kid and two babes ? Yuk.)
3. The dialogue is cringe inducing (Kid: You suck. Bill: You suck. Lucy: You both suck. Me: Facepalm)
Skip this one.
Premise is Adventures of a (presumably) working class Son-in-Law in a
Dysfunctional rich family. This is a great premise. There are at least
2 funny TV series on based on this plot. First 15 minutes of this movie
are exciting & you think you are in for a 2 hour ride of comic
situations involving rich people doing unbelievably stupid stuff.
Camera work is also nice. Acting looks decent. If you've seen Aaron's
"Thanks You for Smoking" earlier, you know that he can play his part in
a witty movie.
However post 15 minutes, it appears that someone else decided to finish the project with high school kids in director's/ editor's/ script writer's chair. Nothing seems to move forward or unfold or deepen the characters. Funny situations blow up before the punch line. Most of the sub-plots are totally inconsequential. And if someone thinks they made a movie dealing with existential dilemma, I am sorry to inform them that's certainly not the case here.
6.4 ? Really, my fellow IMDBians ? This turkey is 6.4 ? Tarsem Singh's "The Cell" is 6.2. Al Pancio's "88 minutes" is 5.9. I am giving it 3 stars for the casting dept, which did a fantastic job in casting hugely talented Aaron and shapely Ms.Banks.
Review: Although the cast looked impressive, this movie really wasn't
that good and the storyline was pretty terrible. It's about a man who
thinks that he has everything that a man wants out of life, until he
finds out that his wife is having an affair and his career is going
nowhere. He then becomes a mentor for a sharp kid who helps him turn
his life around and shows him how to get the most out of life. I'm
usually a fan of Aaron Eckharts work, but he really did make a fool out
of himself in this movie. The jokes weren't that funny and the
storyline went from one ridiculous scene to another. The director piled
up to many different elements which made the film seem messy and not
that enjoyable. None of the top actors put in an outstanding
performance, which is due to the terrible script, so this is yet
another movie that has to get the thumbs down from me. Disappointing!
Round-Up: Aaron Eckhart really let me down in this film, alongside Jessica Alba and Elizabeth Banks who were also not that great. There were also some other big names in the film, like Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis, but they weren't in the movie that much. I was impressed with the young looking Logan Lerman whose also starred in Fury, the Percy Jackson franchise and Noah but I just found it hard to find the film slightly amusing. I'm not surprised that it made such a lose at the box office but I am surprised with the budget which must have gone towards the actors wages. Anyway, it's worth a watch if you just want some noise in the background but I personally think that it was a waste of a good cast.
Budget: $5million Worldwide Gross: $347,000 (Terrible!)
I recommend this movie to people who are into their comedies about a man whose goes through a mid-life crisis after finding out that his wife is having an affair. 3/10
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