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I think I know why so many people dislike this film
I think I see why there are quite a few people who do not like this film. Let me start by saying that I, by no means, think it is a bad film. On the contrary, I think it is quite good. HOWEVER, I do NOT think it is the best film of the year...or even ONE OF the best. And furthermore, I think it would be a travesty if this film wins Best Picture. 2 of my favorite movies of the year didn't even get Best Picture nominations (Eternal Sunshine... and Hotel Rwanda. How Finding Neverland got Hotel Rwanda's rightful spot is beyond me.) ANYWAY, the things about this film that I think make it not "work" for people are not necessarily flaws, but just things that would have been easily overlooked if the film were not hyped so much. First of all, it IS terribly cliché and predictable. An example is when Miles are Jack are first leaving for the trip and Miles asks Jack how he likes the book. Jack says he likes it a lot (more or less) and Miles asks him how he liked the new ending, then Jack proceeded to praise it. Did ANYONE ALIVE not know that there was no change in the ending and that it was just a trick? How many THOUSANDS of movies has that happened in? Was that supposed to be funny? I think the only person who would have been amused by that is someone who'd never seen a movie before. Also, like one person said (someone who was wrongly attacked), this film does seem like a more mature and grown-up version of the American Pie movies...without the vulgar jokes and excessive foul language. Here are some similarities between both films: You got a guy who's awkward with women, has a hot chick that he could be with, and blows the opportunity (several times). You got the concept of someone not being ready for marriage. You got a guy who is on a quest to get laid. You got a road trip. Delightful misunderstandings. You got a pact between friends to get laid...it's all there. This is just the more sophisticated version...with wine.
I don't think that age has very much to do with whether or not someone will like this film...or whether or not someone will "get" it. (I hate when people say that.) I think the reason that critics, as well as all of the older people who claim that you need life experience in order to "get it," liked this film because of how much they can relate to Miles. Think about it (for those of you who are film writers, critics, or students), how many of you have met, or happen to be, just like Miles? How many film critics do you think can relate to a slightly overweight, balding, middle-aged pathetic guy who feels like he's wasted his life and never gets laid? lol I think a lot of them. They see themselves in Miles and feel for him in his situation and, when he finally scores with Maya (after some PATHETIC wasted opportunities), they feel like he's scored one for them too.
Like I said in the beginning though: not a bad film. It's extremely well-done and well-acted, and that's what stops these flaws from hurting it. If it were not for all the hype, I think a lot more people would like it. I'd still recommend it, but I can run off SEVERAL movies this year that I felt were better.