An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and assoc... Read allAn English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
Life presents us with the absurd as much as it does the mundane. Watching the way people handle the good and bad drama in their life is a hobby of mine. I liked the way Bob Dylan kept his "Wonder Boys" gold quietly present.
Michael Douglas' Grady Tripp doesn't call attention to his abnormally odd weekend, either. Douglas' Grady always maintains his cool even with a transvestite's tuba and his mistress' husband's dead dog and "the Crabtree pharmacopoeia" in the trunk of his ass-marked car. Grady deals with all of it. Grady deals with everything this peculiar weekend shows him - with a calm voice and an attitude mellowed from either age or experience or pot. In the here and now, he is calm and quiet but we all know that he'll have his anxiety or heart attack quietly near offstage with as few crowds and drama about them as possible.
Grady speaks lines like "gimme the gun, James" matter of factly, the same way that his married girlfriend tells him she's pregnant, the same way he'd order a drink from Oola. Why add drama and histrionics to the mix? He is what he is. Things are the way they are - even though things have changed.
One of the things that separates one human from another is the way we deal with change. isn't it? Personally? I want to hear about the absurdities of life. I like observing how people deal with it all. I like those stories.
Tripp's fellow travelers are in flux too - it's not just Grady going through change - his wife (unseen), his mistress (France McDormand), his editor (Robert Downey, Jr.), his students (Tobey Maguire and Katie Holmes) - all of them are experiencing an extraordinary weekend but there's hardly a voice raised in the storytelling.
The soundtrack alone is worth the viewing, thanks, Bob Dylan! And Curtis Hansen, Michael Chabon - tell me another story, please! If you can manage to bring a similarly wonderful ensemble cast - even better!
- Jun 5, 2003