A former pop star who now writes commercial jingles for a living, experiences a mid-life crisis.A former pop star who now writes commercial jingles for a living, experiences a mid-life crisis.A former pop star who now writes commercial jingles for a living, experiences a mid-life crisis.
Martin Freeman is one of these actors that takes grips on the "average guy" role and has as much fun as he can with it. As Gary, the band member turned commercial music composer, he is effective in demonstrating his lack of joy in his current relationship with Dora (Gwyneth Paltrow) and sinking into obsessive dreams about the make believe Anna (Penelope Cruz). Freeman is always a good lead because no matter what he does, he's likable and we're always rooting him on, even as Dora calls him a jerk and she's probably right at one point.
But a lot of the humor in the film comes from the supporting players. Simon Pegg is always a no brainer for comedy because of his spot on delivery. As Gary's friend and boss, Paul, he jumps into the role of the somewhat amoral friend with his own relationship problems. However, he does still listen to Gary and even takes joy in some of his obsessiveness.
Then there's Danny Devito, playing the typical Danny Devito character as he hosts a dream support group but works odd jobs and hasn't had a relationship of his own for over 40 years. Despite all this, he still hears Gary out and Gary takes a lot of his advice. Devito has a lot of good one liners and a very funny introduction scene.
As to the movie as a whole, it's good but not great. Definitely worth a look. Part of me saw this as a dark comedy going through the motions and becoming very predictable as we got closer to the end. The premise was very fresh though and director Jake Paltrow really seizes the opportunity of capturing the dreamlike quality of some of the scenes. The performances and well paced direction really glue the movie together though, and at 90 minutes, it's not a bad movie to give a watch.
- Nov 2, 2008