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A music journalist, working for a magazine in transition, is given one last chance to write an article which is either controversial or can get the magazine some press.
Review (with Spoilers)
As of this review, I will have covered around 6 Toni Collette films and the reason why I am so willing to see a film if she is in it is because she rarely disappoints. Well, at least when it comes to my movie taste. Though with her being paired with Thomas Haden Church, who is just a lovable odd guy, really what could go wrong? Well, to see if something did, look below.
Characters & Story
For years Ellie (Toni Collette) has been one of the top music journalists around. Thing is, with her getting more and more into indie talent, of which doesn’t explode after her discovering them, her boss Giles (Oliver Platt) wants her to remind him, and the readers, of how big of a name she is. So, in order to do so, he wants her to look for Matthew Smith. Someone long presumed dead but, with possible videos of him out there, Giles wants the scoop. Thing is, Ellie and Matthew once dated and it didn’t end on the best of terms. But due to Giles wanting the transition from print to digital to go well, and him wanting to give Ellie one last chance, he pushes her to find Matthew. Leading her to hook up with her ex-boyfriend Charlie (Thomas Haden Church) for after getting $1000 from Giles, she loses it. So with Charlie being rich, and willing to give her a $1000 for a source, if he can film a documentary on her finding Matthew, they end up joining forces to find the man, the myth, the legend: Matthew Smith.
To be quite honest there isn’t a huge amount to highlight when it comes to this film. For while Ellie and Charlie are adequately played, and have good chemistry, there isn’t a grand performance or story here. Charlie has some interesting dialog which uses the awkward nature of Church well, but that is about it.
Perhaps the main thing I wasn’t fond of is that the build to possibly finding Matthew wasn’t that strong. Like, it wasn’t made to make it seem like him and Ellie went through a lot; like she was there for some really hard moments; and overall I felt the use of flashbacks and younger versions of Matthew and Ellie could have helped beefed up the story. For just Ellie showing us where they kissed, where she lost her virginity, and there being none of Matthew’s music to help justify the legend, it makes it so you are made to barely care whether he is alive or not. For with you not getting to know him, and Ellie seeming like she would be fine if Giles fired her, there seems to be hardly any reason to invest in what is going on.
Overall: TV Viewing
Truly, if Matthew had a stronger focus, or was at least equal with Ellie, this could have been an interesting film. For with a dash of mystery; flashbacks to help us get to know the Matthew that Ellie knew; and then with his music justifying the legend, whether the film used a fictional musician or even someone underground, this could have been something good. However, without us really getting to know Mathew, we are given a movie just barely good enough to not be background noise for a nap. Hence the TV Viewing label which honestly would be a Skip It if it wasn’t for the fact I like Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church in the movie.
“I have devised a system that can work for any couple, it goes like this: If the relationship can be summed up in a single sentence, it will never survive.”
— Lucky Them