I’m in the business of writing about film. Some of you may know that about me, newer readers may not, but that’s what I do. Movies have always been one of my passions and when it looked like creative writing wasn’t gonna work out, I opted for a less creative form of writing. But to be fair, it’s all about what you put in to your writing. For instance, I was able to make a Kiefer Sutherland Christmas tree jumping joke in a review of Marmaduke so there are some definite times when you’re allowed a creative outlet, but a lot of the time, it’s nice to keep it simple.
I liked it.
I didn’t like it.
Here’s where it worked.
Here’s where it didn’t work.
Basically, there’s a very standard formula to film review, but it shouldn’t be seen as limiting. You just hafta tackle it from a different angle. But there are some times when film review is never easy, no matter how you tackle it. That was something I saw with the screening of Country Strong. I’ll spare you all the horrid details, but suffice it to say, waterboarding would be a welcome relief from a movie like Country Strong.
But here’s where I always seem to run in to a problem. I like Gwyneth Paltrow. She seems sweet and surprisingly down to earth. What I don’t like is Kelly Cantor, Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in Country Strong. Well, to be fair, I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to like her much, but I nothing-ed her. Whenever she was onscreen, I would just sigh and prepare for Gwyneth Paltrow to convulse with sobs… again. It’s equal parts the character and the performance that forces Country Strong to fail so miserably… but how do you say that about Gwyneth Paltrow?
I obviously have no problem, because I just typed it (and even pressed “save draft” to make sure it stayed in the published post) but some part of me gets knotted up inside whenever I have to do something like that. I understand, as a critic, it’s crucial to separate the actor (or the performance in question) from the celebrity, no matter how likable, but it’s easier said than done.
Plus, I admit that there’s this totally unrealistic fear that Gwyneth Paltrow’s gonna find out and be mad at me. Where this psychosis comes from? I can’t really say. I’m just terrified that she’s gonna be bored one day and Google herself and find my tiny little blog. Then she’s probably gonna send Chris Martin over here to beat me… but, I mean, it’s Chris Martin. I could probably take him, right?
So I guess this post is for the off chance that Gwyneth Paltrow Googles herself as much as I do and stumbles on this website.
I’m sorry Gwyneth Paltrow (is it Mrs. Paltrow? Do I go formal with it?) but believe me, it’s not your fault. There wasn’t a whole lot to work with when it came to Country Strong.
There. I feel better now.