do you sometimes have trouble sleeping? do you wish the travel channel had more programs with no talking and more sex with prostitutes? do you have a soft spot for facile love stories and senseless plots?
if yes, i highly recommend the film the american.
i fought the urge to sleep all movie long because i really believed it was headed somewhere. big mistake. i forgot about the men who stare at goats and leatherheads. i figured, this is george clooney. he only appears in good flicks.
one of the marks of an excellent film is the ability to get in viewers' heads, to make them question their own lives and beliefs and actions. a truly great film will challenge your view of the world and the self. and i suppose i have to give some credit here--
watching the american made me question my own qualities as a friend. how could i inflict this film on anyone i cared about? or even worse, given that the primary purpose of this film was clearly to serve as a tonic for insomnia, how could i behave as i did halfway through the film when i noticed my friends' eye lids droop, when i noticed him finding the great blessing of sleep? indeed, how selfish of me to deprive him of that nap, to nudge him, even gently, awake. misery loves company.
but there are some cool shots of street-lamp-lit italian mountain villas. and the prostitute-love interest is attractive and naked, if you like that kind of thing in your films. there's also an inexplicable friendship between the ever-silent clooney and a platitude-pronouncing, philandering priest, so again, if you're into that kind of thing, enjoy!
did anyone on the web reading this like the american? apparently some critics did; it has a bloated rating of 65% on rotten tomatoes.