A HERO'S SPARK: the final book in the Wicked Women series!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A writer's perspective on the the movie, "The American."

Good afternoon all!

If you're in the upper portion of the US, you are enjoying some very fine winter weather.  Here in SE Wisconsin, everything is nicely glazed in ice. How many more months of winter?  :)

So last night Hubby and I curled up and watched a movie.  We both love movies and on Friday we picked up a basket of them at our local Family Video.  (If you're not familiar, Family Video rents all kinds of movies for super cheap.  No wonder Blockbuster can't compete!  We walked out of Family Video with five movies, two of which were blue-ray disks, all of which were new releases, all of which we got for 5 nights...and paid less than $14.  Good luck getting THAT at Blockbuster.)

The movie we selected was "The American" starring George Clooney.  I'd not heard much about the movie, but I like Clooney well enough, plus it was set in Italy, which I love, so I was all for it.  The basic plot is that Clooney is an American assassin who hides in Italy after a gig in Sweden doesn't go well.

I know this because in order to write this blog, I check with The Internet Movie Database and that's what was written as the synopsis.  Having just sat through the flick, I have to say, "They were in Sweden?  When was that?"

Let me save you 105 minutes of your life.

In the first fifteen minutes of the movie, the body county outnumbers the lines of dialogue.  By the end of the movie, it's an even score.  From what I gathered, and since I don't read Italian  (much of the plot is revealed in newspaper headlines that are not translated) and since I don't SPEAK Italian  (much of what little dialogue there is is in Italian....but the subtitles are in white letters, printed over a generally white background on the screen.  Almost impossible to read.)  Clooney is  a guy who steals a car from a guy who may or may not be his boss.  (Hubby and I actually got into an argument over whether or not he stole the car.)  Then Clooney frowns his way through some very pretty Italian scenery.  When he's not frowning, he's doing sit ups or having some very graphic relations with an Italian prostitute who pretty much looks like one of the soccer moms on my kids' team.  In the midst of it all, he has dinner with a priest...not sure why, and I'm definitely not sure why he then went to steal some automotive parts from a guy the priest liked.  Then Clooney frowns some more, shoots a bunch of people, builds a kickin' gun from the stolen automotive parts, fixes a guys' truck and has more sex.  Oh and there's a woman who changes her hair color in every scene she's in.  She's probably important to the plot, but since 1)  I didn't recognize her as the same person every time I saw her, and 2)  She mumbles the twelve words she says, so I'm not even sure what she was saying, I can only surmise that she wanted to buy a gun she that she could shoot a bunch of house shingles and one aluminum sunflower.

And that's the movie.

In my opinion, as a writer, the person who wrote the dialogue either got completely hosed because they cut out all the actual words  (what....we're doing TALKIES now?)  or they got completely overpaid because there is very little dialogue.   If I were to bet on it, I'm thinking Clooney wanted to vacation in Italy, but didn't want to pay for it, so he got some unwitting movie studio to pay for it.

If that's the case, well done, George.

But you won't mind if the rest of us don't watch your vacation slides, right?

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