Like A Trip Back To Middle School

Monday, March 24, 2008

thank you for saving my life

I had this really sad thought last night that I might be the only person in the world who liked the movie Lady in the Water.

I saw it in the movie theater the summer of 2006 when it came out - I don't see a lot of movies in theaters these days, but I've been an M. Night Shyamalan fan since I went with Missy and Abby to see The Sixth Sense on opening night, before anyone knew ANYTHING about what it was about or the twist or any of that good stuff. I saw all of his movies from that point on except for Unbreakable in theaters, and while I wasn't a huge fan of Signs or The Village, I enjoyed them enough for me to want to see Lady in the Water, which, after a second viewing last night, I'd say is my favorite of the set. And considering neither Bruce Willis nor Joaquin Phoenix was in it, that's saying a damn lot!

The thing is, I don't remember a whole lot about most of his other movies other than The Sixth Sense, each of which I only saw the one time. So maybe what struck me so much about this one, that I think made everyone that I re-watched it with last night HATE it, is that the whole premise is pretty ridiculous. Paul Giamatti is an apartment building superintendent who finds Bryce Dallas Howard swimming in the complex's pool after hours, and then comes to realize that she's actually a character in a bedtime story who is trying to get back home, but there are evil dog/wolf-like creatures lurking around trying to make sure that she doesn't get home. It sounds ridiculous.

And it is . . . but I feel like it knows it. As Paul Giamatti tries to help "Story" get home, he starts looking to the other tenants for help. One of the new tenants is a film critic, an "unlikeable side character", who provides commentary on the movie itself from inside it, which I found hilarious. The characters in this movie were necessarily more developed than the others - each had a role to serve and nobody was introduced just for the hell of it. It was funnier than I remembered Shyamalan's other movies being - I'm serious, this movie had a little bit of everything. It was funny, it was touching, it was suspenseful, it was RIDICULOUS . . . it was fantastic. I can't really further justify why I found it so awesome without giving stuff away, but I am fully prepared to defend this movie til my dying day.

I have yet to find anyone who likes this movie even half as much as I did, which kills me because I seriously loved everything about it, enough to go out and buy it. Did anyone who reads this like it? Have any of you even seen it? If you didn't like it, why didn't you like it? Enlighten me.



  • At March 24, 2008 at 5:24 PM , Blogger bs said...

    I saw it in the theater because Lance dragged me to it. I didn't hate it. But he absolutely loved it. I mean loved it, to a fault. I think it is hilarious that you will defend lady in the water.....

  • At March 24, 2008 at 9:50 PM , Blogger Rachel "Emdubs" Morgan-Wall said...

    I've never seen it, but I've had several people tell me I look just like Bryce Dallas Howard.

    ...Which is funny, because everyone thought my dad looked like Ron Howard growing up.

  • At March 24, 2008 at 9:53 PM , Blogger Patrick C said...

    I'm in the "hated it" camp. I just wasn't able to separate it from what I know about M. Night. I think the movie was basically just a big "F you" to his critics. I didn't like that he cast himself as the writer that would save the world. I felt we were just being taken on a trip explaining that we should ignore critics and trust that whatever he writes is awesome. I never saw Signs, but I also hated The Village. I'm not sure which one I disliked more, but probably Lady in the Water.

    See, if Lady in the Water was JUST about what you said, I think I would like it. I would love if it was just about a little co-op rallying together to save a children's storybook character from the Big Bad Wolf or its equivalent. But it wasn't it was full of meta-references to Shyamalan's work which I found pretentious. Maybe if I could separate the work from the man (made difficult by the fact that he's a key character in the story) I'd like it more.

  • At March 26, 2008 at 9:24 PM , Anonymous Jodi said...

    I can't say I loved it or hate it - I didn't see it. There is absolutely nothing about that movie that is appealing to me... :) But you are the only person I know that has seen it and liked it.


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