Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Crazy 80's Project: Withnail and I

Two out of work actors, one a hopeless alcoholic, the other neurotic, both fed up with their squalid apartment, decide to spend a weekend in the country at the alcoholic's gay uncle's cottage. Chaos ensues as they deal with a lack of food, their lack of survival instincts and a surprise visit from the uncle himself. Withnail and I sounds like a "me" movie if ever I've heard one (Alcoholism? Check. Characters failing at life? Check. Clifford from Spice World? Check.). So why am I having the hardest time coming up with anything remotely interesting to say about this movie? Certainly, Withnail and I is clever in its own way, with quite a few amusing bits and a great turn from Richard E. Grant as the alcoholic actor. But everything in the film sort of runs together and nothing truly stands out. It has only been a week since watching Withnail and I, and I can barely remember anything about it. Maybe it's because the film is, in a sense, a comedic take on the British Miserablism film, which I find to be one of the hardest regional cinema subgenres to sit through. For all the banter and gags, Withnail and Marwood are living are extremely desperate, depressing characters sleepwalking through life; it certainly makes Bridesmaids' Annie looks like a winner in comparison.. Perhaps Withnail and I is another one of those films that requires multiple viewings to truly get what is special and funny about it. For now, it's a mildly enthusiastic B-.

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