Monday, January 09, 2006
At the movie palace after work today I saw a movie called Broken Flowers.
The very likeable Bill Murray was in this one and he plays a guy called Don Johnston. Don made a lot of money in some computer business and now he sits around his nice house watching old black & white movies and cartoons on his big TV. He's doing exactly this when his current girlfriend comes down the stairs with her bags packed. Yes, you guessed it, she is leaving him. Why? Because he fools around with other women all the time. She calls him Don Juan, and she won't be the last one to call him that in the movie, either, but Don doesn't like being called Don Juan. Considering that he is a guy who fools around with a lot of women, maybe you might take a wild guess and say oh he must be pretty happy, with all those different women! Well sir, no he's not happy, in fact he looks miserable.
The mailman delivers some mail and one is a pink envelope. The letter in the envelope is from an ex-girlfriend from twenty years ago and she tells him that after they split, she had a baby and it's his, and that kid is now 19-years-old and is now travelling around the country trying to find his father. The mystery is the letter is unsigned and has no return address, so Don doesn't know which of his ex-girlfriends it is. Maybe it's even a practical joke, but even though he suggests this, it's obvious he doesn't believe it for a second.
Anyway, he takes it next door and shows it to his friend Winston (Jeffrey Wright). Winston is happily married and has a big family, lots of cute kids running around the place. Winston is also into mystery novels, in fact when Don arrives he is trying to connect to a website that reveals secrets to writing mystery novels, and when Don clicks the mouse a few times and gets the page to load, Winston is overjoyed. Very funny scene. Winston is a very funny, likeable character.
Of course this mystery is perfect for Winston - a real mystery to solve! - and he gets Don to write a list of his girlfriends from that time twenty years ago, then he finds out where they are all living now and makes arrangements for flights and hire cars so Don can go and visit them all.
Don doesn't want to do it, he would be happy to stay on his lounge watching old black & white movies and cartoons, but Winston has done all this legwork so really he has no choice, so off he goes.
One of his old girlfriends is Laura (Sharon Stone), but when he rolls up she isn't there and the door is answered by her daughter Lolita (Alexis Dziena). If you are a *Nabokov fan* you will enjoy these scenes for sure, and the expressions on Bill Murray's face are priceless.
Another girlfriend he visits is an *Animal Communicator*, people come to visit her with their pets and she tells them what the animals are saying. Another very funny scene.
Although there's a lot of humour in the movie, there are also some grim scenes like the one where he visits Dora, who is now married, and she and her husband Ron are in the real estate business. Don is asked to stay for dinner, and that scene was particularly grim and grotesque. People in the theatre were laughing, but I didn't find it funny, I thought it was terribly depressing.
This movie Broken Flowers was very good. The acting was of a high calibre, the dialogue was fine, the movie had a nice balance of humour and misery, and the music used on the soundtrack was very good. I'll gladly watch this one again, for sure.
The people in the theatre didn't make too much noise, only they seemed to laugh in a mean way at those grim scenes, like they felt above all that, as though nothing like that could ever happen to them. Oh well. Let's hope not, eh?