Can we have “What is, a movie that contains neither of the items intimated in the title” for 1,000, Alex?

That would be “Match Point,” for those not bothering to play at home.

Went to see “Match Point” today. Can’t really spare the cash to go out and do things right now, but between staring at all the crap I’m going to leave behind when I move (I’m traveling light) or staring at the increasingly frustrating drama going on over all things Web-related (if you missed it, don’t ask), I couldn’t be in the hacienda.

But, as always, I’ve digressed. A new theater opened up in Kingstowne, so I wanted to check it out. Well, that and of course Woody Allen’s newest cinematic wonder.

It’s like “Closer”, only a year later in the characters’ lives. Well, that and in “Match Point,” two are siblings so that rules out more characters screwing around. 😉 Or maybe “Closer” meets “Unfaithful.”

I daresay I really liked it, even if it were a little bit long and a lot unrealistic at times. Allen’s use of symbolism is subtle and significant. I was sort of undecided about the movie before the final scene, but because the ending was brilliant, I can forgive some of the dumb dialogue (like, before they go out to the movies) and the implausibility of such a pussy like “Chris” actually orchestrating the events that end up happening.

Other than Jonathan Rhys-Meyers having lips that are, dare I say, comparable to Scarlett Johannson’s, I didn’t really like him in the role. There’s also a bit of trivia out there that Kate Winslet was originally slated to play the role of “Chloe” (Chris’ wife), but she gave up the project. I think the Chloe they ended up with (Emily Mortimer) was just sweet enough balanced with just annoying enough to make you understand why Chris wasn’t as over the moon for her as she was for him.

I’m trying so hard not to give spoilers, but wow. Holy crap. Only someone who truly understands human nature could have pulled off this movie — the tendency to seek pleasure as well as to avoid confrontation at all costs. To use people for all they’re worth. To thank the stars above for the luck, however undeserved in some cases, that finds them.

My advice? Go see it. You’ll thank me. Especially if you don’t walk in late, because the first scene sets up the whole thing brilliantly. You can predict the action and the ending, but damn, you’ll be quite unsettled anyway.

Three and a half stars. Maybe more if the DVD has deleted scenes, because there was definitely a transition scene or two toward the end that I felt it needed.

All in all, a wonderful escape from the veritable shitload of drama happening in my own life. 😉

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