Darling Companion, which opens today in limited release, has a trailer which had me laughing loudly and obnoxiously for its entire duration every time I saw it pop up in the theaters over the past month. First watch it, then I’ll give just a few reasons why I think it warrants more ridicule than it’s gotten so far.
Obviously, this is so white it makes Grand Canyon look like Do The Right Thing. But there are other reasons to make fun of it first:
1. Richard Jenkins yelling out “Shit!” and being blatantly, hysterically over-dubbed to say “Shoot!” (oo:35)
2. Sam Shepard, who only a couple years ago could have had the Kevin Kline role, is now playing the obligatory cantankerous coot. (00:37)
3. All the old white people sadly screaming “Freeway!” with no apparent awareness that by now, no one under the age of 70 wants to see this movie. (oo:40)
4. One of these honky assholes pets the dog with her stinky bare feet. No wonder he ran away. (00:47)
5. “You know more about your patients than you do about your own family.” Yeah well, you married a doctor, sweetheart. That country house ain’t gonna pay for itself. (00:50)
6. The heavily-accented woman starts a monologue about her certainty that the dog is alive. “The women in my family have a gift. They see things.” In white-people movies, many times the “racial other” has mystical powers that the more urbane honkies do not possess, so rooted in the material world are they. (01:00)
7. This film could use some hot sex appeal. Cue the Richard Jenkins/ Dianne Wiest sex scene! (01:15) Who needs Eva Mendes?
8. This film could use some quirky humor that all those Zooey Deschanel hipster kids love so well. Cue Kevin Kline barking at rams! (01:25)
9. This film could use a reference to Lethal Weapon 2! Cue the old dislocated-shoulder gag! (01:37)
10. I wonder if they find the dog by the end of the movie? (02:08)
How does this happen?
Do you know who Lawrence Kasdan is? You should! He’s only the guy who wrote Raiders Of The Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back. He almost literally wrote the book on what we want to see when we go to the movies. Now he’s writing movies with his wife about rich people who lost a dog that wasn’t technically theirs in the first place. I’m a huge fan of escapism, clearly, but for some reason movies like Darling Companion explicitly make me remember that our country is in a crippling recession and people are starving every day on the streets while genocide and ill-considered wars rage overseas. Somehow, I don’t think I will have that problem watching The Avengers.
I think it’s because I know (with reasonable certainty) that Iron Man and Captain America don’t exist, so ironically I’m more willing to play make-believe and to get interested in their imaginary story. Conversely, I know for a fact that people like the ones Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline are playing in this movie do exist, and I hate those people. I CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO GET INVESTED IN THE STORY OF WHINY RICH PEOPLE WHOSE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS GETTING A QUIRKY PSYCHIC TO CONVINCE THEIR RUNAWAY DOG TO COME HOME.
Who is this movie for? And once you identify them, best to keep them apart from guys like me. We’re clearly not on the same wavelength.