Monday, May 10, 2010

An Education (Scherfig)

I think An Education suffers from Good Will Hunting Syndrome, i.e. I'm supposed to sympathize with a main character whose problems I would love to have. You're smart, pretty, confident, and outgoing? Ooh, I feel so terrible for you, I really do. And unlike Good Will Hunting, this girl comes from a loving, supportive family. Come on Nick Hornby, give me a real protagonist next time, would you?

I feel like at the end of this movie I'm supposed to say to myself (spoiler warning), "Ah, yes, I remember when I was young and smart and good-looking and I had an underage fling with a really hot, charming guy, and I was so sweet and naive and he totally took advantage of me, but I learned a lot about life and I still got to go to my dream college so it all worked out in the end." Sorry. Don't remember that.

Otherwise the film's not bad. I certainly got a good feel for how crummy and boring early 1960s England must have been. Viewing all that repression and stagnation and an entire nation's pathetic effort to cling to an outdated social structure, I kept wanting to shout out, "Come on, Beatles, just show up already!" Just imagine it: England before The Beatles. What was the point? At least America had Hollywood. The girl in this movie dreams of living in France and watching pretentious French movies and reading philosophy and probably wearing a beret. France? Just wait a couple of years, honey. England will be way more swinging than France.

Film critic rating: ***
Little Earl rating: **

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