Friday, August 6, 2010

A new film genre

One of the better movies I have seen this year --to my surprise-- is Greenberg. This could be because I fall into the particular demographic portrayed by the film's titular character: yes, the Gen X mid-lifer. Ben Stiller, as Roger Greenberg, is all screwed-up angst: a perpetual adolescent, self-obsessed, and aimless. Can I relate to that? Not really (being a spouse and a parent helps) but, let's be honest. Why am I here? That is --here-- a.k.a. the blogosphere? Aren't blogs a little bit solipsistic, written by self-obsessed people who stay at home in their pyjamas all day? I am new to this forum, and, as with any new venture, I'm a little tentative; in this case, I also am wary of navel-gazing (although, I am in my pyjamas right now). Welcome to the Princess Cinemas blog: From the Reel, where we will reflect on movies we've seen, upcoming films to watch, and various goings-on at your favourite independent art-house.

Let's get back to movies...

I was pleased when I realized that Greenberg was representative of a new film genre: the Gen X mid-life crisis movie. Cyrus, which I saw last night, could be considered another entry in this new category. God, it was hilarious. I ran into some good friends at the screening and, as we sat together laughing to the point of tears at times, later we wondered why no one was laughing as loud as we were. To be sure, Cyrus deals with a pretty awkward subject --that is, a single mother's Oedipal relationship with her unusual son-- but the filmmakers handle it darn well, and John C. Reilly is spot-on as the observing desperate divorcee who discovers he's become part of a (gruesome?) threesome. This is post-postmodern life, I guess, and like Greenberg, is also set in L.A. (which may be telling, or at least worth pursuing as a sub-generic category).

I'm sure there are other movies out there that could fall into the Gen X midlife crisis genre, but that's a blog for another day. For now, I think it's safe to say that the directors who are making these films --Gen Xers like Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson and [who made Hot Tub Time Machine?]-- will continue this exploration, and I'll be there to watch.

But first, I have to get out of my pyjamas.


  1. You're thinking of Steve Pink. ;) Love Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson films (I'm a Gen X'er myself) though I haven't seen Greenberg yet (wanting to very soon). As for Cyrus, I'm a single mom with a son so um. I HOPE I can laugh at it when I see it??? It might really make me want to puke instead. I do love John C. Reilly though - will have to see how I react!

  2. 'Cyrus' is a great lesson in how NOT to raise your kid! But it's also very warm-hearted, and that makes all the difference.