Movie commercials offer us a great service; they not only show us which upcoming movies look good, but also which upcoming movies look like Hitler Turds (turds that waste no energy being anywhere except directly beneath your nose). In honor of this profound art, which I partake in from time to time, I give you TRAILER TRACKS, a weekly examination of upcoming movie commercials: what they say, what they don’t say, and what they say accidentally about the product being sold to you, the excited chump.
This Week’s Entry:
(Universal; Dir. Anand Tucker)
We know the battle of the sexes is often waged at the theatre. Mr. Plexus Organ watches Transporter 2; Mrs. Tulip Smelzgud buys tickets to Grays Anatomy: Season Three (a two-time-only Fathom event); neither want to subject themselves to their partner’s stupid shit. This seems like a fairly basic potayto/potahto kind of deal.
But it’s not. These films offer viewers fantasy versions of themselves and the life they want to lead. While I understand why soft office drones long to be buff lunkheads beating their way to justice in a country filled with democrats, I don’t understand why women would fantasize about being Amy Adams in Leap Year. If this movie succeeds, I stand convinced that the biggest fear facing normal, healthy American women is the threat of NOT someday turning into Edith Bunker.
As a side note: I don’t know director Anand Tucker. I don’t even know if he or she is a she or a he. It appears that his/her parents tried to spell the word “and,” and fucked it up. Looks like they nailed it on the second attempt. If it took your parents two drafts to correctly spell the word “and,” you might also have what it takes to someday direct an alleged piece of shit.
The Set Up:
The first 25 seconds of this trailer are amazingly brutal. Amy Adams shops for an iDress at the Apple Store, as a lady who may or may not be a gigantic bird comes up to tell her: “Guess who I saw [MASSIVE SOUND EDIT] walking out of the store carrying that little red bag!” Sadly, I can’t guess because I don’t know what the fuck she’s talking about.
We then cut to AA’s boyfriend sentimentally handing her a gift, presumably later that night because she’s wearing her iDress. But before AA takes the gift, the giant bird’s V.O. interrupts: “Ok, HOLD ON. We gotta work on your surprised face.” Notice how when she orders “hold on” the film freezes, but only for half a second. AA isn’t moving enough for us to see anything has frozen, and the soundtrack offers no record scratch to tell us shit just stopped in its tracks. This is the world’s most half-assed freeze frame ever. At this point, I think the trailer is embarrassed that it tried to achieve something cute above its level and would like us to move on.
But I can’t. Soon after the non-freeze frame sike-out, the trailer pulls out a tape slow-down, an equally tarded trailer-hack trick. This time the trailer really tries to make it work, but fails by being too eager. There is no transitional padding between AA and the big bird laughing and AA’s disappointment at not getting the wedding ring like she wanted. (INSTEAD SHE GETS NOT ONE, BUT TWO GIGANTIC DIAMOND EARRINGS! SOME PEOPLE ARE STARVING IN THIS WORLD, AMY ADAMS, AND UNLIKE YOU THEY AREN’T DOING IT ON PURPOSE!!!)
Clearly, the person editing this trailer views the task as Friday afternoon bummer. That’s understandable since the film itself aims only to be a Friday night blowjob bargaining chip.
The first 25 seconds also fail from a narrative standpoint when at 0:00:12 we see that AA’s boyfriend is played by Adam Scott. From this point on, no one really needs to see this film. Anyone who has ever seen another human being’s face, knows better than to trust Adam Scott. His head is like a series of smug arrows piercing my empty bank account and middle-class upbringing. This guy is the current go-to actor for smug comic villains, the first actor I’m gonna call when my Caddyshack and UHF remakes finally get greenlit. Casting him as a possible love interest is retarded if you’re shooting for any kind of suspense.
As we’ve already seen, AA is dead-set on marrying Adam Scott despite the fact that he looks like a “Land of Confusion” version of Tom Cruise, and he is dead-set on not marrying her. What she needs is a socially-approved way to tell him how she feels because women are not allowed to ask men questions in America if they ever hope to get hitched. Questions are for mistresses/whores only.
Enter John Lithgow, slumming it as AA’s dad. He tells her that in Ireland, women are allowed one day a year where it’s socially acceptable to ask men questions. This day is called “Leap Year,” because it requires such an extreme leap in logic. If AA ever intends to someday wear pleated, pocket-less denim jeans she needs to get to Dublin and take advantage of it ASAFP. AA is all like: “No way, Dad!” to which Lithgow just nods, smiling stupidly. He’s thinking about his paycheck and how many lives he’ll save with the urban children’s theatre this paycheck will fund. That’s cool, Lithgow. We forgive you. I like that you showed up with crazy hair.
So now we are into the REAL plot of Leap Year. Amy Adams must road pic her way to Dublin so she can ask her boyfriend to marry her. Her main obstacle is God, who thinks its a shitty plan and tries to kill her airplane. His will to save her from herself does battle with her will to be a stay at home NPR mom. In the end it’s a draw: she continues her quest, but he sets her back by landing the airplaine in Whales.
God’s love isn’t ALL pain and damnation and eternal torture, however. He knows that Ireland is a rough place filled with wolf-hounds and banshees and writers inspired by James Joyce. If cute little Amy Adams is going to survive, she’ll need a charming rogue to guide her. So God instructs one of his elves to help her. His name is Bellend Sebastian, and he thinks your poetry is as deep and passionate as the eye of a thousand hurricanes. Venus hurricanes.
AA immediately dislikes Bellend Sebastion. First off, he smokes. Second off, his cheeky foreign car is a VW and not a SAAB. Third off, he won’t shave his meticulously trimmed beard. Fourth off, he eats these gigantic lettuce/mayo sandwiches and talks while he eats and laughs while he talks. Fifth off, she’s not convinced his calculated slaughter of innocent millions actually contributed to the “greater good”.
At this point, the trailer gives us a Max Fischer rendition of Romancing the Stone as our city girl contends with a series of uncivilized country bullshit. I mean, cows in the middle of the road? Muddy hills? Substandard electricity? Each step of the way Bellend Sebastion berates her upper-class snottiness and beerbongs a Guinness.
(Maybe you ladies can help me out with this. Do you think AA’s manifest selfishness is part of the plot, or just what Hollywood thinks of women in general (or Hollywoods impression of how women see themselves)? Notice how she makes everything about her. For instance:
“You fried the VILLAGE!”
or, after destroying this guy’s sole mode of transport:
Raise your hand if you think this is a purposeful character trait the script deals with (like they kind of did in Notting Hill). Or is this supposed to be funny, relatable behavior? I’m asking because I think it could help me with my own shitty films.)
They end up in a quaint Irish bed & breakfast where, for whatever stupid reason, they must pretend to be lovers to get a room. It won’t be easy because the pervert who owns the place is sentimental, and he demands they fuck on the dinner table to prove their love. As Bellend Sebastian gives it to her elf-style, she can’t deny that she likes it. For a country rogue, he has the soft, hair-free body of a pretty lesbian, and he’s extremely attentive to her filching instructions. When the hidden camera footage his the Internet an hour later, it’s so overwhelmingly romantic that men stop masturbating and call their wives.
Clearly, the two elves have fallen in love. I’d like to move on, but the trailer decides to throw us an “Amy Adams is a clutz” comedy scene for good measure. At this point I’m so “whatever” that I don’t even think it warrants actually saying “whatever,” so instead I’ll just say “wh”.
Guess what! At the very end Douchey McFerret-face shows up to — get this, ladies — finally propose to Amy Adams!!! It’s what she always wanted! But does she want it anymore? Tough call, right?
If this film ends with her saying “yes” and living the rest of her life with Adam Scott please email me so I can shit myself.
I’m purposefully taking it easy on Amy Adams because I suspect she’s the baby I put in Meg Ryan on the set of When a Man Loves a Woman. I need to know before I go running my mouth and ruining my chances of sleeping with her if she’s not. I’m sure she’s very talented and that Leap Year is a very talented film and that she should call me or DM me on twitter maybe (not this weekend, baby, but January sometime).