I have this thing sometimes where I buy a movie based solely on the cover of the DVD, or what the description says on the back of the case, or the preview, or who stars in it. Sometimes this is bad…The Last Kiss… but sometimes this is a really good thing. Tonight I watched two of the movies I bought the other day- Mozart and the Whale and Blind Dating. Mozart I bought solely on the fact that I love the two main actors, Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell and Dating was purchased based on the preview. I had low expectations for both movies because when you buy movies like this you have to keep your expectations low, in case the movie really really sucks…The Last Kiss…
Mozart and the Whale is a story that revolves around two people with Asperger’s syndrome (a specific type of Autism) and the ups and downs of their growing relationship. Hartnett plays Donald Morton, a failed taxi driver who started and leads a support group for people with various forms of Autism. Mitchell plays Isabelle Sorenson, a person who shows up for the group, offends everyone, and spends pretty much the rest of the moving doing this exact thing. So they fall in love and have a very unusual relationship.
This movie was utterly amazing. I think one of the things I loved most was the fact that it didn’t try and focus on the medical side of things. The story revolves around a relationship between Donald and Isabelle- two people who “get” each other. Being that they have the same disease, they understand how hard it is to express emotions, to say what you really think and feel, to let people get close to you. Another aspect I enjoyed was the back story of the characters, or should I say lack of back stories. During a specific group meeting you hear Donald’s two minute life story and Isabelle’s two minute life story, and that is really all that is mentioned. You are not stuck in the past; you embrace the characters as they are, as if you have known them your entire life. They stumble upon issues that freak them out, but don’t explain why. They show how they deal with the freak outs, what helps them calm down and yet again, they don’t explain why. It is just the way things are. I think I like this because it made the movie seem so much more intimate and real. You weren’t trying to get to know the characters or dissect them; you were their friend.
That all probably sounded extremely cheesy, but that is how this movie made me feel. The rest of the cast is brilliant as well. Not everyone is struggling with the same kinds of Autism, but as a group they really bond and help each other through the various circumstances in their lives. Hopefully you will go and watch it, which you totally should, and see something different than what I did. I think that is the beauty of movies like this. The message is specific enough that I can relate to certain quirks and traits, but broad enough that it speaks to everyone in a unique way.
Blind Dating is a movie about a guy Danny (played by Chirs Pine) who has always been unlucky in love because he is…blind. Like I said, I chose this based on the preview. And in the preview Danny falls in love with a beautiful Indian woman, Leeza (played by Anjali Jay), and that basically sums up the movie. He is blind, troubled in love, meets a girl, and naturally you assume they fall in love. And like I also said, I set my expectations really, really low.
But this movie completely shocked me. Yes it was the generic, comedic love story I thought it would be, but it had a considerable amount of depth that was no where in the preview. Danny wouldn’t have even met Leeza if he wasn’t trying out for this experimental procedure that would help restore his eyesight. And something else they didn’t mention in the preview was Leeza’s other man (played by Heroes’ Mohinder! Huzzah!). I really ended up liking this move a lot more than I expected to. I liked the fact that with this experimental procedure it wouldn’t restore his eyesight fully; it would only make things a grainy black and white. (I have no idea why I liked that so much. I mean, it wasn’t as if he didn’t deserve to see colors… I just liked it for some odd reason.) I also liked that Danny wanted to be normal and wasn’t upset or seeking pity for the fact that he is blind. By the end I really liked all of the cast (Dr. Quinn as the therapist- classic) and I found myself not wanting Danny to go through with the eye procedure. And no, I am not going to tell you whether he did or not.
While this movie wasn’t as emotionally touching as Mozart was, I would still watch it again. It is a feel good movie where you instantly root for the good guy, even though there isn’t, technically, a bad guy. Maybe… blindness is the bad guy? Like not just typical eye sight related blindness but emotional…blindness?? Haha, maybe not.
All in all you should watch these movies some time. If you had to choose only one I would most likely suggest Mozart and the Whale, but if you are ever in the mood for a movie that doesn’t make you think and ponder the meaning of life, I’d go with Blind Dating.