Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Exploding Girl (2010)

This movie I noticed nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards a few weeks ago, and namely the scene where Zoe Kazan's character says to Mark Rendall's character "do you want to have my babies" got me curious.

Zoe Kazan, is awfully cute. Hmm, maybe even I should say, I would have no ability to resist lusting after her. And given the fact she stars in this, and the way it looked, I was totally optimistic about this movie.

The premise, like Tiny Furniture focuses on a girl in her late teens/early 20's, trying to figure out what to do with her life. She is in college, although the movie is set during a break.

Ivy (Kazan), has this friend from college named Al. I don't recall if they knew each other for many years, or just from college. But what happens is, he can't stay with his parents (they conveniently for the story, rented out his room. How often does that happen?), so he stays with Ivy's family.

Ivy has a boyfriend who she keeps trying to call, and rarely gets a hold of. The boyfriend I guess is staying back at school? or maybe he went back to his hometown during this break from school. I forget. The point is, they are not together, and she doesn't seem to be receiving the attention from him, like she is giving him.

And meanwhile, she hangs out with Al, and they do seem to grow close. But it's amazing how the story doesn't have them go anywhere really, on a romantic level, even though on-screen it seems almost obvious they should. He likes her, and she definitely likes him.

A few other points about Ivy being that she has epilepsy. While I'm not sure this fact plays that big a part in the story, it is one thing that adds to her character's subtle/subdued approach to her life.

I read an interview with Zoe Kazan after watching it this weekend, and she talked a lot about how Ivy hides her emotions pretty well. Because I've seen many examples of characters who melt down or even over-emote, going through those kind of emotional experiences. Her boyfriend ultimately breaks up with her, and her relationship with her mother being a bit distant I guess.

I appreciate that to a point, although I am sucker for a (beautiful) girl showing (human) emotion. And Mark Rendall's character Al, is rather fancy-free and happy-go-lucky, so she could easily have shown that to him. And actually, the crying scene outside, or the scene with the seizure I suppose she did to a point.

But overall, she ends up hiding a lot of the emo-side that you come to almost expect from someone that age (especially women).

I kind of felt a tad disappointed in this movie, in what I got from Zoe. But I suppose that's maybe a bit harsh. But like Tiny Furniture, I think it didn't quite capture everything I got from Funny Haha a few years ago. That sympathetic, introspective, seeing-myself-in-the-character element. To a point, I guess, but not as clearly or deeply in this movie.

However, Zoe Kazan and Mark Rendall are 2 actors I want to keep an eye out for. Zoe especially, as not only is she extremely easy on the eyes, but she does show some range here (just not the kind of range I yearned for I guess :p).

Also the fact I liked her in Me and Orson Welles, along with wanting to see things like The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and Bored to Death the tv series, my interest in her work continues to grow (despite any issues some may have with her Hollywood nepotism).

Also I just realized how much she reminds of, in some photos, of Alessandra Torresani (from Caprica). The two of them could play sisters, easily.

Mark Rendall does need to play Jeff Buckley in Mystery White Boy assuming it gets made before he's too old, because he's like a splitting image of him. And apparently he's a musician (you hear a clip of him in this movie even).