I was traveling back from “the islands” and found myself with some extra time and a $5.00 theater. It was hot and humid so the movie shown in freezing air conditioning was an escape from that outside misery.
What I didn’t count on was a different kind of misery. One of pacing, prolonged shots, cliche jokes and “let’s poke fun of another culture at their expense” humor. My first clue should have been from the opening scene: a butt shot. I should have lifted myself out right then and there and watched “Step into Liquid” instead. But then, I wouldn’t be writing this for here.
I didn’t care about any of characters. Although I felt an odd connection with Bill Murray’s (Bob Harris). It was only because the character was played by Bill. I don’t think another actor would have held my attention for as long for so little. Bob is a person who no longer has a life that is his. It’s owned by a studio, an agent, a wife and some kids that he isn’t raising. That character can only be so interesting for so long.
And why was he named Bob? I kept getting ripped away to another film with Bob strapped to the mast of a boat yelling “I’m sailing! I’m sailing!” You’d think that some PA would have caught that and said, “um, can we name him Joe?”
I was left wanting to see conflict. The camera dudes wife (Charlotte) certainly spent a lot of “unquestioned” time with Bob. There’s no talk of “what did you do with your day and why were you talking with that guy at the bar for like ever??” The other untapped conflict was with airhead actress and camera dude and wife. It’s all implied that there was a affair going on but never followed up.
The pace of the movie was odd. I understand the desire of the editor to want us to feel like Charlotte as if we are seeing and discovering through her eyes. But did it need to be sooooo long? 45 minutes before it was over I wanted to leave because I was finished with the film. Sheesh. Must I do my own edits on everything?
The Tom Selleck film “Mr. Baseball” was a better film. Where “LinT” focused on “aren’t those Japanese wacky”, Mr. BB showed the main character as more “fish out of water” in a culture of traditions based on honor. In the end of Mr BB the character had grown up and contributes back what he has learned.
Where as in LinT the Bob character just goes away. And we didn’t even get a good walking out on the credits song.