acting, awards ceremonies, casting director, craft, date night, gerard butler, hubris, jennifer aniston, jessica biel, katherine heigl, new york, repo men, steve carrell, telus movie tuesday, tina fey
I went to see Date Night last night and was pleasantly surprised. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t even that excited to see Date Night but it was Telus Movie Tuesday and to be quite frank the other films playing were absolute balls.
Date Night was fantastic.
Watching it however got me thinking about the craft of acting. A quick disclaimer here, I generally have a huge amount of disdain for the amount of hubris and self-aggrandization that seems to surround the acting community and despite often enjoying the ridiculous and over-the-top awards ceremonies I usually want to shake most the recipients and say something to the effect of “It’s just bloody pretending to be someone else! YOU DID NOT SPLIT THE ATOM OR BRING ABOUT WORLD PEACE!”
Anyway, it seems to me that Date Night is a film that hinges almost entirely on acting talent. It’s a mediocre premise that with great actors becomes a good film and with the reverse becomes a stain on the face of cinematic history better forgotten than mentioned at all. By that I mean that a film like Repo Men was never going to be good based on the problematic story and terrible director. Even with the infusion of two rather splendid acting performances the film is unable to rise above it bargain basement roots.
Conversely a movie like Date Night isn’t striving to change the conventions of cinema and handed to the likes of Katherine Heigl, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, Gerard Butler etc etc etc could’ve just been another shitty film. In the hands of Tina Fey and Steve Carrell however it’s an enjoyable, if slightly pedestrian, romp through the streets of New York. It’s funny but has a surprisingly touching heart and I would’ve been happy had I paid full price for it.
As a random aside a co-worker and I were discussing Casting Directors today (he is an actor) and we got talking about how you attain such a position? Can you go to school to be a Casting Director? It seems like one of those jobs you just luckily fall into and then wield a disproportionate amount of power relative to your education. I could totally do it, obviously.