I didn’t much like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. To be fair, I did like Tilda Swinton, the CGI effects, the sea captain, Cate Blanchett’s hypnotic beauty, and the fact that I was reminded how much I like caviar. Now that is a snack.
But the movie:
1. Aging backwards is one thing, but shrinking is totally ridiculous.
2. It starts as a fantasy then turns into a banal & illogical relationship drama, all fantasy elements evaporated and replaced with boring real-world concerns that don’t even make any sense.
3. The love story resolves in a totally non-credible way. Actually, hardly anything made any sense at all.
4. BenjButt’s mom starts the movie as a totally interesting, strong, intelligent and risk-taking character in the first act of the movie, but re-appears as a super-lame, tired stereotype of a gabbling negro mammy cleaning lady around the midpoint. WTF?! WHY?
5. It’s up for Best Picture while the incredibly wonderful heartbreaking beautiful fascinating The Wrestler isn’t? COME ON.
6. It’s impossible to care about any of the 15+ secondary characters. The Shakespearean butler? The pygmy? Mr. Button Sr.? The seven million old ladies who all blend together? The modern daughter?
7. It’s a total copy of Forrest Gump, except without the charm of Forrest Gump.
Oh yes, Benjamin Button is pretty much a beat-for-beat copy of Forrest Gump. Turns out that both the Gump and Button screenplays were adapted by screenwriter Eric Roth from literary works (BB from F. Scott FitzGerald’s short story, and FG from Winston Groom’s novel). And man, are there ever parallels.
Both movies show us the sweeping journey of a misfit manbaby as he meanders through the 20th century, from war to John Lennon to a worrisome brush with a modern-day crisis (AIDS / Katrina). This awesome little comparison video proves it. (from Talkshow with Spike Feresten, no idea what that is).
The plot-doubling is uncanny, right down to the floating feather- in BB’s case attached to a hummingbird- and the attention-grabbing CGI. Remember how awesome Lieutenant Dan’s missing legs were? Until Voldemort’s missing nose and Harvey Dent’s cheekhole blew them off the map in more recent cinematic adventures? Well, I guarantee in two more years we’re gonna see a whole spate of movies attaching heads to the wrong bodies. (I’d like to be a kittycat, please.)
This ButtonGump article is also good.
Life is like a box a’ chock’lits: yuh nevah know what’s comin’ fuh yuh.
…Prob’ly gon’ be sompin’ deriva-tiv.