Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Adding Insult to Injury

When you're like me, and you've gone more than a month without seeing a movie, you hope that the first one you see is going to be good. Well, Game 6 is not. Tonight I went to what was apparently the film's premiere, not just in Boston but anywhere. The director, Michael Hoffman, was in attendance, as was one of the producers and what I guess were a few VIPs, since there were some reserved rows that weren't for the press. And there was an after-party at Game On! that I got invited to. After seeing the movie, I had no interest in celebrating.

Game 6 is an independent movie starring Michael Keaton that takes place on October 25, 1986: the day of both the infamous penultimate World Series game between the Red Sox and the New York Mets, and the day that in the film, Keaton's character's latest play opens on Broadway. Keaton, supposedly, is a die-hard Sox fan who is prone to failure, and who waxes philosophical on failure and the Sox and how he knows they're going to lose tonight, despite being up three games to two. Basically, the movie is episodic in nature — there's the scene with his friend, then the scene with his wife, then the scene with his daughter, then the scene with the actor, then with the producer, etc. etc. — and none of it amounts to much. For a die-hard Sox fan whose team is on the brink of ending what was then a 64-year curse, Keaton sure isn't all that excited. Nor is he all that involved with the fact that his play is opening. And there's this line of dialogue, "This could be it," which is clearly supposed to be a less-than-subtle message about hope and possibility, etc., and you'd criticize it for being lame if it wasn't so pointless in context.

And just when you think the film can't get much worse, there's an extended sequence — what I would think would be the central scene — that takes place during the game, involving a cab driver, her grandson, and Keaton's character. It takes place in perhaps the quietest bar in all of New York City. During Game Six of the World Series. Despite the place being packed with fans. And no one seems to notice that Keaton's rooting for the Sox, albeit in a minimal fashion. And the kid seems to be the least interested in the whole thing out of everybody. A kid! With his team in the World Series. And he's in a bar on a Saturday night! Doesn't anyone care??

And then, just when you think it couldn't get any worse than that ... Well, suffice it to say, before the game, Hoffman took a couple of questions from the audience. One person stood up and asked, "Couldn't you do something about the ending?" This was before seeing the movie, when the person was referring to the ending of the game. The movie ends a couple hours after the game does, and man, is the last scene contrived. Turns out Downey and Keaton's character have something quite important in common (I'll let you guess what it is), and despite the fact that — and I know I'm ruining it here, but you really don't care, do you? — Downey's just been making out with Keaton's daughter, and that he's the most hated, most feared critic in all of New York, the two bond and become friends. Hoffman explained that folks like Keaton and Bebe Neuwirth and Robert Downey Jr. and Catherine O'Hara did the movie, getting paid just $500 a day, because they loved the material. I can't see what attracted Downey to the film, based on this last scene. It's downright painful.

Game 6 is going to get a limited opening here in Boston and in New York soon before going wider in the next few weeks, and it'll probably be greeted with some kind of fanfare here because of the Sox connection and all (there was a channel 7 news crew interviewing people after the screening). But despite the way the game ended up for the Sox (and in the spirit of full-disclosure, I'll admit to being a Mets fan in '86), I'd say the movie makes it worse. This film gets a D. It's probably not even worth this review.



Post a Comment

<< Home