SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know how Brad Pitt’s movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ends, don’t read any further. However it must be mentioned that if you can’t figure out how a movie about a man aging in reverse ends, your powers of deduction are woefully limited and you should see someone about that, like your mom or your third grade school teacher because you should get your tax dollars back.
Let me start by saying that I don’t mean to be a trendsetter (although I do take credit for the popularity of the “high and tight” haircut in my elementary school), so my point here isn’t to prevent you from seeing the movie. I’m just saying after you do see it don’t come back to me saying, “YOU FILTHY SON OF A BITCH. That’s three hours of my life I’ll never have back. NEVERRRR!” Okay?
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before Brooke doesn’t like to know what movies are about before seeing them. Going off only the title (and the fact that the movie was released just in time for the holidays) she assumed the film was about a young British boy who loses his favourite teddy bear and must search for clues to his disappearance in order to find him.
In hindsight, this would have been an infinitely better movie. Teddy bears? Cute. Boy detectives? Goldmine. British people? Clever.
But no. Instead the producers decided to go with an awkward love story about a man who ages backwards, a woman who ages forwards, and a bunch of people who don’t see very much wrong with this situation. What could go wrong!?
Umm . . .
Problem #1: When I finally told Brooke the premise so she wouldn’t bug me throughout the entire movie asking where the teddy bear was, she seemed incredulous.
Brooke: “But how is he born? Like, does he come out a full-sized old man?”
Me: “I’m sure they won’t actually show him being born. They’ll just start the movie and he’ll kind of already be there.”
Brooke: “Yeah, it’d be ridiculous to do it any other way.”
Act 1, Scene 1 – The baby is born an old man. Like out of a vagina. A wrinkled old-man baby that looks like a cross between George Burns and a shaved Pug. Not cool, Brad Pitt. Not cool.
Problem #2: Unless you’re making niche porn (preferably Japanese) it’s never really okay to hint at a sexual relationship between an elderly man and a pre-teen. Even if what you’re trying to suggest is that the eternal bonds of love defy age and circumstance, what you’re really doing is making everyone uncomfortable. By the time they’ve reversed rolls and the elderly woman is making out with an infant, I was practically in tears, albeit tears of shame because it was actually kind of hot.
Problem #3: You could spend the entire movie trying to do the math on how old Brad Pitt is supposed to be and never come to a definitive conclusion. I know this for a fact because it’s exactly what I did. More than once I completely zoned out trying to gauge Pitt’s age by the severity of his wrinkles, and then do some reverse math to calculate Cate Blanchett’s age.
The furthest I got in my calculations was figuring out that Brad Pitt looked way too fucking old. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story on which the movie is based is supposed to take place between 1860 and 1910. That’s 50 years. This movie starts in 1921 (liars) and supposedly goes into the 70’s. Now I get that Pitt’s character doesn’t have the benefit of modern cosmetics like under eye cream, but no one looks that old at 50. I mean, that’s like ancient Mayan 50.
Making movies where actors look different than themselves is stupid. (Oh no! I hurt the make-up artist feelings!) Seriously though, I’m not a gay man but that doesn’t change the fact that Brad Pitt is fucking HAND-SOME and the most interesting part of the movie is when Brad Pitt looks like Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett looks like a hotter version of Cate Blanchett. (There’s a bone, make-up artists.)
What they should have done is filmed the movie over the 80-year span of Brad Pitt’s life so it was always Brad Pitt. Baby Brad Pitt, teenage Brad Pitt, studly 20-something Brad Pitt, elderly Brad Pitt – you get the idea. And that idea is that I am a genius before my time.
Problem #5: Seriously, no on thinks it’s strange that he’s aging in reverse? Scientists? Oprah? No one? I know you’re supposed to suspend reality for these things, but there’s only so far you can go with it. Like, I couldn’t make a movie called Poopman (about a man covered in poop) and not have at least one or two characters comment on how awful he smells. It just can’t happen.
All in all, the best part of the movie was when the ticket clerk charged me only $19 for two tickets – a student rate! It looks like that under eye cream is really paying off.