It's Sunday night, my lunch is made, my clothes are washed, and I have nothing to do but kick back and relax on my new memory foam mattress pad. I could read a book, find something on tv, or pop in one of my Netflix movies that have been sitting around for a couple of weeks and that I'm less than excited about.
I choose the latter. First I pop in a movie called Storytelling with Selma Blair, but it turns out that I'm not that in the mood for some dark, fucked up drama starring Selma Blair with pink hair. I eject that disc and look around in vain for A Very Long Engagment, which is nowhere to be found. Option #3 is Sliding Doors, which after thinking about for a while, turned out not to be entirely a waste of 1 hour and 39 minutes of my time for one simple reason: as a new rule I can save myself some time and disappointment by avoiding all movies where Gwenyth Paltrow plays any significant role. All I can say is what a dud.
I know that I am about 8 years late with my review of Sliding Doors, but I'm going to write one anyway, not that anyone cares.
So here's my first complaint: Gwenyth Paltrow.
Right now I can't think of a worse actress. She's boring and stiff and besides The Royal Tenenbaums, I can't think of one movie where I actually gave a damn about her character. In Sky Captain I wanted to punch her out throughout the entire movie and when Jude Law actually did, I did a little cheer in my head, maybe even outloud. There are lots of bad actresses, but what really makes me mad about her is that she gets lot of roles in movies that people would otherwise call good, and also that she seems to be somewhat of a highly regarded acrtress. She is a phony. HOW DOES SHE FOOL PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING THAT SHE CAN ACTUALLY ACT?!?!?! Wes Anderson has been the only director who has been able to do anything with this broad. He used her emptiness to his advantage and crafted a great character.
Besides that horrible casting, the movie had a few other major flaws, namely the script and the stupid climax of the whole bloody thing.
The script was one of the kinds where you think they are saying wonderfully profound, whitty things with every breath, but when you stop to think about it, it all means nothing, and it's all just a waste of time. This movie had a great concept (the what if's in life) without any creativity or life. I can't remember one thing the characters said to one another besides that lame running joke about "nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition." In another movie that may have been funny or quirky, but in this one it was neither. The characters flapped their lips a lot, but nothing substantial or funny came out. It's like the words were just a filler in the great concept of the movie. It's like the scripwriter said "Words? Who cares about the words?!" I say fuck that. Without clever words, a movie is JUNK.
So my other major complaint about the movie is the ending. So in the movie, there are essentially 2 sets of every character because of the parallel storylines. At the end of the movie, we discover that both Gwenyth's are pregnant (by their different beau's in each life) AND that her boyfriend's mistress in one of realities is pregnant too. I mean COME ON. These are 3 sucessful women who aren't stupid who are dating men who are not stupid. What are the odds that all 3 of them would have unwanted pregnancies (both Gwenyth's and the mistress)? Even if all 3 of them hadn't been using birth control, I doubt that there could be 3 pregnancies, so to me it seemed a bit too contrived, not to mention lame.
I found myself watching this movie in the same way that I watched Patch Adams..at a distance and with "Who gives a fuck?" floating around my noodle. My masochistic side comes out when I watch bad movies. The only time I emoted at all during Sliding Doors was at the end when I laughed when the two Gwen's simultaneously get hit by a van and fall down the stairs. Bad movies make me a bad person.