Weekends are for movies and if you don’t know what to watch the next time you power up Netflix on your Roku, I would highly recommend “The Interview.”
Unfortunately the marketing of this movie was so bad that they almost totally ruined my interest in it. But I should have known that if Seth Rogen and James Franco were involved it was going to be a certain kind of funny, and it absolutely was.
Here are 10 reasons you absolutely have to see this movie:
- James Franco’s portrayal of the host, which is so funny and over-the-top it makes the movie.
- The screenplay, which is hilarious – these lines are so rich I can’t quote them enough: “America tried that before and it didn’t work.” “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it again.”
- The intelligent worldview of the movie, which is that wars are just as much fought through communications as guns, that both are equally powerful
- The plot, which allows us to talk about real issues by combining reality and satire
- The focus on North Korean dictator specifically, which was highly imaginative and which allows us to look at him from a psychological point of view
- The psychological bent of the movie, which doesn’t use action to cover a lack of thought
- The empowering messages about women, subtle and not-so-subtle: “It’s 2014. Women are smart now.”
- The overall message of the movie, which is that taking care of each other is the most important thing we can do on this planet.
- The cameos by Eminem, Rob Lowe and Bill Maher, which were very funny.
- Seth Rogen’s portrayal of the Jew as Franco’s moral conscience who’s also lost his way because his job pays a lot of money, and Franco makes him feel loved and wanted.
As a side note there is a scene in the movie that involves a line that some would consider anti-Semitic (to the effect of “Don’t shake his hand…he’s a Jew.”) I understood that line to be important to the movie, to have artistic integrity and to be perfect for the comedy.
Imagine what kind of world we would live in if we could not incorporate anti-religious messages – even if crude or insensitive – into art the same way we incorporate sexuality and violence. We would be starting down a path where the only end is bleak totalitarianism.
In any case this is a fantastic, funny, movie that is rare in combining true art with a truly important set of themes and messages about the world. I hope you take the time to see it, on Netflix or anywhere else.
All opinions my own.
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