Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Things That Don't Suck: King of California

So, at the end of my last post... earlier today, I promised my next post would be apolitical, and here goes. Last night I saw a pretty enjoyable movie, King of California. Evan Rachel Wood (open question: who names their daughter Evan?) plays Miranda, the 17 year-old daughter of an eccentric man who we see picking up her father, Charlie (Michael Douglas), from a mental institution in the first few scenes of the film.

Over an hour and a half we follow them on a treasure hunt filled with some goofy incidents, recollections of Miranda's youth, and exploration of a dysfunctional but interesting relationship between father and daughter. The journey is inspired and guided by readings Charlie found while he was in the loony bin. Wood plays an over-mature young woman pretty well, we meet her first at her job behind the counter at McDonalds. Her scrappy story of surviving while her father was locked away sets the stage for the distance she displays throughout the movie. Still, she can't resist following and eventually helping her hapless and goofy father, Charlie as he embarks on a garbled adventure.

I wouldn't say Douglas is brilliant, but his character sure is fun. The movie overall was enjoyable if not groundbreaking. It was relatively simple, smart but not preachy and inhabited by characters that were interesting enough to draw you in, accessible and fairly believable.

Some might guess I was drawn to the movie by its bright yellow box, given that a) I like bright colors b) I loved Little Miss Sunshine which also comes in a bright yellow box and c) I'm much like a moth... unable to resist visual stimuli. Even if these people are right, I enjoyed hanging out last night with the King of California and I recommend checking it out.


Stamford Talk said...

It sounds boring!
But seriously your endorsement sounds unenthusiastic! Is it funny?

John said...

I really liked it... not sure that came through in my post, but I did. Now, I was very tired when I watched it, but I stayed awake and I liked the father/daughter dynamic. It could be because I've got a soft spot for father/child films as my dad passed away a few years ago, had his own charming eccentricities, and I miss him... but all that aside, I think it's worth your time. Not boring... or at least I didn't think so.