Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lady in the Water

M. Night Shyamalan | 2006 | 110mins | USA

For a while, I sort of believed that M. Night Shyamalan had never even come close to making a good film. I sort of enjoyed Unbreakable, but mostly because it was my "homework" to watch it for a fourth year university course, back when it came out in '00. My degree is awesome, I know.

That film was redeemed mostly because it starred my fantasy lover, Bruce Willis - but then, not even he could save The Sixth Sense. That's neither here nor there, mind you. What I really want to talk about is Lady in the Water.

Nobody told me when this film came out that the mermaid-in-a-pool premise was not actually the starting point for a lame mystery with a gimmicky shock ending and a bunch of lackluster twists and turns along the way.

If anyone at all had mentioned, even in passing, that the film was actually an endearing fantasy in which Paul Giamatti and a ragtag group of misfits find themselves in the middle of a fairytale, I probably would have seen it sooner. The heartwarming gang of apartment complex neighbours that superintendent Giamatti assembles (I think his name's actually Cleveland in the film, but whatever) try their hardest to get a water nymph back to her home before some sort of grass/wolf monster eats her. Wacky hijinx ensue! A movie critic provides laffs along the way! Much suspension of disbelief and all that required, but at the end of the day, Lady in the Water is really charming. There! I said it!


aaron said...

this is the only shyamalan film i havent seen + your review makes me think i've made the right decision. god, that sounds like shit.

katarina said...

It depends on what you consider "shit" especially in his "oeuvre".

I find his gimmicky-ending films to be total garbage. This film was like, a funny fairytale with lots of quirky moments that come off as way less eye-rollingly predictable than his stuff usually is. The trailers made it seem like a way scarier film than it is. It's family friendly!

katarina said...

I guess my point, also, is that I literally thought this film was going to be about A MERMAID IN A POOL. I was greatly relieved to find that the premise was marginally less idiotic.

aaron said...

yeah, that all sounds just awful.

katarina said...

How do we disagree so dramatically???

Wait, are you saying you'd rather see a movie about a mermaid in a pool?

I recommend: Mermaid Chronicles Part I: She Creature. It's about a mermaid on a ship. Close enough, right?

aaron said...

um, maybe you've heard of a little movie called Splash? I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE ANYMORE!

katarina said...

Uh, I don't believe Darryl Hannah was ever IN A POOL!

ChrisT said...

Spot on, Kat!! I liked this movie too and it's good to see someone who's like a smart movie dude like it as well!!

Aaron, see it come on buddy be a buddy