Oh we all love neurotic characters on film, don’t we? I have recently saw two with neurosis between younger and older characters on film, and as I say, “not since Annie Hall…”
From UK comes ‘Benjamin,’ starring Colin Morgan as the title character. Benjamin is young and nervous. He is a filmmaker who enjoyed success on his first film and is suffering from a (self-inflicted) Sophomore Slump. he is int he middle of releasing his film when he falls in love with a French musician Noah (Phenix Brossard) and he feels his life crumbling – or perhaps finally he is finally in the cusp of, gulp, happiness? Written and Directed by Simon Atwell, this film has all the elements of what I love most: it has a love story, it is intelligently written, it is bittersweet, and it is set in my favorite city London. And it feels like ‘real’ London, with real Londoners. There is a scene here where after Benjamin meets Noah, he becomes a bumbling fool, and I can so relate to that, and I can so relate to Benjamin’s mixture of despair and hope when he feels love. There’s that nagging feeling in you that all this will turn to shit, but of course, there is that hope that this may actually be the one. I loved every minute of this film.
I wish I could say that I enjoyed the neurosis in ‘The Tomorrow Man,’ Noble Jones’ film about senior citizens in love. There’s a lot of tenderness here that I love, and I adore the fact that there is a film that exists where love between two people ‘on the wrong side of sixty’ is explored. But the flaws of the characters, meant to make them more human, kind of scared me. John Lithgow’s Ed seems mostly creepy (he has a garage full of canned food and supplies that is meant to save him from impending doom) though I liked Blythe Danner’s hoarder character of Ronnie a little better, but maybe because for me Danner could do no wrong. I still left the theater in a more positive note, carrying with me its central love story, and maybe wondering if love could still prevail in spite of all our own (hopefully milder) neurosis.