As we all collectively face another weekend of heartbreakingly bad weather, I am here with the good news that there is something wonderful to do that will keep you happy and (mostly) out of this blasted rain. From now until late Sunday night, the Provincetown International Film Festival is on. I am up here now, staying at a friend’s beautiful house, and ready to watch an eye-searing, brain-numbing multitude of movies over the next three days. Please come join me!
And, of course, even though I’ve been excited about this film festival for months, I left everything to the last minute. I arrived here yesterday with no tickets and only a vague idea of what I wanted to see. Luckily, I was able to get the majority of my picks, but the two movies I wanted to see last night were both wait list only. So, a half hour before showtime, I lined up in the waitlist for the movie Timer and I luckily got in. The movie imagines a world where the invention of a “revolutionary bio-technological wrist implant called the TiMER, which counts down to the exact moment when people will lay eyes on their soul mates” makes “heartbreak a malady of the past.” It’s a romantic comedy with a sci fi twist that explores the difference between love and destiny, and how waiting for “the one” to show up can lead to missing a whole hell of a lot of fun. It’s really sharp, funny, and insightful – highly recommended. After the screening, Schaeffer answered some questions – mostly about how she managed to finance the movie (private equity, family, and friends) and if she has a distrubuition deal (not yet, but she’s working on it!). Her parents were in the audience, she was charming, everyone loved the movie, it felt great to be there.
Next, I lined up for the waitlist to see 500 Days of Summer – yet another film about people in search of their soul mates. And I got in again! This one had some buzz around it – it was already picked up by Fox Searchlight Pictures and had some decent reviews – but I was much less charmed by it than TiMER. It was a typical romantic comedy, just with the usual roles reversed – the girl doesn’t believe in love, the man is a hopeless romantic. There was a song and dance number, a wisecracking best friend, a hyper precocious little sister who only exists in movies such as this to provide sound advice from an improbable source, etc. There was almost no emotional verity in the movie, which, I understand, is not the romcom genre’s strong suit, but still…Mostly, I felt the film was trying too hard to make me like it – never a good sign.
Anyway, I’m off now for a long day of movies, movies, movies. No more romantic comedies – today it’s mostly glorious documentaries and some good sounding narrative films. But please, do come to Provincetown – check out these glorious flicks. There is no better way to spend a rainy weekend.