Filmmaking is magic, right? It’s alchemy. No, wait - it’s baking! Baking. Thanks for toughing out that metaphor workshop with me. BAKING. You compile your ingredients, you measure carefully, you mix specifically, all the while factoring in external variables like altitude and room temperature. Then you hope for the best. And if your ratio is off, or you forgot something, or one of your ingredients has expired, you don’t get a sub-par cake. You get a mess in your oven.
I bring up the baking analogy though, because on paper The Longest Week should be pretty good! The feature film debut from writer/director Peter Glanz (total waste of a perfect porn name) has a great cast, and the trailer feels like Whit Stillman making an homage mashup of Arthur and Sabrina, with some Wes Anderson-flavored whimsy thrown in.
Wait; maybe that doesn’t sound so great. Like a Christmas fruitcake, maybe a little too much going on, yeah? Plus, the plot involves trust-fund layabout Jason Bateman stealing Olivia Wilde from his best friend Billy Crudup, so there might be a science fiction component to the film on top of everything else. Still, Bateman and Crudup are often reliable touchstones in a movie, and I would totally steal Wilde from my best friend given the chance, so maybe there’s something relatable here onto which we can latch. But so far this trailer hasn’t found it. I know how the trailer game goes, and this movie might be amazing, but this preview’s selling White People Problems big-time, and my only takeaway so far is “It’s better to have loved and lost Olivia Wilde than never to have loved Olivia Wilde at all,” which I'm pretty sure I knew already. The one thing the trailer does right is to have Jenny Slate show up to ask what we’re all thinking: “How am I supposed to care about a group of over-privileged affluent types who go gallivanting around without any sort of a moral compass?”
Get the answer, hopefully, in theaters and on VOD September 5th!