A mamil on stage

Kapi-Mana News - - MOVIES/ARTS -

Melo­drama has a bad rap in th­ese cyn­i­cal days. Who has time for drummed up feel­ings and overblown drama when the real world pro­vides more than enough histri­on­ics and heart­break?

Well, if the lat­est box of­fice fig­ures are any­thing to go by, it looks like young movie au­di­ences do.

The soggy tis­sue teen bri­gade made its voice heard last week­end, when su­per­nat­u­ral fan­tasy ro­mance If I Stay opened in the US to the tune of $US16.8 mil­lion. Cha-ching. If I Stay is a sweet lit­tle emo­tion bat­terer about Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz), a young woman whose promis­ing life is de­stroyed by a car ac­ci­dent.

While in a coma, she re­lives the best and worst mo­ments of that life as she tries to de­cide if it’s worth stick­ing around.

In fact, it’s in th­ese mo­ments of high emo­tion and ex­is­ten­tial­cri­sis-lite that the real en­joy­ment of melo­drama comes.

Like the cin­e­matic equiv­a­lent of your first pet death, fic­tions like If I Stay and the even more suc­cess­ful weepy, The Fault In Our Stars, which came out last month, are a safe place for young peo­ple to test the lim­its of newly fledged, of­ten scary, emo­tions.

If I Stay is par­tic­u­larly good in this re­gard, run­ning the gamut of loss, love and grow­ing up in lit­tle over an hour and a half.

It’s also good at re­mind­ing young view­ers they are part of the big­ger pic­ture of fam­ily re­la­tion­ships and love – some­thing teens of­ten lose in the mad, hor­mone­fu­elled scrab­ble to fig­ure out who the hell they are.

Scenes be­tween Mia and her doughty ru­ral ‘‘Gramps’’ (Stacy Keach) are some of the most mov­ing in the film. And the mir­ror­ing of her par­ents’ friend­ships in her own net­work of bud­dies is a nice way of show­ing that grow­ing up doesn’t mean grow­ing out of re­la­tion­ships.

Of course it’s all ide­alised to the point of sac­cha­rin overkill. Mia’s grown up Gen-X par­ents are too good (and cool) to be be­lieved, her boyfriend is an ac­tual rock star, and her best friend is more de­voted than the av­er­age cocker spaniel – ev­ery­one needs a lit­tle es­capism after all.

But the fact re­mains that young peo­ple de­serve good qual­ity, thought­ful, com­pelling and sen­si­tive films about hav­ing feel­ings and deal­ing with it. They de­serve The Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of Be­ing A Wall­flower (which they got in 2012 and it was amaz­ing) and Look­ing For Alaska in film form, just as much as they de­serve the flash-bang-wal­lop re­lease of ac­tion and ad­ven­ture.

If I Stay isn’t quite in that ilk, but it’s close enough, and cer­tainly too warm-hearted to knock for be­ing smushy, overly sen­ti­men­tal or ‘‘lame’’.

Be­sides, not even I’m cyn­i­cal enough to re­main un­moved by a teary eyed Stacy Keach.

So here’s hop­ing Hol­ly­wood lis­tens and puts a lit­tle more el­bow grease into telling teen sto­ries, melo­dra­matic or oth­er­wise. One of the coun­try’s most beloved ac­tors has a one man show hit­ting Wellington this month and KapiMana News has a dou­ble pass to give away.

MAMIL - or Mid­dle Aged Man In Ly­cra – stars Mark Had­low (a star of The Hob­bit tril­ogy) and plays from Septem­ber 5 to 20 at Prefab Hall in Jessie St, Wellington.

Bryan Cook is a prop­erty de­vel­oper who has ac­cu­mu­lated a small for­tune build­ing leak­ing homes. He’s a stressed out, self­med­i­cat­ing, self-loathing plonker, killing him­self to in­crease his bank bal­ance while de­creas­ing his golf score.

When his business and life fall apart, he joins a men’s cy­cling group to re­lieve stress and get healthy. Ul­ti­mately faced with his own mor­tal­ity, he makes a few startling dis­cov­er­ies in var­i­ous cracks and crevices.

Tick­ets are $45 and are avail­able through tick­et­mas­ter.co.nz but Kapi-Mana News has a dou­ble pass to give away for the Septem­ber 9 show. It starts at 7.30pm.

To en­ter, email ed­i­tor@kmana news.co.nz with ‘‘Had­low’’ in the sub­ject line be­fore noon this Fri­day – be sure to in­clude a day­time phone num­ber.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.