Suddenly I See

Film Ten things I loved about Doug Liman's exhilaratingly brilliant film Mr & Mrs Smith.

(1) In the flashback at the start of the film our two characters are introduced. She's called Jane and he's called John.
'John.' I heard myself say quietly outloud. 'John -- Smith?'
Only Doctor Who fans would be doing that and only they will know the reference.

(2) John and Jane Smith go to a party. I suspect I'm the only person in that audience to notice that the track playing in the background was 'Every Heartbreak' by Amy Grant (former passion, just after Kylie just before Debbie). I'm wierded out because I haven't heard it many, many years.

(3) The guy from the The OC in the interogation scene is wearing a Fight Club t-shirt.

(4) It's an Angelina Jolie film I can like. I've never found her all that inspiring but there's just something about the way she pouts, raises an eyebrow, holds a gun and wears knee high boots which slays me.

(5) Can we have Vince Vaugn playing this character in every film? I loved the way he was just sort of there, although I suspect a lot of his part was lost in the editing, although they were right to focus on the central relationship. But seriously: 'I like were you're going with this....'

(6) Doug Liman somehow manages to meld some of the sensibilities of his previous comedies (Swingers & Go) with the action of The Bourne Identity. Some of the gunfights are utterly balletic, and remind me of the Robert Roderiguez of Desperado. There are moments which gun fire and dialogue give way to music and it all becomes a dance. I shivered.

(7) Brad Pitt never really gets enough credit for his comic timing. True there's a fine line with mugging to camera, but 98% of the time he's on the good side. You couldn't imagine anyone else playing this part which is a complement.

(8) The constant conversational within the couple about how some situations suddenly have a whole other meaning and their implications. A real attempt has been made to reignite the sort of quick fire dialogue of the 1940s. This is pure Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday

(9) You just feel like you've seen a movie, not just the impression of one. It hits all the beats on time and in the right order. At no point do you feeel short changed or that anything could be done better.

(10) I can't actually understand the ongoing criticism of the ending. Almost every review I've seen says that it's great up until about ten minutes before the end. Actually this could have gone two ways: The Butch and Sundance or what we have. On this occasion the former would really have short changed the audience even though within a certain moral code which some reviews believe movies should follow, that would have created an important ambiguity. But I just thought about Martin Blank in Grosse Pointe Blank -- he can have a happy ending so why not these guys? Then again they do break his golden rule. No unions...

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