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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

spoiler alert: about the ending of Spring


[major spoilers for Spring; spoiler-free review here]

Spring is the story of an ordinary, uninteresting young man who somehow — we never know how — convinces an amazing, extraordinary woman to fall in love with him. This is, in many aspects, a tediously familiar story, one we’ve seen numerous times onscreen. But Spring is special in that it brings a new sci-fi-horror element to the story… one that makes it even more enraging that these male-ego-stroking romantic-wish-fulfillment stories usually are.

About halfway through the film, and after a few subtle hints that there is something strange about Louise (Nadia Hilker), we learn that she is an evolutionary anomaly: Every 20 years, she renews her body via a regeneration process that incorporates genetic contributions from a man. In effect, her new self — though retaining the form of a young adult — is the daughter of her old self and whatever dude she chose to accept some sperm from. But she retains all her memories and her personality. Louise is 2,000 years old but forever young.

The horror part comes in how, as the 20-year-cycle is ending, signaling that it’s time to renew, her body starts to briefly erupt into other life forms from humanity’s evolutionary past, so there are temporary tentacles and so on. She explains this to Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci), the guy she sleeps with in order to gather sperm to facilitate the renewal process. He has convinced himself that even though he and Louise have only known each other for a few days, she is the love of his life. She scoffs, of course, but he keeps pestering her: Why can’t they be together after her regeneration? His pestering gets worse after he learns that she can turn off her superpower and live a normal life after one final renewal. All it requires is that she fall in love with him, because oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, will interfere with the process.

In an otherwise intriguing science-fiction concept, one that is at least tenable enough to allow for the suspension of disbelief during the course of the story, this bit about the oxytocin isn’t merely ridiculous: it’s a clear contrivance on the part of screenwriter Justin Benson to create some concrete proof of Louise’s falling-in-love with Evan. And to do so in a way that — more than any other regular-schmoe-snags-an-awesome-babe story has ever been able to do before — lets Evan know that he is so so so soooooo very special. (Which is what these sorts of movies are always about: no matter how unspecial a guy might think he is, he is most definitely worthy of an amazing girlfriend who appears to be completely out of his league.)

Louise’s final renewal and transformation into her new self is upon her, and right up until the very last moment, she is insisting to Evan that there’s no way she’s giving up eternity for him. (In return for her giving up eternity, he promises to give up smoking. Because those are totally on the same level.) Anyway, she just met him a week ago, and she’s not in love with him. She says this over and over, and it’s wholly plausible, because she has had a long, amazing life crammed with who knows what sorts of adventures (we get a few hints of the things she has done), and Evan is a nondescript nonentity. There is nothing there for her to fall in love with, at least not that the movie has shown us. And there’s this, too: she obviously has not been in love before in her 2,000-year-long life — if she had, her regeneration process would have been interrupted — and we’re supposed to believe that this Evan guy is the one to finally make it happen? Pul-lease.

Except, of course, that’s exactly what happens. For all her protestations, her transformation process is interrupted by love. She is mortal now. Because she is in love with Evan. For the first time in two millennia. So she was either consciously lying before about not being in love, which doesn’t make any sense. Or she was unconsciously lying, denying to herself that she was in love with Evan. Either is uncomfortably close to suggesting that women cannot be trusted to tell the truth about their emotions, or about what they want. Her mouth said no, but her body said yes.


And I bet, after all that, Evan doesn’t even give up smoking.

posted in:
spoiler alert
  • Hank Graham

    I want you to write and produce your version of this idea, so that I can see it.

    As for this movie, what a waste!

  • RogerBW

    So basically he’s a murderer. Great.

  • SaltHarvest

    The sci-fi aspect seems to be a clumsily executed metaphor for reincarnation. A 20-year cycle that has been repeated for 2000 years would imply (at least, *wink wink*) 100 partners she has had (and if we strictly go by the material presented, all of those partners are male).

    Each one modifies her genetics as they come and go. Each one adds to her “evolution” in some way. Evan is the last step in the chain. Evan completes her.

    I imagine a Louise-centered version would resemble this … ‘That billionaire dude? Still missing something. Some other guy? Still missing something. That dudebro over there? Not done yet. Evan? Yep, we’re done here.’

    I’m guessing the horror aspect includes what happens to the other partners after she is finished with them.

  • I’m guessing you haven’t seen the movie. Because nothing happens to her partners. (She doesn’t kill them, if that’s what you’re implying.) And there’s really nothing even remotely connected to reincarnation here.

  • SaltHarvest

    So they catch a bus for all intents and purposes, okay. All of her romantic relationships have a shelf life of 20 years.

    As for (re)incarnation… Louise skips steps like dying, being between lives, and being reborn, by taking in new genes and regenerating on a period of twenty years. If you can say recycle, then it shouldn’t be too hard to see each of Louise’s “daughters” as an incarnation of the bloodline, and since they all have Louise’s … mind… we can call it what it is. Or you can avoid making the connection for some silly reason.

  • Burroughs

    Fun fact: when I first saw this one on the festival circuit, the poster tagline was “On a long enough timeline, every girl gets weird”.

  • SaltHarvest

    Not sure I’d call that “fun.”

  • You really do need to see the film before you can talk about it in this depth.

  • Ugh.

  • SaltHarvest

    Not for this aspect. Either the part you cited in your review/spoiler is accurate, and we can, or it’s not.

  • Kat105

    I don’t know if my comparison will anger some fans of this movie or some of the commentators who disagreed with your review, but the “Twilight” series is sort of the equivalent to this.

    Louise is an immortal supernatural creature who never fell in love until she met the male protagonist? Edward Cullen is an immortal supernatural creature who never fell in love until he met the female protagonist.

    Evan keeps pestering Louise to maintain a relationship with him, even though she keeps telling him that it can’t work? Bella keeps pestering Edward to maintain a relationship with her, even though he keeps telling her that it can’t work.

    Evan has convinced himself that Louise is the love of his life after only knowing her for a few days? Bella convinces herself that Edward is the love of her life after only knowing him for a few days.

    But there is one key difference and that is this ending. Edward doesn’t change himself for Bella. He doesn’t let go of his vampirism and
    become human so that he can be with her. *Bella* has to give up her humanity and become a vampire to be with him. Which I guess shows that even in a wish-fulfillment fantasy that’s supposed to be targeted to girls and women, the female character in a romance has to change an essential part of herself in order to stay with her boyfriend.

    But, yeah, I wonder if any of the fans of this movie hated “Twilight.”

  • Burroughs

    I keep seeing people doubting this reading of the film- but that damning tagline on the poster, by the directors themselves, makes their attitude pretty clear.

  • Perhaps I have transgressed by pointing out that that attitude is problematic, not that it exists.

  • Burroughs

    Apparently I also transgressed- because after all the praise the movie had been getting, I walked in expecting that attitude to be subverted or lampooned instead of embraced.

    It’s not even so much the underqualified man meets overqualified woman bit… that’s been going on since Chaplin paired himself up with Paulette Goddard.

    Louise embodying the fear of female “otherness”, I knew to expect. Making her ultimately not so dangerous seemed a nice touch. But to domesticate her into a mortal at the end and see it as a positive thing was… ugh. Wasn’t there enough money in the budget to license “Under My Thumb” for the end credits?

  • I want to revisit this couple in a year’s time, and she how she feels about mortal life with this guy. I bet she’s bored out of her skull.

  • Joel

    You sound like a whiny feminist twat.

  • a

    Are you trying to end up on her *gendered abuse* page? Why don’t you tell us — based on her essay — what’s so *twattish* about her?

    Cite your sources.

  • Ooh, a spoiler review! Consider this an upvote for the concept. It’s great to read what you like and don’t like about specific parts of a movie.

    I can’t contribute much to this particular discussion because I’m not ever going to see Spring. Based on the description, though, I have to agree that a realistic sequel featuring these characters a few years down the road would be pretty depressing. Hell, even if you’ve met somebody who’s genuinely right for you, knowing you’ve given up immortality for him would have to make you resent him a little.

  • Burroughs

    This could be a secret prequel to Zulawski’s “Possession”, but with a hearty dose of junk science to explain everything we see.

  • Garlic

    Just finished watching this film. I can understand where youre coming from about Evan being not much of anything for Louise to fall in love with. But then are you saying that there’s should be something for Louise (or any woman) to fall in love with? Good looks? Wealth? Aren’t those the superficial things that we try to overlook? (at least in the ideal world, which is where film/movies can play in). Maybe the one thing that makes Evan worthy of Louise’s love is that he was willing to overlook her “faults” (evolutionary anomaly).

  • Danielm80

    In her review of the movie, she says:

    He does not appear to be well read or well informed about much of anything. He isn’t funny or witty or clever.

    So a man who’s worth dating would be the opposite, someone who has those traits, or other traits that give him an engaging personality.

  • I’m saying that Evan doesn’t have anything substantial about him. He’s almost a nonentity. Yes, for the purposes of this story, there should be something for Louise to fall in love with. We need to understand why he is different from all the other men she has met over two feakin’ millennia.

    Maybe the one thing that makes Evan worthy of Louise’s love is that he was willing to overlook her “faults”

    That is such a low bar. Doesn’t Louise seem like she’d need more than that?

    Also: Louise has wealth. She clearly doesn’t need a man for that.

  • Daniel

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been in love, MaryAnn. But while “positive traits” can be act as “perks” to a relationship. If you love someone. You just do, unconditionally.

    And if you have to shoe horn in some thing to make them “worthy,” then it isn’t really unconditional love now is it.

    While looking at relationships as “How does this benefit me?” is utilitarian. At the same time you can’t deny it’s still selfish as crap.

  • Daniel

    I’m confused, you typed “because I’m not ever going to see Spring.” in one comment, but in another posted “You really do need to see the film before you can talk about it in this depth.”

    So did you actually watch the film? Or are you just deriding others for not doing so? I’m not a genius but either way isn’t there some degree of hypocrisy in writing these two contrasting statements?

  • We’re talking about fiction, not real life. A story about two people who fall in love just because they do would probably be a really dull and uninvolving one.

  • MaryAnn Johanson posted the second comment you quoted, not me. I didn’t watch the movie. She did.

  • Danielm80

    Love isn’t unconditional. The condition might be “as long as you continue to be a responsible husband and father” or “as long as you provide me with the emotional support I need” or “as long as we continue to have engaging, intellectual conversations,” but it’s still a condition. If the two people really love each other, then, hopefully, the condition won’t be difficult to meet. Hopefully, the person will not only enjoy meeting it but will find it unthinkable not to.

    Also, a positive trait isn’t just a “perk.” Sometimes, it’s an essential part of a person’s personality. An intellectual person will naturally feel a need to read books and learn about history or current events, and will want to discuss those things with interesting people. And if one of those people is interesting enough, the discussions might turn into a romantic relationship. None of that is a perk. It’s the basis for the relationship.

  • sympdlp

    I’d love to see the reactions of the opposite situation, in a contemporary movie, where he’s the immortal and she’s an ordinary woman. I’m betting we’ll have much more of “Oh, that’s so wonderful he gives it all up for her!”. I mean, isn’t that what “real” men are supposed to do today?

  • Danielm80

    If the woman were as dull and unremarkable as Evan, people would probably complain that her part was underwritten, the same way they complain about films where the female lead is just The Girlfriend.

    If she were extraordinary enough to make the audience fall in love with her, people would probably find the film romantic, as they did when Clark Kent gave up his powers in Superman II.

  • sympdlp

    And what, pray tell, does a man need a woman for?
    I love what Harrison Ford says to Anne Heche in 6 Days, Seven Nights: “She shows up, that’s it. We’re guys, we’re easy.”

  • sympdlp

    And what, pray tell, does a man need a woman for?
    I love what Harrison Ford says to Anne Heche in 6 Days, Seven Nights: “She shows up, that’s it. We’re guys, we’re easy.”

  • Sara Trifković

    Haha, I really enjoyed your review! Good writing!
    Also, if her new self is the product of her old self and the his sperm, wouldn’t a continued romance of those two implicate father-daughter incest? This movie is just wrong on so many levels.

  • I’d love to see that movie. How come no one has made it, do you think?

  • Charming. You make men sound so appealing.

  • Oliver

    You are presenting your misandry in the disguise of a plor review. Bravo!

  • I don’t think you know what “misandry” means. And I certainly don’t know what “plor” means.

    But thank you for playing. We have some lovely parting prizes for you to take home.

  • sympdlp

    MaryAnn, almost every movie ever made where the man is portrayed as a ‘good man’, gives it all up for her, often so with his life! What do you think is happening when DiCaprio (and all the other men except the ‘bad’ ones) frenzies to get Winslet on a life-boat while all the ‘real’ men stay onboard to a certain death? It’s classic! The few men scrambling to squeeze their way onto a life boat are all shown as cowards whereas the women are allowed to be without judgement.
    Superman is the ultimate man and will choose to give up his immense powers to live a normal life with Lois, a very ordinary woman.
    The public’s trained reaction is invariably to laud him for his sacrifice, rather than questioning if “there should be something for Superman to fall in love with”.

  • Danielm80

    What are the prizes?

  • RogerBW

    Hours of your life that you don’t waste watching terrible films?

  • You’ve named two movies, neither of which are comparable to what Louise does here.

    almost every movie ever made where the man is portrayed as a ‘good man’, gives it all up for her, often so with his life!

    I have no idea what movies you’re talking about. Can you name a bunch of them? If there’s so many, it will be easy.

  • A case of Rice-a-roni and some Turtle Wax.

  • sympdlp

    Not “comparable to what Louise does here”? It’s clear you have difficulty conceptualizing anything not from a gynocentric viewpoint.

  • sympdlp

    Misandry: “hatred or dislike of men or boys”
    Do YOU don’t know what it means? I suggest spending some time outside your feminist circles.

  • sympdlp

    To apply your phraseology above… “I don’t think you’ve ever used Turtle Wax” but you’ve probably had it on a ‘honey-do’ list. Funny eh?
    Oh but I’ve got more…I think you’re definitely the Rice-a-Roni type!

  • Give me a movie — just one! — in which a man gives up immortality for a woman about whom the best we can say is, Eh, she really likes him.

    Just one.

  • LaSargenta

    >confused< A San Francisco Treat?

  • sympdlp

    Did I not talk about Superman above??? In Superman II with Christopher Reeve, he sacrifices his powers to live a simple life with Lois, making him mortal.
    See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081573/
    And: http://supermanrebirth.wikia.com/wiki/Immortality
    And: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090820123118AAPJSDL

    How about the movie Troy, where Achilles accepts his only vulnerability (his heels) to save Briseis?
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles

    MayAnn, you are just ‘thick’ or disingenuous? I sense the latter.

  • Danielm80

    Briseis is a legendary queen, considered to be beautiful and clever:


    Lois Lane is a cultural icon and an intelligent, talented, resourceful reporter.

    Neither woman is ordinary.

  • sympdlp

    Thank you for making my point. Every woman is always special to you feminists. That’s cool, except men just never get that reverence. AT ALL. So… you really think purposefully ordinary-looking Lois (Kidder) measures up to Superman! Really? Or the extraordinary skills and talents of Achilles, an immortal BTW, with the pretty little Briseis, a mere mortal?

    Haha! This whole discussion is like talking to a brick wall and expecting intelligent discourse! Reminder: the point MaryAnn was making is there’s no gender reversed equivalent to the movie ‘Spring’. That was too limiting IMO, but I yet still played. But now that I’ve given examples, you change the logic. Now… now! it’s that she can be pretty or renown and she lives up to an immortal’s sacrifice. Really? Well in this movie we’re supposed to be discussing, Evan is a good looking guy with plenty of quality attributes. How come he don’t get no respect with you feminists?

    Well, unless men are billionaires and they give you everything you want, never complain or ‘talk back’, have zero expectations from you. Hell, you can be a fat piglette and he better still adore you. Raheeet?

    Or better yet, they can be just handsome rednecks for your ‘boy toy’ fantasies until you realize they need to be taken care of as opposed to you being taken care of?

  • amanohyo

    Superman grew up on Earth around other humans. He’s been alive what 35 or 40 years? Is it an even match with Louis? Of course not, but she was not an ordinary woman in 1938. She was an example of the post-suffrage “New Woman”- smart. independent, assertive, articulate, and fearless. It is not preposterous that Superman fell in love with her.

    The other counterexample is a little better (although note how far back we have to reach), but once again Achilles was not thousands of years old when he fell in love and made his sacrifice. Also, the characters in old myths did a lot of really boneheaded things to get laid. Zeus turned himself into a freaking bird so he could rape Leda. That one never made any sense to me. Hera really should’ve married that nice Poseidon fella.

    As far as docile billionaires with low standards and handsome redneck manboys go, um… I’m sure there are women out there who are interested in those types of men (although really what person, man or woman, isn’t a little intrigued by a billionaire or a beautiful body?), but none of the women I know fantasize about either of those specific types. I guess what I’m saying is, the places you go to meet women are clearly not giving you a good cross section of humanity. Go somewhere else and look harder.

  • Oliver

    Oh pardon me! Let me
    introduce myself first. I am Jon Snow and “I know nothing”.

    And I am pretty sure that now you will take this opportunity
    to yell ‘valar morghulis’ and stab me in the heart, because I happen to be a
    “man” after all.

    (In case it passes over you it is an allusion to the
    ingrained misandry in you.)

    (And heaven forbid that I make a typo, where I mistype ’t’ of
    plot with ‘r’ and you with your movie-“plot”-reviewer’s brain fail to
    catch the intended word.)

  • You used the word “misandry” to describe what I’ve written here. It doesn’t apply. Hence it would appear that you still don’t understand what the word means.

  • Superman wasn’t immortal. And Lois Lane is a helluva lot more interesting than the guy in this movie. *AND* Superman gets his powers back, which sort of goes toward demonstrating that he shouldn’t have done such a thing in the first place.

    I don’t remember the details of the movie Troy, but I’m pretty sure none of the women were significant characters in any way, like Louise is here.

  • Every woman is always special to you feminists.

    You are quite delusional if this is what you are taking from this discussion.

    That was too limiting IMO

    Not in the least. Women barely get to be significant characters in movies at all.

    Evan is a good looking guy with plenty of quality attributes, as much as your female heros above.

    Pray tell, what are these amazing qualities of his that measure up to Lois Lane or a legendary queen?

    Hell, you can be a fat piglette and he better still adore you.

    I don’t usually go here, but fuck you. You are deliberately misreading everything I (and others) have written here. No one has said *anything* about money or “zero expectations.”

    I submit that your particular defense of the dull and flavorless Evan is evidence of how men crave ego-stroking movies like this that reassure them that amazing women will definitely be into them no matter what they have to offer themselves.

  • sympdlp

    You used the word “misandry” to describe what I’ve written here.
    Wait! What? WHere have you described misandry?

  • sympdlp

    Now the feminists are using their typical deceit: have the opposing view deleted (comment below).

  • sympdlp

    What does Superman getting his powers back got to do with anything??? He does so to save the planet Earth!!! But he still made that sacrifice for her without any intention to revert back? Ah, and then there’s the typical “he shouldn’t have done such a thing in the first place”. Yeah, men can never get it right, isn’t that so, MaryAnn!?!

    I’m pretty sure none of the women were significant characters in any way, like Louise is here

    Okay this one just has to be

  • sympdlp

    Take the plank out of your own eye.

  • sympdlp

    Well, at least your post stayed on point and has some interesting and related arguments.

    I think talking about the age factor has merit, but I will counter that both Superman and Achilles are immensely more powerful than Louise, both regarding their innate powers and the influence they hold on the world. Louise is a mere creature living an isolated and mostly hidden life, without much impact on anyone.

    I guess what I’m saying is, the places you go to meet women are clearly not giving you a good cross section of humanity. Go somewhere else and look harder.

    Now here you clearly lose your edge. How would you know what ‘cross-section’ of people I meet? I wouldn’t be surprised if we compared curriculum vitae that not only am I exposed to a wide variety of people, but are so from diverse walks of life AND on 3 continents!

  • LaSargenta

    Exactly. The review is not misandrist.

  • LaSargenta

    You want to read the comment that was deleted from this thread? It is enshrined in internet perpetuity at http://www.flickfilosopher.com/2015/06/gendered-abuse-i-have-received.html . See the update of today, June 5th.

    I don’t think it is deceitful to delete something so off-topic and rude. Your comments are in opposition to her review and she hasn’t deleted those.

  • sympdlp

    I didn’t use the word ‘misandry’, Oliver did. But he’s right, the review is a feminist rant against men. To wit her opening paragraph:

    Spring is the story of an ordinary, uninteresting young man who somehow — we never know how — convinces an amazing, extraordinary woman to fall in love with him. This is, in many aspects, a tediously familiar story, one we’ve seen numerous times onscreen. But Spring is special in that it brings a new sci-fi-horror element to the story… one that makes it even more enraging that these male-ego-stroking romantic-wish-fulfillment stories usually are.

  • amanohyo

    Perhaps I should have written, “Go somewhere else or look harder.” I’ll take you at your word – you have met a wide range of women and did not notice that many of them dislike 50 Shades (and Mary Sues in general), a considerable percentage dislike men who are pushovers with low standards regardless of their wealth, and quite a lot dislike rednecks or more typically evaluate handsome rednecks on a case by case basis.

    It doesn’t seem as though you are paying a lot of attention to the people you meet. Look harder. Your sweeping generalizations about women at large and feminists are inaccurate. Feminists are human beings. Women are human beings. Human beings are complicated.

    Back on topic, what qualities do you think make Evan appealing enough to attract the attention of an immortal being who has witnessed the birth of human civilization and the rise and fall of countless empires?

  • LaSargenta

    No, it is a complaint (or ‘rant’, in your word) about how this character is astoundingly uninteresting. I, personally, would quibble with MAJ about the use of the word ‘ordinary’ as I have met a lot of ordinary people of both genders who are interesting.

    She also notes that this is yet another in a long line of stories where an otherwise uninteresting man in a story somehow just becomes a magnet to some otherwise astoundingly unusual-in-some-way woman. This kind of story is so common that I’m surprised you’re denying it by implication. Whether or not you approve of that kind of story or think it reflects reality, I don’t understand why you think it isn’t common.

    Pointing that out isn’t misandrist.

    Then, there is the fact that half the world’s population is female. Why can’t half the entertainment reflect that?

  • sympdlp

    I know women who fantasize about Christian Grey, and I know women who find him disgusting. Does that answer your question you formulated as an uninformed judgement of my “attention to the people [I] meet”? Personally, I find him primarily juvenile, certainly disturbed, but more so not real.

    Info flash: Men are human beings too! And Evan happens to be one too. He doesn’t need to be ‘appealing enough’ to you, but he was to Louise. That’s all that counts. You certainly don’t have to sacrifice anything for him. Love is mystical and often unexplainable. In fact, the more there seems to be ‘logical reasons’ to love, the more it’s likely to be a calculated association rather than true love. The purest example of true love is a father/mother for his/her children: more often than not, the kids are not worthy of their parents’ sacrifices. But do you – should you – question that? Lois is in no way shape or form remotely the equal of Superman. But it’s A-okay with me and almost everyone that he loves her enough to sacrifice his immense powers – way more potent in every way than Louise, btw. Then why such disdain for Evan? Does it make you feel like amazing women should not love lowly men?

  • sympdlp

    Then, there is the fact that half the world’s population is female. Why can’t half the entertainment reflect that?

    Oh come on! Let’s see here…
    Magazines: http://www.ebscomags.com/men-and-womens-magazines
    Television: http://news.moviefone.com/2014/09/05/is-television-a-womans-medium/

    Everything from house purchasing decisions, to vacation choices, I’d say the majority of discretionary buying preferences now reflect female tastes.

    Movies? Here’s an explanation from the above link: “Why do movies cater to men while TV caters to women? It’s all about who pays the bills. At the Cineplex, it’s men and teenage boys who buy the tickets”. I wonder why?

  • sympdlp

    Ever seen “Love Story” with Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neil?

  • Danielm80

    Info flash: Men are human beings too! And Evan happens to be one too. He doesn’t need to be ‘appealing enough’ to you, but he was to Louise. That’s all that counts. You certainly don’t have to sacrifice anything for him. Love is mystical and often unexplainable. In fact, the more there seems to be ‘logical reasons’ to love, the more it’s likely to be a calculated association rather than true love.

    First of all, I think you’re confusing animal attraction with true love. A long-term relationship has to be based on some sort of logic. Parts of the relationship may transcend reason, but the people have to know whether they’re compatible and whether they’ll still get along after they’ve been together for years or decades.

    And a movie is designed to be watched by an audience. People in real life may do things that make no sense to an observer, but a movie has to be comprehensible to the people in the theatre—unless the movie is deliberately trying to confuse us. If we’re going to root for a couple to get together, we have to fall in love with them, too. We have to see some appealing qualities in the characters, or at least understand why they find each other appealing. An actor’s personal charm may cover up some of a movie’s faults, but it won’t save the film if two people are blatantly not a good match.

  • Danielm80

    As many people have pointed out, love means saying you’re sorry pretty frequently, and meaning it, and trying to do better in the future.

  • sympdlp

    Funny, that’s how I felt about Superman/Lois. But I never felt the need to degrade her. And I certainly didn’t conclude that the story was suggesting than men “cannot be trusted to tell the truth about their emotions or about what they want” when Clark Kent shies away continuously from showing his feelings for Lois. After all, he’s got a good reason not to, just like Louise perhaps? Although Louise does it for selfish reasons, certainly compared to Superman’s. Same goes for Achilles trying to keep his autonomy from Briseis, yet bizarrely succumbs to her charms when he has easy access to innumerable PYTs. Yet nope, I had no need to question the men’s attraction, or that the authors were suggesting male insufficiencies, or that their love was unjustified.

  • Danielm80
  • “So she was either consciously lying before about not being in love, which doesn’t make any sense. Or she was unconsciously lying, denying to herself that she was in love with Evan.”

    All due respect, but I think you missed the point. She wasn’t in love with him until the very end. It was his final diatribe that put her over. The gurgling and noises happening while he was saying it? Those were the throes of her final transformation. He, ignoring the inherent danger of that transformation, and instead taking the time to bare his soul to her, in what was likely to be his final moments as a human, because sticking around means death, is what eventually put her over the hump from “like” to “love”, which halted her final transformation.

    If she’d been lying before, she wouldn’t have been transforming all those other times.

  • sympdlp

    Hahahahahahha! Now you’re providing ‘gender studies’ from the likes of Stacy Smith! That like quoting Fox News as a reference, or Ronald Reagan for stats on Trickle Down Economics!

  • sympdlp

    Danielm80 – (1) I was addressing MAJ’s comment about falling “in love just because” is ‘dull’. Yup, if you have an aversion or disinterest in love, then it sure will be boring to you! (2) “Saying you’re sorry” has different values within different contexts. Overall, I found Ali MacGraw’s comment understandable given the situation, but I did think in the back of my head “here’s hoping that’s not always gonna fly”. Nevertheless, Love Story was not boring because it transcended the events and characters involved. Incidentally, that’s how love typically does it! Merely holding hands can be delicious whilst in love, and a movie that can grasp that essence then project it onto the bigscreen is poignant. At least for those that have experienced Love. But evidently not for those only seeking out gender war everywhere they look!

  • Bluejay

    Here’s an explanation from the above link: “Why do movies cater to men while TV caters to women? It’s all about who pays the bills. At the Cineplex, it’s men and teenage boys who buy the tickets”

    You left out the second half of that last sentence, which goes on to say: “…or so Hollywood tells itself, thought the successes this summer of movies starring Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa McCarthy, and Shailene Woodley ought to make movie moguls rethink that tenet of conventional wisdom.”

    Women make up over half of the moviegoing audience.


    MPAA 2015 report (pdf): http://tinyurl.com/onujnmh

  • Danielm80

    If you want to cite one of the most widely-ridiculed movies of all time as an example of a love story done right, you can do that. You can also cite an article full of vague generalizations and unsourced data—some of it demonstrably wrong—as proof of your arguments. You’ve already decided (based on evidence you made up) that anyone who disagrees with you is hopelessly biased, so any further discussion is pointless.

  • sympdlp

    Ridiculed by who? Hahahaha… man-hating folks like you? Roger Ebert gives it 4/4 stars. I’ll stop there: You are right about 1 thing – discussion here is pointless.

  • sympdlp

    Exactly. Whether Hollywood is right about who pays for the movie tickets or not, there’s plenty of stuff for women to see. So although it’s more that plain that women occupy the majority of entertainment venues, like TV and magazines, the movies space is disputed. So 2.5 for women, 0.5 for men. Does that help your assessment?

  • Bluejay

    there’s plenty of stuff for women to see.

    In terms of representation of women in movies? Not really.


    In terms of television? Not really.


    So 2.5 for women, 0.5 for men.

    It’s not a zero-sum game. Men don’t “lose” when films have better depictions of women.

  • taking the time to bare his soul to her

    How does he “bare his soul” to her? And what does he reveal in the process?

    And what indication do we have that other men have not hung around during the final transformation? In fact, Louise suggests that others have, and have been found wanting. Which brings us back to what I said in the OP: that Evan is somehow uniquely special among the many men Louise has known over the course of 2,000 years.

    Maybe you see how he’s special. I don’t.

  • Except maybe even Louise didn’t feel he was nothing since she makes the ultimate sacrifice for him.

    But we see no evidence to support this!

    Criticizing one depiction of one male character is NOT misandry.

  • I have met a lot of ordinary people of both genders who are interesting.

    Me too. But Evan is tediously ordinary, and also very uninteresting.

  • Yeah, men can never get it right, isn’t that so, MaryAnn!?!

    You’re right: We’re done here.

  • Info flash: Men are human beings too!

    Yeah, movies NEVER treat men as if they are human beings!

    He doesn’t need to be ‘appealing enough’ to you, but he was to Louise.

    The movie needs to make us understand why he is appealing to Louise. It fails at that. “But he’s a nice guy!” is not enough.

  • Lois Lane is cool enough to merit having stories told about her even if Superman never came into her life. Evan, not at all.

  • Again, fuck you. Abusive, nonsensical comments that do not contribute to a meaningful discussion get deleted. That the majority of your survive is a direct counter to your comment.

    Seriously: Behave yourself, or you will be banned.

  • The point wasn’t that he was special. The point was that she wasn’t lying, or hypocritical earlier, when she said she didn’t love him. At those points she said she did not love him, she in fact did not love him.

    The evidence for this is in her continued metamorphoses. It wasn’t until her final metamorphosis that she fell in love, and her change was halted and reversed by the oxytocin production in her body.

  • This is classic. Only those who’ve never experienced love can fail to see it in this movie!

  • sympdlp

    I guess you could ask the reviewers on iMdb giving it 7/10. But you already know what Ebert thinks, and it’s not like you or your supporters here.

  • So when does she fall in love with him, and why? What the hell does she see in him that makes him different and worth giving up her amazing life for?

    No one seems to have an answer to this question.

  • sympdlp

    Again, fuck you.

    I’m pretty sure fucking is not your strong suit either…. and no thanks.

  • “So when does she fall in love with him”

    She falls in love with him during her final metamorphosis, during his final diatribe.

    “and why?”

    Your guess is as good as mine.

    “What the hell does she see in him that makes him different and worth giving up her amazing life for?”

    Posited as if falling in love is a voluntary act. It isn’t. If it were, I find it very unlikely that if she could have chosen whether or not to fall in love that she would have chosen then, with him, to do so. But, love isn’t voluntary.

    Anyway, I see that I apparently have “1 new pageview left”, so this will probably be my last reply, but I think that you’ve done short shrift to the ending of the film, and especially where you spend any effort trying to figure out why he’s deserving when she’s so obviously out of his league. He didn’t need to be in her league, as she was only using him for his genetic material. His mediocre looks are a benefit to that aim, not a hindrance. It’s only because he was likable, and possibly because she needed to continue having sex with him to ensure pregnancy, that she kept him around at all, at least initially.

  • LaSargenta

    Why on earth are you picking this fight? Yes, she’s got an opinion; but, really, what is this argument solving for you in your life?

    Please, just go back to disagreeing.

  • sympdlp

    What, because she’s a metro rat-racer?
    I rest my case.

  • Lawrence Gray

    She said why he was SPECIAL; when she first talked to him it was easy, and then it stayed easy. Maybe thats not enough for you girls and not measurable worthiness but its clear it meant a lot to her…and its a bit sad you have never experienced a connection that transcends a romantic partner “qualifying equation”. Why did Rose choose Jack in Titanic? How well read he was? His prestigious social standing? money? no. its simple: she felt good when she was with him.

  • Lawrence Gray

    Who cares how old the origin of the story is? and whats our point about Achilles age? being older would increase the chances of coming across that special person…

  • Yes! And we actually saw Rose feeling good with Jack. We see a connection between them. We understand what they see in each other. *I* don’t have to find Jack appealing in order to understand why Rose does.

    We don’t see anything like that with Louise and Evan.

    and its a bit sad you have never experienced a connection that transcends a romantic partner “qualifying equation”

    You don’t know what I have or haven’t experienced. And no one is talking about a “qualifying equation,” whatever that is supposed to mean. Unless you are repeating the “argument” (which has already been covered in the comments here — please read them) that I and others see a lack of money or social connections in Evan as a fault that disqualifies him as a potential partner for Louise. That is NOT the issue. It’s not even about what *I* want in a partner: it’s what Louise wants. And we simply do not get any sense of that, or any sense of how Evan qualifies.

    If this movie is to be taken as “romantic,” we NEED to understand how a woman who has lived the sort of life Louise has lived will fall in love with Evan, who has not presented himself as particularly compelling in any way. It’s not about looks or money or all the stupid shallow shit that so many commenters here have mistaken me for complaining about. It’s about *connection.* If this movie is about romance, where is the damn romance?

    *I* am saying that I do not see or feel anything transcendent in the relationship between these two people.

  • amanohyo

    The longer you live, the more special a person has to be to stand out and grab your attention. Superman and Achilles have amazing, god-like powers, but as I understand it (and I haven’t seen the movie) Louise retains all of her memories from her previous incarnations. If this is true, even Superman and Achilles would be like newborns to her.
    Can you imagine how different your life would be if you were 500 years old? I have a decent imagination, and I can’t do it – it’s too far beyond my experience of what it means to be human. Louise is many, many, many, many orders of magnitude older than that.
    Imagine the Pope declaring that he has fallen in love with a particularly pleasant paramecium. Or Jesus Christ announcing he has returned to Earth because he wants to date that nice lady that works in accounting. That is the level of ridiculousness we are talking about.
    That being said, there are ways to sell that level of ridiculousness and make it believable. It’s damn hard, but it can be done. The question is, why was it believable to you but not to MA? MA has set out clearly why she didn’t buy it: Evan is too bland and boring. There are two possible counterarguments:
    1) Evan is actually pretty special and here’s why…
    2) Sure Evan is boring, but love is mysterious – sometimes gods and goddesses fall in love with mediocre mortals (although in most myths, the mortals distinguish themselves in some notable way), this story is interesting and worth telling because…

  • N. Sudborough

    Best movie review ever. Thank you so much for calling bull**** on this male fantasy tripe. Very refreshing.

  • Gabriela

    Except Jack had a personality. He was shown to be spontaneous, lively, charming, and a great artist. He’s a memorable character, you can see how Rose fell in love with him. He and Evan are simply not comparable.

  • Jack Simpson

    Great Lord! You must be some kind of feminist to bash this movie with such vitriol! Seriously, I see how some people can use a magnifying glass when criticizing, but you’re using the Hubble telescope! What would you like Evan to be? A white knight with shining armor on a pale steed? Rich? Famous? What would command the worthiness of Louise? What quantifiable value can we put on him so he can be deemed worthy? Well unless he lived for 2,000 years and lived a similar life that she lived, according to you, no man on earth would be worthy for her. But, I guess, “dropping out” of college so you can take care of you mother is a “minor quality.” So, he and every other man is beneath her (unless his character is written to the liking of a female writer). And yes, you’re right, they can never fall in love, because love is logical and mathematical and never spontaneous and combustible.

  • Danielm80

    So your goal is to repeat every bad argument made on this thread in the past two months?

  • All your questions have been asked and answered — repeatedly — in this thread. Give it a read.

    You must be some kind of feminist

    You think?

  • Roger

    I think she falls in love

  • Daniel4Wood

    You have missed the fundamental fact that being loved by someone else, makes you special, regardless of anything else, or any character traits or qualities. There’s a precedent in fiction and in real life of two people falling in love despite obvious class, wealth, talent differences. Kings and queens fall in love with peasants, gods fall in love with mortals, superheroes fall in love with non-powered folk. Love surpasses all boundaries and ‘leagues’ it overlooks any inadequacies and deficiencies that might render two people unequal and it makes them equal just because. Also just because you can see nothing positive in a person doesn’t mean that someone else might not love them completely. This shouldn’t even be a gender argument but it’s infuriatingly disappointing for me to see a self professed feminist saying that people have to be equal to be in love with each other because it’s that kind of backward thinking that has been holding women (and men) back for so long.

  • Daniel4Wood

    Also, Evan is special because Louise is an attractive women who has clearly spent 2000 years very easily convincing men to have sex with her to prolong her life. Imagine 2000 years of dead-beat sexist misogynist men taking advantage of her for a quick lay and suddenly along comes this guy who flat out turns down her forward offer of sex there and then and instead asks her on a proper date. That’s what makes him worthy in her eyes, he stands above and beyond 2000 years worth of men and actually wants to get to know her as a person. He then spends the rest of the film treating her with respect and kindness and being a straight up gentleman. How dull and pointless.

  • Bluejay

    There’s a precedent in fiction and in real life of two people falling in love despite obvious class, wealth, talent differences.

    Yes, but in fiction the beloved person must have some extraordinary quality worthy of love despite those class/wealth/talent differences. Mr. Darcy loves Elizabeth despite her lower social status, but it’s because she’s a strong woman with independent opinions and a compelling personality, not because she’s dull and boring.

    Also just because you can see nothing positive in a person doesn’t mean that someone else might not love them completely.

    In real life? Sure. In fiction? The storyteller must SHOW the audience that the loved character is worthy of that love. Otherwise it’s not a convincing fictional relationship.

  • That’s not I have said at all. Repeating myself *again*: a story about romance has to make us believe in the couple. This movie fails to do that. That’s all. I have certainly made no pronouncements on romance in real life.

  • There is absolutely nothing in the movie to support your supposition about Louise’s relationships with men. (Also too: If she is using them, then by definition they cannot be “taking advantage of her.”) And “being a straight up gentleman” is a baseline behavior for civilized people. It *alone* is not the foundation for a romantic relationship. It should be a given, like that Evan bathes regularly.

    Maybe if the movie had been about her, we might have a better understanding of her life. But it isn’t.

  • jennywren

    I believe the misandry comes in with the term “male-ego-stroking”. If she had just said “ego-stroking” that would be ok, but as it is it is a bit like saying “female nagging” – she is taking a negative characteristic and applying it to males in general.

    In response to sympdip, I consider myself a feminist in that I believe in equality of the sexes, and while I don’t think we are there yet, I do not see that as a reason to make anti-male comments so please don’t say “you feminists” as if we all act that way.

    As for the movie, i didn’t see Louise as being way out of Evan’s league; barring any really big faults (like being sexist, or a serial killer or something) personality is as subjective as looks and I personally liked Evan’s personality more than Louise’s – I don’t really see what makes her so wonderful, especially considering she has been alive for 2000 years. That Louise is keeping two rabbits inhumanely crammed in a tiny cage with no regard for their welfare already shows a big personality flaw – she hasn’t managed to learn empathy in 2000 years.

    All Louise needs to avoid using her embryonic stem cells is a high enough level of oxytocin and I do not believe that requires a well thought out relationship that lasts into the future, it only requires that she is being affected strongly right now, and I think we do see evidence of this when she says this is the first time she has not felt alone. She is possibly also affected by the fact that he isn’t getting ready to run from her “sharpest” transformation, and by his insight into mortality and the higher level of appreciation it brings. In her 2000 years possibly the only things she hasn’t experienced are what this relationship offers – having a child and experiencing life from Evan’s life-has-more-value-and-beauty-when-you-can-lose-it point of view.

  • I believe the misandry comes in with the term “male-ego-stroking”.

    But this movie — and all the many ones like it — do NOT stoke female egos. They are very specifically stroking (heterosexual) men’s romantic egos. Unless I’m missing something. In what way could this movie and the many others like it be construed to be stroking all egos?

  • joe cramer


  • Danielm80

    You’re posting an insulting comment in all capital letters because a critic disagrees with you. What does it say about you that you’re getting this emotional about a film review? It won’t change her opinion of the movie, or yours. Why are you dissecting her personality in this negative and pointless way?

  • joe cramer


  • joe cramer


  • I’m sure you’ve been informed before that ALL CAPS is the textual equivalent of shouting. It’s also very difficult to read. And yet you do this anyway. Someone might say this says a lot about your personality.

    This is an “open forum” only in the sense that I have invited you in to speak here. We discuss movies here. If you would like to defend *Spring,* please do so, by referencing the film and the cultural context in which it exists. Insults and generally being an asshole are not welcome, and will get you banned.

  • It’s not “just a movie.” But if you feel that way, why are you reading film criticism?

  • Bluejay

    Here’s a tip: comments in all caps are hard to read, irritate most people, and turn them off. Feel free to keep doing so, but be prepared to have most people ignore your comments because they’re hard to read.

    In other words: you’re free to shout, but don’t be surprised if everyone else leaves the room.

  • xeno morph


    [RE: “Give me a movie — just one! — in which a man gives up immortality for a woman about whom the best we can say is, Eh, she really likes him.”]

    Bruno Ganz gives up immortality *and* all his supernatural angelic abilities for a woman who doesn’t even know he exists until she sees him in mortal form at a Nick Cave concert. And you get to see their mundane domestic life together if you make it through the sequel FARAWAY, SO CLOSE.

  • xeno morph

    You *have* seen WINGS OF DESIRE, have you not?

  • xeno morph

    It’s called WINGS OF DESIRE.

  • LaSargenta

    You have got to be kidding. The themes for these movies and the motivations of Damiel cannot compare. At the most fundamental level, Damiel is longing for Die Welt, which though he witnesses, he cannot be a part of. He cannot feel cold nor know the sweet feeling of growing warm. His love for Marion is not what makes him give up immortality, it is wanting the world and she is part of the world, not his driving motivation.

    Please rewatch Wings if Desire. You misunderstood much of that magnificent movie.

  • MsRemyM

    Not a bad movie, but her falling in love with him out of all the guys she’s met seems a bit implausible. The main sucky part about her giving up her immortality is that they may break up in a few years (like so many relationships).

  • Jack

    Wow, this author is a douchebag.

  • jack

    A Feminist douchebag. Figures.

  • angus williamson

    i got a phat wang

  • angus williamson

    dog, shut the fuck up

  • angus williamson

    This film, at the end of the day, is really just a metaphor on how we as a society are addicted to technology, and more importantly, what it’s going to do to us in the end. It happened to John Lennon and the Beatles, and it’s going to happen again in WW3.

  • angus williamson

    You should read my review on the 2022 Olympics. It was a solid year for Darfur.

  • Glamslinky

    Cute movie…I was hoping for more “RAWWRRRR” and blood though. :)

  • What did you find cute about it?

  • Glamslinky

    Honestly? The whole average Joe meets his soulmate bit with a sci-fi twist. Add one part “Alien” to one part “Road Trip”, add a dash of “Species” then top it off with “Beauty and the Beast” (and not the Disney kind). I would have liked to see more of the “why” and flashbacks of her past lives. This movie was a little heavy on the forlorn love for me, though.

    Oh, wait. You wanted me to tell you what I found cute about it? The part where she leaves that asshat on the beach after devouring his penis. Her bio-transformations were pretty adorable too.

    Hey, you asked. :)

  • Stephanie McBrayer

    I just watched the movie, and enjoyed it on some levels. The scenery was great, and I liked the acting, which was pretty natural. I would say as far as Louise falling in love with Evan, he was unassuming and sincere. Women do tend to like that, in movies and in real life. I actually liked his character. And yes, he loved Louise for who she was, and that is an always attractive. And…it’s a movie, I didn’t expect it to be 100% believable.

  • debbW_winning

    that fits the movie, lol

  • debbW_winning

    I disagree.


    Evan’s character parallel’s the old man farmer. He even says that he’s just a farmer now. His feelings match what the widower felt for his long gone spouse.

    Men and women cannot have check boxes to find the ‘perfect’ mate, no such thing exists. Reminds me of the joke many years ago:

    perfect female for guys was 3 foot tall with flat heads so they can set their beer down….

    conversely, perfect male is wealthy and utterly adores her as a goddess… neither standard works.

    the interaction between the couple, the playfulness, the conversations about loneliness…Evan was devoted to caring for his dead mother, that devotion would now turn to his girlfriend/mate. his GF – seeing the long dead family – exposes that she ‘forgot’ how to love.

    The flowers die right after she handles them.. she kills everything of beauty when she is rejecting love because she is literally unnatural. Hooky, but a good motif they used throughout to show her emotional state through physical presence. She hated herself (why else keep injecting stuff and stop being the monster…) because of the transformation. By accepting love and feeling love, that self hatred would melt off.

    It is just a simple love story. it isn’t Shakespeare, but it’s charm is the honesty of emotions – he was going to let her leave with the other guy at the bar/restaurant, if she’d have a drink with him the next day…sorry, but if you don’t ‘get’ that, then you don’t see how he made himself very emotionally exposed. he was an ‘Everyman’, and by himself not the core of the story.

    *the booty call scene in the begining exposed his need for connection to toher people.

    The couple and interaction was the core of the story. 20 something males are not complex. There are no Heathcliff’s mucking about .. that tends to come later in life with a family.

  • Daniel Joffe

    why can’t she just go to a sperm bank?

  • Probably because it might reveal the shakiness of her fake identity.

    Sperm banks aren’t like convenience stores, where you can just pick up a jar and be on your way.

  • LaSargenta

    Get two to go, in case you run into a friend and want to share.

  • MarbleCrown

    Maybe… just maybe my problem is that I’m THAT guy. The plain, working class, unassuming cat who is just who I “am”. The hopeless romantic that wants to be in love and have someone be hopelessly in love with me. As a man, it’s not an ego stroke for me because I’m vain enough to know women dig me (I know, but still…), it’s an honest desire of mine to share my everyday with someone, and not out of weakness but out of what the hell am I going to do w/ the rest of my life when I’m a balding middle-aged pudge-gutted NOBODY?? I’ve seen ex-bosses of mine who were “hot” in the 80s balding at the bar failing flirting and bordering creepy, where I would rather sit and enjoy a beer or a glass of scotch, even if alone, than cruise the bars for “b!tches”.

    “Write me a letter she says… while I finish my espresso.” He does and she smiles and just nods her head.

    I loved the chemistry and I would love to live out my years in the free spirit of Italy with the love of my life. I guess you have to realize who “she” is first. That carefree and that fun… I’m in for the fantasy of it. I recommend this film. Short of the good guy winning in the end it’s just not typical and Twilight (scoffs) lingers on the bubblegum teenage crushes of life. I couldn’t imagine they are adults at ANY point and juvenile “lust” is the WORST kind of love to decide your eternity on. Sometimes it is totally ridiculous to review into the plausibility of the plot but instead just take it for what it is. I want to imagine them smitten… just like THAT!! When your real-world relationship with the person you truly love begins to fall apart and you are facing what there ISN’T; you will WISH there was this.

  • Danielm80
  • Guess what? Everything you’ve written here applies to plenty of women, too. Lots of women are also plain, unassuming, and just “are.” And we *never* get our romantic fantasies indulged onscreen. Men get that constantly, though. And I’m sick of it.

  • Paul W

    Yeah, I didn’t really get what she saw in him. I also didn’t get why love would make her mortal. It seems to me that there is a lot more interesting material in a story in which she *doesn’t* become mortal than in one in which she does.

    I mean, Louise is literally 2000 years old. Even granting that she is eternally youthful, she’s still lived for 2000 years, and can reasonably expect to live for as long as the human species (or some genetic record thereof) endures. Even if she weren’t literally inhuman, her perspective should be downright alien to a twenty-something human being after having lived that long. She’s lived so much, had just so much life experience that it’s likely that normal humans must seem like children to her – how does she even begin to relate to them? We have enough trouble trying to understand other humans across ordinary generational divides; how does someone who saw the birth of Christianity, the invention of the printing press, and the industrial revolution all within the scope of her lifetime have a meaningful conversation with a twenty-something? Even granting the fading of memories over time, and entire stretches of history being fuzzy to her recollection, this is insurmountable. And if she were so inclined, she could spend Evan’s entire life with him, and for her it would be barely more than an eyeblink. A summer fling at best.

    What happens when Evan comes to realize all this? Would Evan still pursue her? Would Louise let him? Why would she do that? I can buy that she would be lonely, but I have a very hard time buying that she would find him remotely interesting. Though hey, if she has to be involved with him because that’s the sort of story that’s being told, then maybe that’s why she’s picked him: because he’s nobody. Maybe she’s known so many brilliant humans that lived like flashes in the dark, bright as day for all of a second, and then gone forever, that she’s grief-sick or tired or maybe just bored and thinks it might be all right to spend a day (or a year, or twenty, and those are all basically equivalent to her) or two with someone entirely forgettable.

  • Well, yes, yes, that all sounds like a lovely idea for a story. But it’s much more important that Evan gets the girl of his dreams and lives happily ever after.

  • Paul W

    Oh, obviously. The fate of this uninteresting mayfly’s love life is far more important than the life of an immortal woman. While we’re at it, can we go ahead and portray the idea of her *not* choosing to become mortal as incredibly selfish and shallow? Sure, it’s basically equivalent to deciding to commit suicide, but who *wouldn’t* want to commit suicide a few days after meeting someone really attractive who only has the equivalent of maybe a month to live? It’s not like Louise has any reason to want to keep living if she can’t be with this boring but moderately attractive guy she just met, right?

    … I just made myself sad.

    (And the thought that, even if she DID actually fall in love with him, she might choose not to pursue it because she has decided to prioritize other things [and she knows she’ll get over it] is just too ridiculous to mention.)

  • A woman’s first priority is *always* love, and a man.

  • Paul W

    Oh, right. My bad. I think I remember reading something about that, somewhere:

    “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a planet in possession of a single satellite must be in want of a dreadful celestial wolf to eat it.” … Wait. That doesn’t sound quite right.

    But yeah. I didn’t much care for the movie, either. What annoyed me more than anything else is the wasted potential; there could have been a much better story told with this setup.

  • LaSargenta

    You’re right. And — even more — isn’t it kind of astounding that this thread has so many comments? So much effort to convince MAJ and all of us otherwise-thinking people that the opposite is true.

  • I agree. But that would have required a different perspective on the part of the filmmakers. One that realized that Evan is not the most interesting character here.

  • weak

    I’m a sucker for indie films that are melancholic or sci-fi in nature so I liked this.

    Don’t get why op is getting so butt hurt.

    In 2000 years we are to assume she never fell in love? Yes that is exactly what the movie led us to believe. Had she fell in love before it would have interrupted her transformation. Why was Evan so special? Well, love is subjective; you are looking for high points or characteristics of value to append to Evan in order to gauge his level of lovability. Love isn’t that simple — I don’t see what the big deal is here. Though I will agree that in modern day society unconditional and unincentivized love (especially from a woman) seems like a fairy tail.

    3 things I didnt understand.

    1. why was she hostile during her transformations? Was that the temporary psychopathy from chemicals during transformation or just primal instincts to kill stuff close to her.

    2. At the end it shows the volcano about to erupt. Does this mean her and Evan are going to die in the same place her parents did?

    3. The old farmer; was his wife her?

  • Danielm80

    In a certain sense, every movie review could be one sentence long: “If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you’ll like.” And if you, personally, love all melancholy sci-fi, then this is the movie for you. But people who don’t love sci-fi may hold the film to a different standard. There are also people like MaryAnn who love sci-fi but thought this was disappointing science fiction, because, to her, the story didn’t make logical or emotional sense.

    You, personally, may find the lead actor in this movie charming, or you may like the character because he reminds you of yourself, or for any of a hundred other reasons. For the rest of us, the script has to do the basic work to make Evan appealing. If we’re going to sympathize with the characters, then we have to fall in love with Evan, too, or at least understand why this particular woman loves him. In real life, love may be subjective, and mysterious, but a real-life couple isn’t trying to tell a story to an audience. Also, some of those real-life couples break up, because they had nothing keeping them together but a mysterious, inexplicable feeling of attraction.

    Nothing about this movie review is preventing you from loving the film, or from enjoying melancholy movies or sci-fi. But the review wasn’t written just for you. It was written for a wider audience of moviegoers that may not like exactly the same things you like.

  • weak

    I get the point of a movie discussion.

    I have a feeling OP could watch a movie based entirely on a reinactment of a real life scenario to the finest of details and still be pointing out how it’s unrealistic. Life is never that black and white.

    I assume these are the arguments:

    1) “…and Evan is a nondescript nonentity. There is nothing there for her to fall in love with, at least not that the movie has shown us…”

    Op assumes in this statement she has love down to a science that can be explained through a checklist of sorts. To assume this one must understand what love is truly is. She does not. No one does. So she cannot objectively state something like this. I could fall in love with a pencil and if I elicit the corresponding known chemicals and emotions, you couldn’t really say otherwise.

    2)”…and we’re supposed to believe that this Evan guy is the one to finally make it happen? Pul-lease…”

    Seems unrealistic but at the same time makes a lot of sense. As she pointed out to him, Evan is easy going/not serious, provides her with a feeling of closeness that she likes, and is funny/makes her laugh/brightens her day. After 2000 years of suitors maybe these qualities are actually what’s most important/desirable — has op been around for 2000 years and had a plethora of mates ranging from handsome, rich, risk-taker, dangerous, romantic, etc, and seen all of the flaws that come along with each type in order to gauge lovability?

    Again this entire movie is pretty much subjective. I would argue more about the science of what she is as being something to talk about as we can project our current objective understanding of science to determine if something like this is even remotely plausible. Like that magical serum that instantly reverses her transformation.

    Seems like op is looking through at this through the typical feminist materialistic type lens.

  • Kilo

    The problem here is that the review totally skips the hell Louise gors through. She absolutely hates it. And therefore this immortality she gives up is not that big of a deal. It’s a weight off her back. And yes sometimes people do settle and give up everything for a simpleton. I’m sorry that the guy didn’t have a six pack and horse jaws maybe that would have mafe him interesting for you.

  • Bluejay

    You keep defending the relationship by saying “Love is mysterious, no one understands it,” and you suggest that when two people fall in love we should just accept it and respect it. Except that this is a story, being told to us as an audience; and if the storyteller wants us to feel a certain way about a character, it must show us some qualities about that character that would make us feel that way.

    Have you never watched a film and thought, “The movie wants me to root for the hero, but I think he’s kind of an unlikeable jerk”? Have you never thought, “The movie wants the villain to be oh-so-scary-and-evil, but I think he’s kind of boring?” If you have, then that movie has failed to sell the character to you.

    Yes, you could fall in love with a pencil. But if a character in a story falls in love with a pencil, we wouldn’t say “the pencil deserves the character’s love.” We would simply conclude that the character is crazy.

    easy going/not serious, provides her with a feeling of closeness that she likes, and is funny/makes her laugh/brightens her day

    These are nice qualities, but they’re not rare ones. Many people manage to find and fall in love with someone who “brightens their day” sometime in their relatively short human lifespans (i.e. less than 90 years). To say that someone has lived for two thousand years, experiencing everything and everyone from the Roman Empire to today, and has NEVER, in all that time, found someone who “brightens her day,” is pretty unbelievable. It’s just bad storytelling.

  • JEng

    She’s a murderer. Maybe the Freemasons sent him to Italy to take her out of commission finally. She had no problem not being in love with him until he told her a bedtime story. I’m not sure if that is love or an MK Ultra zap cover story or what.

    If she wasnt in love with him and he kept saying he was in love with her – it’s all what people are saying.

    I misread the description so I thought this was a gender bending movie not a genre bending movie. This is a scary movie – as if Eli Roth had married one of the lures from Hostel.

  • JEng

    It doesn’t make any sense that in such an insular community, there would be all these animal corpses and the only newcomer is the genetic scientist.

  • A Sophie Neveu

    Awesome review!

  • MG Carroll

    So much feminist fretting over such a slight, sweet little film. I find your review problematic and hilariously SJW-ish.

  • Danielm80

    So much feminist fretting over such a slight, sweet little film.

    How big does the film have to get before she can have an opinion about it? Does it have to earn $100 million? Does it have to win an Oscar? Or is she just not allowed to criticize anything that you find charming?

  • You think “social justice warrior” is an insult. Which means we can safely ignore you.

  • hahaha

    What a shit review by a jaded old gargoyle. I love how you scoff at an obviously hammed up love story. You probably drink yourself to sleep at night alone.

  • hahaha

    Oh man “social justice warrior” that’s rich. You’re just a angry old hag who stopped getting laid years ago. It’s a love story and a movie. Get over it. That’s the problem with critics. You love the smell of your own farts and think everything including art should conform to your sad angry view of the world. You’re no warrior lady. Go talk to a veteran of world war 2 and see a real warrior.

  • Danielm80

    Wow, MaryAnn, you’ve invented a perpetual motion machine. This thread will keep generating trolls forever. And it will also feed the “gendered abuse” page. If we could harness the power, we could solve the energy crisis.

  • CC

    I’m bothered by the fact that her immortality hinges on her “falling in love” with a guy within a week (from the time of conception to rebirth) which is utterly impossible in her case. As a 2000 y/o scientist, she has undoubtedly been through this scenario many times with other men and would have perfected a number of exit strategies outside of quickly killing them. Additionally, why, as a scientist, wouldn’t she be inseminating herself by now- completely avoiding any possibility of “falling in love” and ensuring her own immortality!?!?

  • The answer to all your questions is this: This is not a story about a woman from her perspective. It’s a male romantic fantasy. And I suspect that many of the male movie fans who love it would scoff at *Twilight,* which is exactly the same kind of ridiculous.

  • Dan Singe Connor

    Well that was a terrible read. It’s an ambiguous end, there’s nothing that expressly stated she didn’t transform. The film cuts away beforehand. You’re left to interpret how it went down for yourself.

    Even if we are top infer that she does in fact not transform, why is that terrible? Why does that have to assume that this means that our director and script writer mean that to be ‘HURR DURR SHE’S A WOMAN SHE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT SHE WANTS’.

    There’s no evidence in this film to say she consciously or unconsciously lies about her feelings, it could be that in the end they manifested right before it was too late, because that’s how film works. You cut the red write with a second left on the clock.

    It could also be she was in love with him, but that she never knew, because she’s never felt love before, that her body was already fighting the transformation without her knowledge. She did say that the stages aren’t normally as regular or overwhelming.

    There’s a really dirty agenda in this review, like your trying to spite us the true face of the Hollywood film maker; the only issue being you picked a terrible film to do this with, such strong, interesting characters, shortly pieced enough to make a believable romance dirty in a week.

    Why shotgun romance is such an issue for people in fiction blows my mind, the fact we can suspend our disbelief for dragons, alien invasions and Robocop but not calling on love is just a real sad thought…

  • Robocop has a helluva lot more emotional truth to it than this movie does.

  • MsLeo

    Evan is a rare young man who lived with parents who were mady, truly deeply in love. They loved him too and he loved them. His dad dies and then he puts his life on hold, took a shitty bar job to look after his dying mother. There is a void in his life where all that love was and he does latch onto this mysterious, gorgeous, incredible woman… and he knows her worth, he does not let her go, even when he sees the monster inside of her.

    However, effectively, despite her long years and gorgeousness, she is pretty shallow and pointless. Really, what is the point of living as a gorgeous woman over and over again? How on earth do you go 2000 years without falling in love? Has she found the cure for cancer, world peace, or anything that does not fulfill her own need for survival – including avoiding love.

    He is capable of loving her til her dying day, but I imagine she would regret giving up immortality for mortal love.

  • Xherdan

    He simply made her mortal(which is almost like calling the mother that birthed you a murderer), whereas she literally murdered someone. But he’s the murderer. Sure thing.

  • Xherdan

    “her mouth said no, but her body said yes.


    You honestly think that scene is suggesting women can’t think for themselves? Or that it somehow tries to condone rape?

    The final scene is simply a sappy happy ending. You can argue over how well it was executed, but to suggest it carries such dark messages is nothing short of paranoia. I’ll concede that the whole “average Joe lands the perfect girl” plot is awfully overdone at this point. This, however, doesn’t automatically make the film bad, as many films with a similar plot succeed (e.g. eternal sunshine).

    You claim to be a film critic, and if so you appear to be an awfully one-dimensional one. Virtually every criticism you make in your reviews is feminist-centric. There’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself, and you do actually make some good points about the film industry as a whole. The problem is when it’s the ONLY problem you see. You manage to find it in everything and then proceed to look no further. I just think as a critic you shouldn’t be imposing themes upon films but rather analysing the films’ themes. Unfortunately your reviews rarely go beyond “it’s bad because of the sexism(only the kind directed at women, mind you) here, here and here”.

    I didn’t think the film was amazing, just would have been nice to see you look past male/female roles and at some other themes and ideas presented. All the best

  • You honestly think that scene is suggesting women can’t think for themselves? Or that it somehow tries to condone rape?

    I honestly think that it echoes a very common misunderstanding of women. Maybe it wasn’t deliberate on the filmmakers’ part, but it’s there anyway.

    Virtually every criticism you make in your reviews is feminist-centric.

    Simply not true, as the most cursory glance at my work will confirm. Maybe you’re the one unable to see past a feminist criticism.

  • GaigeMechromancer

    I can’t help but think that If Evan had been a woman, this reviewer would’ve thought the ending perfect and moving. (And honestly, outside of the ‘specialness’ of her condition, Louise wasn’t that more interesting than he was.)

  • Danielm80

    If neither of the main characters is all that interesting, then why is the movie worth watching?

    And if Louise has lived for centuries, shouldn’t her experiences have made her an interesting person?

  • If Evan had been a woman, this story would have completely different overtones.

  • Adam J. Qüæck

    On the contrary, was it not immortal life that was boring her. Like she said “it’s a fucking nightmare!” She was tired of the cycle, after all the “adventures” she’d been on (as you put it), she perhaps was ready for Evan… Grandeur and excitement soon gets tiring.

    But I’ve gotta watch it again, and do some research on Italian mythology.

    Was the volcano eruption her final transformation or symbolic of it?

    I too found him unremarkable as a character and also found it difficult to accept that she did completely fall in love. Unless the oxytocin was a purely chemical thing, which of course some scientists say it is.

    On the whole I enjoyed it, a novel idea, but not superbly executed.

  • Adam J. Qüæck

    I think you took the giving up smoking bit a touch too seriously. And you’re obviously a man hater.

  • Just because she was tired of immortal life doesn’t mean she’s going to be thrilled by a mundane mortal one.

  • Adam J. Qüæck


    1. You’re making the huge assumption that she had an amazing life when she states clearly a few times that it hasn’t been. Perhaps what she was seeking wasn’t to be thrilled but to be justified, her own form of exoneration?

    2. May I suggest that whilst we’re scrutinising his mundanity can we also dissect hers a little? There is nothing special about her at all other than her DNA/Genes. That’s all that makes her stand out from the crowd. She’s beautiful, sure, but we all know what a hollow veil that can be.

    She uses him and has used countless before him in order to remain alive, but for what? To find a cure for her affliction? Because that’s surely what it is. The cure for her monster is death. So he either releases her or she releases herself. I think the majority of what she said was lies or confused inner-come-outer monologue.

    Imagine what kind of a person you’d be after 2000 years of THAT existence?

    3. Also, the vegetarian monster? It strikes me as a hooker with a heart of gold story… A rather poor attempt at making her into this hybrid of hybrids and the very essence of the word pure. Thus playing to this male fantasy you keep mentioning. By which I am utterly unconvinced? What is it we are fantasising about exactly? Meeting a “beast girl” (that’s a metaphor) and curing her?

    I like your passion but feel it blinds you a little at times.

  • Adam J. Qüæck

    he’d have left her due to boredom

  • There is nothing special about her at all other than her DNA/Genes.

    No, the fact that she has lived for 2,000 years is what makes her special.

  • GaigeMechromancer

    That’s why I said outside of that characteristic; I’d think anyone who’d live for centuries would be interesting (yes, including Evan). I watched this movie because I love horror, and though it wasn’t all that, I don’t think it was that terrible either. I guess I think it’s just interesting that the reviewer didn’t like it because the guy didn’t fit whatever ideal standards she had in her mind.

  • Yeah, no. It’s hard to imagine any man who would be worthy of Louise.

  • Joe Paulson

    Saw this after someone made this her top movie of the year. Didn’t see it and probably won’t. But, great example why I enjoy a good review.

  • GaigeMechromancer

    That’s why I said if Evan had been a woman, you would think it perfect.

  • That’s not necessarily true, but if you’re going to insist on letting us know how little you appreciate the difference between how men and women are treated onscreen, you can rest assured: message received.

  • Thomas Neitzey

    When it comes to love stories, especially ones that are set in a sci-fi or horror type setting, I constantly see people scoff at an ending where love is found. It’s cheesy yes but every movie doesn’t need to break new grounds or end in a reality where love isn’t found and instead she dies. Yes, real life is about getting hurt and moving on but sometimes that isn’t the case, sometimes two people find each other and find comfort in the arms of each other.

    Evan watching his mother transform into something he doesn’t recognize, a shell of her former self, has prepared him for this moment. He views her in the same way, he sees someone who doesn’t know what or who she is anymore.

  • Danielm80

    But very little of what you said has anything to do with this review.

    If you read some of the other reviews on this site, you’ll see that MaryAnn likes lots of love stories, even when they have happy endings. You could take a look at her review of Carol, published earlier today. You could also read what she’s said about The Princess Bride, which she enjoyed so much she wrote a book about it. You could glance at the list of her favorite movies, which includes Groundhog Day and other romantic films:


    What she likes less is a love story that doesn’t seem credible, and she wasn’t convinced that Louise would find Evan appealing. You’ve explained why he might be attracted to her but not why she would fall in love with him. He doesn’t seem all that interesting, especially when she’s had centuries of experiences around the world and met centuries’ worth of men.

    There are lots of great love stories out there, including a few that are slightly corny or sentimental. But every new love story has to work on its own terms. MaryAnn felt that this one didn’t.

  • In what way is this a response to what I have written?

  • Tracie

    You make some very good points… and there were definitely times in the movie where it’s clear she does not think her life as an immortal was is that great. She appeared to have a love-hate feeling toward the transitions and immortality.

    When I watched this the first time I felt the underlying theme was about the desire of people to be connected (and fear of losing the people you love). This fear often leads people to avoid making connections to others, which is exactly what Louise did.

    At one point she says she doesn’t want to die or see anyone she loves die. This is a common fear humans share… she has avoided it in her own unique way. Not saying she planned to be immortal, but it has helped her avoid her ultimate fears AND she’s further avoided it by limiting her connection with others and not forming new relationships. I believe this is why she ultimately fell in love with Evan. It wasn’t because he was remarkable, but because she came along at the right time in her life and she was finally open to letting someone in.

  • Tracie

    Interesting comparison. It’s funny because I did think Louise was somehow going to change Evan at the end so that they could both live happily-ever-after as “monsters”… but that was before I realized she wasn’t a lycan. On another note, Bella was super-boring in the Twilight movies (can’t speak for the book) and I could not understand how she made friends or attracted a love interest. She spends most of the movie frowning and grunting from what I remember :(

  • Tracie

    It is interesting to read the different perceptions of this movie. I’ve felt exactly like you do about OTHER movies but didn’t get the same impression from this one.

    From my perspective Louise & Evan connected because they both were at a point where they desired change and they had both lost their family/parents while still “young”. I agree that Evan was fairly unremarkable, but people are often drawn to others who seem to ‘get them’, and I think this is how Louise felt about Evan. Further, Louise’s interest in Evan was more about her than him… she seemed to be growing tired of the transformations, didn’t fully understand how to control them and desired being close another person. She alluded to this early on in the movie and later told Evan that she was enjoying the “closeness” she shared with him. He just happened to come along at the right time.

    In reference to Louise saying she wasn’t giving up immortality for Evan: I believe she was afraid of giving it up (who wouldn’t be?) and had no plans to do so, but also knew she was sacrificing other things like the simple pleasure of human connection. Letting another person get close changed this. When asked if she gets lonely, she replies that she hasn’t been since she met Evan. Granted, it wasn’t a lot of time… but this is a movie and the timelines in movies are typically faster than real life. Her not having been in love during her 2000 years of life isn’t that relevant because she was aware of her immortality. When you have more time you take more time. If the average person knew they were going to live to be 2000+ they would delay a lot of things (marriage, children, and so on). Evan alluded to this in the comment about how realizing you will die changes how you live.

    I believe the underlying theme of the movie was our fear of dying, losing the people we love and the desire people have to be connected to each other. It also explored how the characters dealt with these feelings: Louise specifically said that she didn’t want to die and didn’t want to watch anyone die. She made this happen by avoiding love. This is something many people can relate to. Evan embraced the fear by using it as fuel to make the most of each day (at least that’s what he says though we don’t see really see this in the movie). Evan could have been anyone — man or woman, young or old. What changed is that Louise allowed herself to bond with another person. Her desire to be connected became stronger than her desire to live forever.

  • Adam J. Qüæck

    So you’re saying it was her experience that made her amazing. Experience that also gave her judgement as she was forced to learn how to read people over the years, hell she probably has it down to a T, right? If that’s what made her amazing then surely this amazing creature of yours has unquestionable taste in men, right?

  • Adam J. Qüæck

    Yup, pretty much. Either that or she’d given up on trying and he was a nice enough companion to see out the rest of her days with… Because a beast that’s lived for 2,000 years has surely experience heart breaking lust, love and turmoil of all kinds. So to her, now, nice is exalted to something we don’t see, we look for incredible where as “nice” was more than enough for her.

  • Maybe she does have unquestionable taste. But we still need to see what she sees in Evan.

  • GaigeMechromancer

    I’m a woman, and believe me, I am aware of the difference how men and women are being portrayed onscreen. But I value individual merits and context over easy blanket judgment of any gender or group, which, judging from your previous articles, is what you’re all about. Good day.

  • Don Duncan

    Great film! I don’t know why you’re dumping on the guy — why is he not love worthy? I don’t think he’s out of her league in even the slightest. I think they’re matched.

    Your review makes me question whether or not you’ve been in love. My husband and I fell in love the day we met. We’ve been together for a decade and overcome so many obstacles to be together. Why does a week not seem enough time?

    The oxytocin remark is a bit trivial. Is this not nitpicking? Is everyone who sees the film going to know what oxytocin does and doesn’t do? Are you a scientist?

    It’s a better-than-average film that I thoroughly enjoyed. Something new that is less predictable than it could have been. I think you tried to read to much into it or took it too seriously. Relax.

  • Danielm80

    That’s N4, I5, G5, and O5, along with “Gosh! Love is mysterious!” and “It’s not bad! It’s mediocre!” It seems like you’re trying to list every bad argument made on this thread in the past year.

  • Don Duncan

    So you agree?

  • I don’t know why you’re dumping on the guy — why is he not love worthy?

    Extensively discussed in the other comments here, and I see no need to repeat myself.

    Your review makes me question whether or not you’ve been in love.

    Oo, what a burn. I am duly chastised.

  • I’d agree with the misandry allegation. Although it’s been 25 minutes since I read the review above (I’ve been reading these comments in the meantime), my first impression was of a fixed, ideologue-based vitriol over the inherent or extant inequality in gender roles (with such inequality favoring the patriarchy of course).

    Irrespective of whether there is adequate merit to justify such vitriol, I’m merely saying that there is something other than the typical cinematic critique at work here.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    She’s the mythological creature Scylla right? Why isn’t the internet talking about that? Isn’t it obvious???

  • No, it’s not obvious at all. But if you’d like to make a case for it, go ahead.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Sure, thank you.
    Okay, first of all. Scylla is a mythological creatures that lives on Scyllas rock in Italy (which now has a town on it and looks exactly like the town in the movie)
    The film frequently shows images of water splashing up on rocks, implying Scylla’s rock.
    Scylla lived in a cave in the rocks and prey on sailors as their ships passed by. She is also described as being a monster with tentacles and dog features. I feel like all of this describes her perfectly, what do you think?

    Feel free to wikipedia Scylla and Scylla’s rock

  • For this to work as a Scylla metaphor, there would have to be a Charybdis. Feel free to wiki that if you need to.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Why? Can’t she and doesn’t she stand alone well enough without him? That’s like saying it can’t be Medusa without Perseus there. Besides, who know’s, maybe he’s there somewhere too. But regardless, I think in the movie world she is the one who the myth of Scylla was based off of. Same country, same characteristics, same place maybe even. And the film alludes to Scyllas rock constantly. Why else would they show the water splashing on the rock so frequently? It’s to symbolize Scylla’s rock. And she even takes him to her cave. When she first threatened to it seemed as if she was even going to eat him there.
    Also, if you play the video game SMITE, a game filled with mythological gods, Scylla is a playable character. There is no Charybdis and there doesn’t need to be one. I don’t see why Spring would be any different, yeah?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    One last thing, google image Scylla’s rock, it literally looks exactly like the place from the movie- https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/Castello_scilla.jpg

  • We’ll have to disagree on this.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    On what grounds? With what logic?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Isn’t it at least reasonable to say that within this world, being that she is from Italy, lives in a cave in the rocks by the ocean, has tentacles, and eats men, that the men who made up the Scylla myth based it on her?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Oh my gosh I got you with this one! Got the director to confirm-

    Justin Benson ‏@JustinHBenson Feb 19 Los Angeles, CA
    “@MadClockmaker I think she most certainly inspired the Scylla like she probably did a lot of other monster myths.”


  • Danielm80

    Congratulations. You’ve also proved that she’s the Kraken, the Leviathan, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    What? Given what logic from the film? I could see maybe something like Medusa, or vampires or werewolves, but FSM makes no sense at all, but I am open to hearing logic that could connect her to Kraken or Leviathan if you think you have a case

  • On the logic that Abbott without Costello isn’t much worth talking about.

  • Could be. But there is absolutely nothing in the movie that suggests this.

  • Danielm80


    The director said that, because the character has lived so long, she probably inspired all sorts of monster myths. That would include Scylla, whom she superficially resembles. It might also include Medusa, vampires, werewolves, and any number of other creatures.

    Justin Benson didn’t exactly say, “This movie is a direct retelling of the Scylla story, which was a huge influence on the film.” He said, “Scylla? Sure. Why not?” But if you want to take his tweet as the final, clinching proof of your theory, go ahead.

  • You didn’t “get me” with anything.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    What? I actually agree with you, that’s how I took that tweet, that all sorts of creatures could have been inspired by her. I never claimed that it’s a retelling of Scylla’s story. I said she is Scylla, or at least in this world the creature Scylla was based on, but being that it’s a movie it seems that the creature was at least partially inspired by Scylla, and is an reference to her

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Other than literally everything I’ve said?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Why? I don’t go around saying “oh he can’t be Thor if Loki never shows up”

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Other than that the director admitted that in the world of this movie Scylla was inspired by this character? Showing exactly everything I’ve been saying is correct?

  • Danielm80

    Okay, if the character is Scylla, or inspired the idea of Scylla, or resembles Scylla, how does that change your interpretation of the movie, or add to our discussion of the film?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Ah good question! So, my fiance and I actually realized she was Scylla simultaneously just from the trailer, or at least we suspected it; we are total mythology geeks. So watching the film realizing that she was Scylla really made the film a lot better, because it made the decisions she makes and the stories she tells make sense. It made the film exciting. Even down to the part where she was angry with him and offered to show him her cave (probably to eat him) before changing her mind. And knowing that Scylla would give up her mortality to be with a human is significant.

    I also initially contacted this forum because I thought it would be cool if others who had analyzed the film came up with the same conclusion.

  • All those things could also suggest lots of other things. What you’re suggesting is far too vague to be concrete, and even if the direction had said, “Yes, we definitely based her on Scylla,” that wouldn’t mean a damn thing if that doesn’t come across in the story.

  • No one is asking you to. But a pretty essential part of the Scylla legend is the “and Charybdis” part. There isn’t even the barest hint that the theme of this movie is “stuck between a rock and a hard place.” None.

    If you want to see her as Scylla, awesome. It makes no difference to me. It also makes absolutely no difference to my interpretation to the film if she *is* Scylla. It changes nothing.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Oh okay I think I see the misunderstanding now! You think I’m trying to say it’s the Scylla story. Or that she represents Scylla in the same way Gandalf or Neo represent Jesus. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that in the world of the movie, she is the creature who the Scylla creature was based on hundreds of years ago. She’s Scylla in the future, she’s been here the whole time, as a character, not a story. And, I’m assuming, that the director inspired her character after the Scylla myth. Does that make sense?

  • I have always understood what you’ve been saying. And *I* am still saying that without Charybdis or a way in which seeing her as Scylla brings deeper meaning to the film, it’s difficult to support. It’s too nebulous.

  • Benjamin

    I really liked this movie, from a human perspective and realism. Here’s this immortal creature who can live forever but at the same time. She’s very human, not remembering all of her life and living in very much the now.

    Practicing and dipping into religion, science and just commence sense. Not only to explain herself but also cope with life in general as it happens. As for the whole love thing of course he didn’t know and it went double for herself because nobody really knows.

    Until they actually do know and THATS the point in the end, I think. I mean who would give up forever? Unless what you want is standing right in front of you. Doesn’t that mean you’ll be happy forever ? Or have your feelings change later? Or maybe just feel none of that but a feeling of not running a race your whole life.

    The feeling you get could be anything. That’s what makes REAL love, such a mystery.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    I think we’re still talking about different things. You’re speaking very literally about the plot and character developement. Im talking about the lore of the film and it’s real world connections and inspirations.

  • Danielm80

    Okay, let’s try this one more time.

    Your basic premise makes sense. If people saw a strange, mysterious creature with tentacles and dog features, living on a rock by the water, they might have invented a story to explain what they were seeing. And that story might have resembled the myth of Scylla.

    But they might also have taken those same few details and invented lots of other myths. The director of the film seemed to suggest, in his tweet, that that’s exactly what happened. Maybe Louise inspired the legend of the Kraken. Maybe Jules Verne was thinking about descriptions of Louise when he wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. So Scylla is just one of many possible creatures that people might think of when they’re watching the movie.

    The question I’ve been asking (and, I think, the same question MaryAnn has been asking) is this: Why have you chosen to fixate specifically on Scylla? I mean, some of the details of Louise’s story are strikingly similar to that myth, but other details don’t match at all. There’s nothing in the myth of Scylla about oxytocin or a long chain of lovers. And, of course, Spring doesn’t mention Charybdis.

    None of that necessarily contradicts your theory. But the question is: Even if you can reconcile the movie with the myth, why are you working so hard to do it? Why do you think it’s important?

    Let me be clear. I can understand why you think this is an interesting topic to talk about. You—along with your fiancé—are a huge fan of mythology.

    I can relate. I like mythology, too. I’m also interested in folklore and religion, and I sometimes think about those topics when I’m watching movies. To give a really oddball example, I sometimes try to connect vampires and Jesus. The stories are very different, but they have a few themes and motifs in common. They make me think about wider issues: cultural attitudes toward death (and the possibility of life after death), social taboos about blood, and the nature of the soul. (Joss Whedon’s vampire stories, in particular, mention souls over and over again.)

    But I don’t imagine that most other people are making that sort of connection. It’s not, even remotely, the obvious way to respond to those stories. In fact, it may even be a little nuts.

    I think it’s terrific that Spring has led you and your fiancé to have lengthy discussions of mythology. That’s fantastic. But there are a whole lot of people in the audience, and on this discussion board, who aren’t mythology buffs.

    So here’s what I want to know: How, exactly, does the myth of Scylla add to an understanding of this film? What, specifically, does it tell us about the characters’ relationships that we wouldn’t figure out just by watching the movie? How does it explain their actions? What new insights does it give us? And why is this a useful discussion topic who—unlike you and me—isn’t a mythology fanatic?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Ah thank you for the good questions.
    So, I think the big thing that differentiates this as Scylla from say other monster myths like the Kraken is geography. One of the reasons that I knew it would be Scylla so early on is that the movie essentially takes place on Scyllas rock. Maybe it was even filmd there, I’m not sure, but it’s Itally, and if you google Scyllas rock you’ll basically see pictures of the films setting. That combined with her having Scyllas traits and man eating, really makes her Scylla. The problem with something like the Kraken, is it’s a Norse myth, and as far as I know isn’t considered a female. I could see how maybe stories of her could have been obscured, but it’s a stretch. I think you guys might also be thinking of Scylla the giant Kraken like creature in a cave. I’m thinking of her female form, which has many artist depictions that don’t look too far off from the character in the movie. So maybe that’s the misunderstanding? Maybe you’re thinking of her like a Clash of the Titans character?
    Also in her mythology she does have relationships that include deaths and tragedies. In one story a relationship gone wrong condemned her to the sea, and in others she kills her lovers.
    The Oxytocin is irrelevant with any old myths because it’s new science, in my mind it’s Scylla trying to scientifically discover what she is. After years of being a monster she’s finally trying to figure out what she is. And that answers the question of how her being Scylla explains her relationships and actions. Not to mention if you go into the movie knowing she’s Scylla, you know she’s at risk of eating or killing somebody, possibly even the main character.

    So, I’m not sure if you study film, you seem like you might. But connecting films with philosophy and mythology is wonderful. For instance, the dwarves in The Hobbit all get their names strait out of Norse mythology. In fact, most of the Lord of the Rings is Norse mythology mixed with some biblical mythology, and knowing that makes for some very entertaining insider knowledge into the film and discussions, much like Spring.

    These sorts of discussions are good because it lets us explore the world of the film further. Like, if you know that The Matrix is pretty much the bible mixed with beginner philosophy class, it makes for a pretty good viewing and discussion. Vampires, like you said, is a great example. Modern vampire movies are inspired by ancient vampire myths much like Spring is inspired by the Scylla myth. I doubt you would claim the vampires in Interview with a Vampire aren’t vampires because they don’t need permission to enter a house, as the old mythology requires.

    So to sum it up, this is a very useful discussion because it adds to further exploration and understanding of the film and it’s inspirations in a mythological context. And people who aren’t mythology buffs will now maybe know who Scylla is, if they bother to read this at least.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    You know what,
    I just thought of another way to hit this one. This discussion is like, for an imaginary example, we were talking about a movie where a giant tentacle sea creature attacks a viking ship.

    I would come in saying something like “That’s definitely the Kraken” And you guys would probably respond with something like “Do you have anything to substantiate that with? It could be C’thulu or FSM, or the thing from 20,000 leagues or Scylla”

    And I would say something like “The Kraken is from Norse mythology, it’s a big tentacled creature that attacks ships”

    And you guys would say something like “Okay well how does that impact the story”

    It doesn’t matter, what matters is it’s clearly the kraken.
    Does that parallel make sense?

  • Danielm80

    So this whole discussion enhances our understanding of the film because it tells us that:

    (1.) The monster might eat somebody.

    (2.) Louise is trying to figure out her life?

    Do you really think we needed a week’s worth of classical minutiae to figure that out?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Why are you guys so focused on this understanding of the film having to impact the characters decisions so much? This is like, if we used the imaginary Kraken example, you guys saying “Well how does knowing the giant squid is the kraken impact it’s decision to attack a ship?”
    It doesn’t matter, the point is it’s the Kraken, and knowing that impacts our understanding of the film on an intellectual entertainment level. I’m not claiming that knowing she’s a mythological creature is somehow vital to her decision making skills.
    If she had snake hair and turned people to stone I would say “look it’s medusa” and you guys would say “not, it’s not medusa because where is Persius? And how does knowing she’s medusa impact her character? It doesn’t. She has snakes for hair and turns people to stone. What matters is knowing, hey, that’s clearly medusa. And if it’s not medusa, it’s clear she was inspired by medusa.

  • Danielm80

    Well, for me the parallel would be something like this: I’m watching the new Star Wars movie, and I can’t hear the dialogue, because the person behind me is saying, “You’d think that ship is an X-Wing fighter, but it’s actually a Z-Wing fighter, which is painted a different color and has an extra tail fin.”

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Not sure I understand how that connects to this.

    I’m also not sure why you guys are disagreeing with me, all I’m saying is what the director himself confirmed. Do you guys know more about this film than the director?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    I also have to wonder if you guys are actually bothering to read anything I’ve written; or if you are actually just trolls who automatically want to counter everything that’s said

  • I like mythology, too. I’m also interested in folklore and religion, and I sometimes think about those topics when I’m watching movies.

    Me too! And I’m not feeling the Scylla love either.

  • Why are you guys so focused on this understanding of the film having to impact the characters decisions so much?

    Because that’s how our understanding is deepened!

    If she had snake hair and turned people to stone I would say “look it’s medusa” and you guys would say “not, it’s not medusa because where is Persius?

    No. But we might say, How does the story of Medusa relate to the story we see here? How does it make it a *better* story? (We might be able to take a feminist stance, perhaps, like maybe it becomes a commentary on beauty standards — and double standards — today.) And you have yet to explain how the story of Scylla has any bearing on Louise’s story, or how it deepens our understanding of her.

  • Yes, it explains that we are talking at cross purposes. I think it *should* matter! Maybe it *is* the Kraken, but that’s not enough to be interesting if it makes no difference if it is the Kraken.

  • The director did not “confirm” anything. He simply did not disagree with you. Not the same thing.

  • Are you calling me a troll at my own site?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Okay, so you would concede that she’s medusa? Or in this case Scylla? But you would want to also try to understand why that matters in terms of adding to the story itself or it’s irrelevant? Is that your stance?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Okay, so again, you would concede that it’s the kraken but not care if it doesn’t add to the story?

    But would you also actively dismiss it’s the Kraken if it doesn’t somehow add to the story?

  • Ari Feblowitz

    No I’m just trying to figure out your stances, I’m very confused

  • Ari Feblowitz

    My claim is that she and Scylla are related/inspired one another. He confirmed that. What he didn’t do is confirm that magical plot additive that you seem to find necessary for her to be that character. I’m claiming she is that character because of traits. You’re claiming she’s not her because of story. That’s our difference.

    I just want to know how far you would go with this. Is it that you don’t care if she’s her if it doesn’t add to the story? Or is it that you would actively deny any character to be another character if the story isn’t impacted?

  • No, I do not “concede” that she definitely “is” Scylla. She may well be. But if it is irrelevant to the story then it doesn’t matter either way.

  • No one is “actively dismissing” your contention that she is Scylla. You just haven’t made me care one way or the other.

  • I’ve been perfectly clear in my stance. I’ve explained it numerous times.

    I don’t think you’re going to get here the sort of discussion of this topic you are clearly after. Perhaps you should try elsewhere.

  • We’re done here. I have explained myself enough.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Okay, so it comes down to this: You admit that she may very well be Scylla, but it doesn’t matter to you because it doesn’t impact the story in a way that matters to you, is that a good summary?

    Like, if I told you all the names of the dwarves and Gandalf included in “The Hobbit” were strait from Norse mythology, your response would be “Okay that’s cool but it doesn’t matter to me because it doesn’t impact the story”
    Is that a good assessment? I’m just trying to figure out where this conversation stands.

  • Ari Feblowitz

    Alright, fair enough.
    Excuse me for thinking film “philosophy” could be discussed and debated on a site called flickfilosopher.
    I will take my discussions elsewhere

  • Ari Feblowitz

    All you’ve explained comes down to “I really don’t care enough about your arguments to even consider them” and I “I’m pretty much just going to dismiss everything this guy says because I don’t like it”
    But that’s fine. I’m done as well

  • Frankie

    She doesn’t have to be thrilled by a mortal life. I just think her body (and her mind ofcourse)feels that it’s time she experiences it. And what better experience can a mortal life give you than sharing your heart… This Oh, and yes he may be uninteresting to us. But he obviously was interesting enough for her. His simple lifestyle made her feel like things can be just as simple for her. This was by far one of the best love stories I’ve ever seen on film.

  • I just think her body (and her mind ofcourse)feels that it’s time she experiences it.

    This is the sort of thing that a story needs to show us. We should not be left to presume it.

    But of course, the movie thinks *he* is a much more important character than she is.

  • Anatoli Ossai

    As much as I hated the ending scene of this movie, Louise has no possible suitor. She has 2000 years of backstory and the eternal body of a 20 year old. No man (in her age range) can impress her. And as boring as Evan was even the most interesting man in world (if there is such a thing) would not be worth giving up eternity for.

    And Lousie for an immortal isn’t exactly miss personality either. She’s hot, has a savagely gross genetic disorder, but for 99% of history has just been a silent observer. She hasn’t achieved anything in 2000 years. Take away her immortality and good looks and she’s just as mediocre as Evan.

  • Danielm80

    I honestly can’t tell if you’re defending the movie or attacking it. If both of the main characters are that boring, the movie isn’t worth two hours of our time.

  • Anatoli Ossai

    The movie wasn’t bad. It’s a solid B+ for an indie. The ending was just divisive. No man on Earth could ever be good enough to give up immortality for so saying Evan is boring is a moot point for author of this article

  • It’s not a moot point. It’s allegedly the entire point of the film. And there’s no there there.

  • Paul Donovan

    I’ve seen the movie twice, just so I could parse the ending more clearly.

    I’m still not sure, personally, which way it goes, although it doesn’t really matter. If you watch the DVD, there is an “alternate ending” that you can access. It pretty much clears everything up.

  • Alternate endings are wishy-washy bullshit.

  • Dixie88

    Mary Ann, here is what is special about Evan: he tells the truth. He admits his failings. He took care of his dying mother. Quit college to do that. So he has a big heart. He has the spark of life, he is immediate, he lives his life richy. He jumps on an airplane & goes to Italy (with an inheritance, we don’t know how much but enough to get him to Italy). He savours soup & wine.
    He is willing to learn new things–like farming. He listens. He pays attention to people like the old farmer. He is moved by the old farmer’s love for his dead wife, the fact that the old farmer will not go looking for another romance (& I know a guy in his 90s who married a woman in her 70s 10 years after his wife died, so it happens for old people as well as young–this love thing). Evan sees Her (of many names) in her most primitive form & altho’ it intially frightens him, his love for her overcomes the natural fear of the unkown. He is intelligent enough to understand the basics of the science of what makes her what she is, how she transforms. This is something it’s taken her 2,000 years to figure out. And Evan gets it in 5 days. So, to me, that is pretty damned special.
    The thing about him offering to quit smoking is a metaphor. We see at the end of the movie that Her (of many names) family was killed by the volanic eruption. Smoke & ash smothered them. So if Evan gives up smoking, he is (in effect) offering to not die the way her family died.
    Metaphor. It’s a big word. Look it up. It’s used in many works of art.
    I was married to an Italian from an extremely wealthy family. He gave me Everything. He was Insane over me. He sang to me. He stood outside of my window, calling my name at night.
    His family bought me a Picasso. They sent me to Africa, London, Paris. I majored in Fine Arts (& Education & Literature). I gave tours of MOMA (art museum in New York City), hung out with people like Andy Warhol, Paul Newman, Joann Woodward, King Gustav of Sweden & his wife (best friends with one of my brothers in law.)
    My father has a mountain & a glacier in Antarctica named after him (William C. Elder, he’s in geology textbooks).
    I’ve had 100s of poems published, the first 8 when I was 18.
    So I might be thought of as somewhat special. Maybe.
    But my first True Love (which lasted from when we met at age 14 until we were put in jail for anti-war activities at age nearly 21) was like Evan. He was a good listener. Caring. Curious. He was from a dirt poor family. A farmer, a tree-trimmer, a carpetner. They were Catholics. My father hated religious people. This boy watched over me.
    I had moved 48 times b4 age 13, lived in all but 5 of the US states, Mexico, Canada (due to father’s job as a cartographer). So I was unstable. Drank too much to calm down from being put in first grade at age 4 & having to take AP classes from Day One. Called a Prodigy, a genius, special.
    The Normal guy made me feel OK, safe, like I could Breathe.
    I loved him. We stayed in touch until his death at age 55. That was true love.
    But I married the rich boy after being pushed & pushed into marriage by my mother & his mother while my True Love was on the road, trying to forget prison. At that time, I thought I’d never see him again.
    First husband became wife beater. His mother & sister helped me get 2,000 miles away.
    Later, I married a super special guy who has traveled all over the world but barely ever has enough $$ to pay the bills.
    So–who can explain Love?
    Are we supposed to fall in love with someone from our same background? Our religion (or atheism?) Are we supposed to choose a healthy “specimen?” Or a guy with a super high IQ (my 2nd husband has an IQ of 185 but mine is only 145-ish) Must our chosen guy be super talented? A painter, writer, musician?
    Mary Ann, what is your criteria for being special?? Evan is a good learner. He learned how to be a farmer in a few days. Have you ever tried that, I have–it is Not easy, it is the most complicated work a person can do & you’d get that if you paid attention to the scenes wherein Evan is learning from the old farmer about root rot, grafting etc.)
    And by the way, could you speak & understand Italian after 5 days in Italy? Pretty good for Evan, shows he has a quick mind.
    Oh, maybe you just do not like men! That’s it!
    This was a strange, eerie, mythological romantic film. I loved it.

  • Metaphor. It’s a big word. Look it up. It’s used in many works of art.

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll look into this interesting concept.

    Oh, maybe you just do not like men! That’s it!

    Yup, that must be it.

  • Dicksrapeyouhard

    Another article no one will care about by a neo liberal femnazi

  • Bluejay

    Another comment no one will care about by someone who doesn’t have the equipment mentioned in his handle.

  • Danielm80

    The article he thinks no one will care about has received more than 200 comments, and is still being discussed a year after it was published.

    But I do appreciate his efforts to out himself as a rapist. That will save the authorities a lot of time.

  • Brian Adair

    You shouldn’t read a movie review and immediately be able to tell the gender of the reviewer, their political motivations or biases. What a disgustingly subjectively review of a fine movie. Just review the film on it’s merits, balance the review with it’s short comings and get paid. Keep your stupid social commentary to yourself. Pathetic.

  • Bluejay

    You shouldn’t read a movie review and immediately be able to tell the gender of the reviewer

    That’s right! You should always assume that the gender is male, and never be shaken from that assumption.

    What a disgustingly subjective review of a fine movie.

    Agreed! The movie is objectively fine! Only people who didn’t like it are subjective!

    (And by the way: This wasn’t the actual review. She links to her review at the top of the article. But it’s written by the same reviewer with female parts and icky opinions, so I’m sure you’ll LOVE that!)

    Keep your stupid social commentary to yourself.

    Right, how DARE she prop open your eyelids and force your mouse to click on this article! Tyranny! Socialism! Apocalypse Now!


    Weird to close your comment with a self-descriptor, but okay.

  • bronxbee

    what would you read one for then? this is the reviewer’s own site. she may express any and all opinions, criticisms and make whatever comparisons, analogies and just plain remarks she likes. she may say nothing at all if she so chooses. if all you want is a site that agrees with *your* opinion, or a plain “it’s cool!” (which is still, it should be obvious, an opinion) then go to one of the corporate whore sites.

  • You shouldn’t read a movie review and immediately be able to tell the gender of the reviewer, their political motivations or biases.

    Er, yes, you absolutely fucking should. All that info helps you understand where the critic is coming from, and whether that critic’s assessment will be helpful to you.

    disgustingly subjectively

    Oh dear. You’re one of those people who thinks arts criticism can be “objective.” Here’s a hint: If you think a reviewer is “objective,” it’s only because you share their biases.

    I’m deeply sorry that you had your complacency rocked by a critic who does not share your biases. That must have been terrible for you.

  • Brian Adair

    You don’t believe that film can be looked at in an objective manner? Script, pacing, editing, direction, cinematography, score, acting… You don’t believe any of those things can be examined without a biased lens that reflects our political ideologies? It’s through objective examination of such facets of a film from a competent reviewer that has changed my mind about certain movies. There are technical aspects that make a film good despite it’s underlying message or themes. There is a place to discuss themes of a film, but they shouldn’t be considered as merits or detractors from a film given their subjective nature. Of course, that would just cause an echo chamber filled with a majority of people who share your opinion, regurgitating validation to one another. You should check out the YouTube channel “every frame a painting” if you’d like to learn more about objective elements of a film. Anyway, glad you took the time to write back. It’s mighty big of you; I do so enjoy reading condescending comments from idiots. You’re quite amusing.

  • Brian Adair

    I’m looking for objectivity in a film review. Examinations of the technical aspects of the film and it’s merits. Discussing the film’s themes with a political lens does nothing, as it is way too subjective. Just by reading the first paragraph of this review, I know I can’t trust any opinions of Ms. Johnson about a film’s critique. Unless the film contains a strong female character that passes the Bechdel test, I’m fairly certain she’s going to have some snide commentary about it – whether it’s a good movie or not. Anyway, I’m off to find a site that agrees with *my* opinion… You know, that a film can be judged good or bad without bringing politics into it…

  • Brian Adair

    Okay, first off: I absolutely love the zinger you closed with; sublimely elegant in it’s execution! Mind if I borrow it from time to time? On to the actual discourse: I don’t actually assume that a reviewer is male, I read a review assuming gender neutrality and objectivity. Unfortunately, I find an overwhelming amount of female reviewers extremely biased against depictions of violence in film, as well as having gender based political agendas to push in the reviews. So, I guess, technically you are right? If I’m reading a review that appears to be a fine objective assessment, I do assume it’s male. Huh. I guess that makes me a bigot or something, eh? Don’t worry, I don’t just rally behind a reviewer based solely on gender. I’m ageist too – a lot of hack reviewers who happen to be male are also painfully subjective due to their age. To your next point: somebody can dislike a movie and remain objective. The creature effects were objectively poor in quite a few places. That’s a technical merit that can be discussed without subjective/political motivations. As for her actual review, at least she posted a warning that she is severely biased. Obviously, if I had clicked that link first I wouldn’t have even read this article, would’ve been free to just dismiss everything on this website as biased, and moved to a page that was helpful. Remember, the title of this article is “about the ending of Spring”, clearly I was looking for some insight on it’s ending. I thought the ending was ambiguous with the possible eruption in the distance, and was looking for clarification. No, she didn’t *make* me read this review, but it IS the #1 result when searching “Spring movie ending”, and contains very little in the way of discussing it’s ending – well, except the all important question: does Evan actually quit smoking for her!?!? All in all, it’s a trite article from a hack writer that is not helpful or related to the title of the article. I really did like your sarcastic bards, though! You’ve got some talent.

  • bronxbee

    i would suggest you read technical magazines who deal with the aspects you prefer. there is no such thing as an “objective” review. i prefer a review that deals with character and social context.

  • Brian Adair

    Don’t get me wrong, a review of themes, characters or context is just as fascinating as a technical based review, and power to you if that’s your jam . Unfortunately, such a review is virtually worthless if it’s from a reviewer who has an extremely “biast” lens and agenda. If that’s the measure of a film being good or bad, then it’s clearly flawed. Using such a flawed lens to analyze film does not reflect the actual themes(or other aspects) intended. This of course, brings up an interesting question of intent vs perception, but that’s another topic for another time. Anyway, themes, characterization, context and social commentary can all be disseminated in a very objective way. To think otherwise is silly. Almost as silly as me trying to use logic in a biased echo chamber…

  • You don’t believe that film can be looked at in an objective manner? Script, pacing, editing, direction, cinematography, score, acting…

    The funny thing is that you *do* thing there is such a thing as “objective” judgment.

    There are technical aspects that make a film good despite it’s underlying message or themes.

    I’m so not interested in that.

    There is a place to discuss themes of a film, but they shouldn’t be considered as merits or detractors from a film given their subjective nature.

    Bwahahahaha. You are *so* not going to find anything of interest at this site.

  • Just by reading the first paragraph of this review, I know I can’t trust any opinions of Ms. Johnson about a film’s critique.

    Fantastic! That’s how this all works. Now you know that you don’t need to bother reading my reviews.

    Unless the film contains a strong female character that passes the Bechdel test, I’m fairly certain she’s going to have some snide commentary about it

    And you would be wrong about that.

  • I read a review assuming gender neutrality and objectivity.

    There is no such thing. How on earth did you come to the conclusion that there is?

    I guess that makes me a bigot or something, eh?

    Knock it off.

    it’s a trite article from a hack writer

    Oh, you wound me.

  • For the last damn time: Every critic is biased. It is the nature of criticism.

  • Brian Adair

    Nope. Only hack critics are biased. You must have stopped reading after the first definition of criticism. To critique, is to analyze. It can be done objectively. Critics that are unable to separate their bias from their work are pretty much garbage people. I can make an exception for those that acknowledge and are forthcoming about their own biases. It lets people know, who don’t share your skewed lens of reality, that your opinion is worthless. So, I’ll give you credit for that. However, the article I read didn’t have your standard bias warning that seems to be present on other articles and is simply a rehash of your previous review of the film with very little discussion about the ending of the film – contradictory to the title of your article… Anyway, as long as you’re honest with potentially new audience members, you’re above the standard garbage hack-critics. Keep up the “good” work. :-)

  • Critics that are unable to separate their bias from their work are pretty much garbage people.

    Critics who think they are able to separate their bias from their work are pretty much garbage people.

    There, fixed that for ya.

    who don’t share your skewed lens of reality,

    Aw, like your lens on reality isn’t skewed, too.

    Keep on digging that hole. It’s fun watching you.

  • amanohyo

    Hmmm, you imply that all people who view life through a “skewed lens” have worthless opinions. If that’s the case, the only additional information you could possibly accept would be from people who share your fundamental worldview and set of values. You would be shutting out an enormous quantity of valuable knowledge and experience.

    If that’s not the case, and some people with a lens skewed differently than MA have worthwhile opinions, then your lens would have to be skewed in a way that allowed you to rank the degree of acceptable skew in others.

    So I guess, the most important question is, how did you come to the realization that your own lens was not skewed (or less skewed if you prefer)? That idealistic, platonic perspective has a place perhaps in maths and science (although these are also performed by people with skewed lenses), but do you believe it’s ideal when critiquing a work of art to go down a checklist in the style of a typical game review?

    Would assigning 7.85/10 points to the pacing in scene 34, but 6.15/10 points to the camera movement in scene 83 truly be more objective than MA’s review? Human beings have an emotional reaction, then they rationalize after the fact. People who attempt to devalue or ignore their emotional bias are less aware of this process, which ironically allows emotions to hold even more sway over their actions. For example, on some basic level, this apparently rational argument is an emotional response to an attack on something that I value, the content on this site. On another level, as someone who is constantly seeking novelty and unique voices, I am frightened by any implication that there is one true/good way to critique art.

    You find MA’s opinions to be worthless because she doesn’t rank the technical aspects of filmmaking as highly as you do. Others find her opinions to be useful and entertaining because they rank interesting stories and characters more highly than technical aspects.

    These people, myself included, would much rather see a technically incompetent movie that tells an interesting, fresh story (or an old story in an interesting way) with complex, fully developed characters than the reverse. I might respect a movie more if I learned of its technical accomplishments and subtleties, but without any humanity at the core, films often feel like a hollow exercise (an extreme example would be Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, or more recently Warcraft). That’s how my lens is skewed – other lenses are skewed differently and that’s cool as long as one perspective/bias doesn’t start to dominate all the others.

    So, if we accept your assertion that there is such a thing as a skewed lens, then we are left with four possibilities:

    1) MA’s lens is skewed. Yours is not.
    2) Your lens is skewed. MA’s is not.
    3) Both of your lenses are skewed differently.
    4) Neither lens is skewed, but each has a different focal point (identical to 3 in my book)

    Which one of these is the most likely and how did you objectively determine this?

  • Bluejay

    Critics that are unable to separate their bias from their work are pretty much garbage people.

    Wow, and here I thought only terrorists and unrepentant bigots were pretty much garbage people. I must have been too selective. If we’re going to cast our nets wide and include biased film critics on the list of garbage people, then maybe it’s fair to say that smug, self-satisfied commenters who come to websites just to piss on the website owner are garbage people as well. Seems reasonable to me.

    Keep up the “good” work.

    Aww, you’re a “wonderful” “human being.”

  • Brian Adair

    Well, you have to give me something to dig with. You essentially just replied with, “I know you are, but what am I?”.

  • Danielm80




    If you read those essays and think that they’re proof that her reviews have nothing to say to you, then you are probably right.

  • Brian Adair

    Now, this! This is an amazingly mature, respectful reply(arguably better than I deserve), and fantastically thought provoking. Please allow me to clarify the first point… When you know there is an inherent bias in information you’re getting, even from a critique, that information is essentially worthless unless it corresponds to your own bias. If that information has instead been presented in an unbiased manner, you can actually evaluate it and use it to form opinions. Are all opinions formed from a bias lens worthless? Well, kind of… The thing about opinions is, they don’t need to rely on any facts. Couple that with a bias and you get into some dangerous territory, intellectually speaking… Now, as for myself, I look for the most objective sources when forming opinions. For example, I would say that I lean to the Right in terms of politics. Does this mean I’m fooled by all their rhetoric? No, I’m 100% pro-choice and an adamant atheist. I agree 100% about your view on shutting out information that doesn’t gel with your own beliefs, but you also have to examine information for bias before you let it in and potentially change your mind. Close minded is bad. Open minded? Just as bad. Critical thinking mind is good, no?
    Now, I’ll back down and give you the win for the technical talk. The way you described a technical review is not how I’d ideally like to read a review. My original assertion was that the more technical aspects of a film should be used to judge whether a movie is good or bad. Script, acting, cinematography, direction, pacing, editing, etc. These elements can easily be used to judge film objectively. Now, a seperate discussion of themes and societal impact of a film can get more subjective. For instance, I watched a film recently called “The Sacrament”. It explored some very powerful themes of religiosity, cult behaviour and various political themes like socialism-to-communism-to-totalitarianism. Was it objectively a good movie? No. It was pretty shitty in it’s execution. Now, here’s an interesting thought: what if a viewer puts more value on the “message” of a film rather than it’s “technical” aspects? You touched on this in your reply, but the inherent problem is that the potential message is open to interpretation and is thus subjective – despite the fact there are objective means to analyze(think; the cinematic version of poetic devices).
    Now, there’s one thing I definitely want to point out, in my defence. I don’t value technical aspects above character depth(I think they are one in the same). I believe a good character arc and depth is part of good writing. A good script or screenplay is essential to a good character and good acting brings that character to life and lends it believability. I lump these under technical aspects of the film. My beef with MA(and her audience, by extension), is NOT her preference for characterization over what I call the “technical” aspects, but her gender political lens that she seems to view everything through. So, everybody has some bias. I get that. I respect that MA is upfront about it in *most* of her articles, but this one had no warning upfront. My bias? My hackles go up at the sniff of anything remotely resembling gender politics or SJW nonsense. So, I’ll say possibility 3 is the most likely of assertions based on MA and myself both being able to admit bias. That being said, I will defend to my dying breath that it is possible and more than reasonable for a critic to judge a film objectively, outside of their own biases.

  • Brian Adair

    Interesting that you lump terrorists and bigots together in the same category. I mean, terrorists use violence or threats of, to achieve their political/religious goals. A bigot is just simply a person intolerant of another’s opinions. So, yeah I guess I could be labeled a bigot – as can your venerated author of this site, though… And we are both on par with terrorists? May I suggest you add some additional adjectives to your vocabulary when describing people? I mean, you may need some more granularity when differentiating people that don’t like other’s opinions from those that kill people based on their opinions. Try “dummy”. Dummy is a good one.

  • Brian Adair

    I appreciate the fact that she is upfront about being biased. However, the bias I read in her review seemed to be of a political aspect unrelated to the actual film. Beside that, I will maintain that a film can be judged objectively on being bad or good. As to the second post, I find it interesting that MA puts the “story” above all else. Could one not say that the story behind “Spring” is that love conquers all? Seems like a rather inspirational story, no? What are her biases against that story? Maybe none, but rather, her biases made her interpret the story differently than that. Interesting aside, just scrolling through a couple of comments on the second essay revealed that readers here pointed out several instances of MA liking a movie despite a shitty story. Her response was to the effect of, “there’s always exceptions”. So, can I find value in the opinions of a biased critic that doesn’t even have an absolute standard with which he/she critiques? Guess I’ll have to read more than one review…

  • Bluejay

    So, yeah I guess I could be labeled a bigot… Try “dummy”.

    You’re being generous in offering up accurate descriptions of yourself. Very well, I agree. You’re a bigoted dummy.

    as can your venerated author of this site

    She’s opinionated, but you’re mistaken if you think she doesn’t engage with differing opinions. Your problem, in case you’re too dense to see it, is that you walked into her space and immediately called her review “disgusting,” “stupid,” and “pathetic.” That’s not the opening gambit of someone who wants to persuade others of his opinion and have a reasonable discussion. That’s an asshole move, and you deserve the hostile response you’re getting.

  • a political aspect unrelated to the actual film

    Hahaha. There’s your bias showing.

    I will maintain that a film can be judged objectively on being bad or good.

    And you will continue to be wrong. There is no judgment without bias.

  • Gabriel Kernan

    Your review however long, is complete and utter foolishness in the end. Yes it wasn’t a perfect movie, but it clearly portrays how a woman/man when saying their in love with someone, is merely suppressing their lust for the other person. The woman is neither a liar to herself or the man, as she doesn’t truly know she is in love, until her body tells her she is. You do not need to express love at all let alone constantly, to be in love. That my friend, is called unconditional love, something that no matter what it faces, will survive and blossom in the darkest of times, hence the mans acceptance of her being. Humans are fools, that constantly mix up the feeling of lust, and being in love, and this is why people move on eventually after a break up, and also why the old clichè Italian farmer refused to see another woman, because he may lust for other women, but his body and soul still miss the person that was once his wife, with every deep breath it inhales, and every sunset it sees since. And for a final note, yes that is an awful long time to be alive and not find someone, but again it refers back to how everyone has a special someone, but there’s only one of them, and that is why once the farmers wife dies he cannot move on, because she was the only one for him, and therefore your review is practically saying that as well as this man, there should have been more than one love of her life, in all of those years. This idea is ambiguous among different people, depending on what you believe is love. I myself, believe that love is not about finding happiness, as that is just a mere aspect of love, it’s about finding the person that you want to define the rest of your life with, rather than finding someone just because you lust for them. They say that love makes you blind, however it’s not love that makes you blind it is lust. Love simply helps you find the rest of who you are, rather than what you desire. To lust for something because it makes you happy is an addiction, to fall in love with something is something that you cannot hide or lie about, that is why the heart is referred to as love, where as lust is brought on by the brain, the brain sees what it thinks is best for the body, and chases it. The heart on the other hand, catches on to only a few select things it sees in it’s lifetime, and never lets go of them, until the day it stops.

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