spoiler alert: about the ending of Spring

springspoiler

[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.

Disgusting.

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

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Hank Graham
Hank Graham
Fri, Apr 03, 2015 11:17pm

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
RogerBW
Tue, Apr 07, 2015 12:17pm

So basically he’s a murderer. Great.

JEng
JEng
reply to  RogerBW
Tue, Sep 22, 2015 10:43am

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
JEng
reply to  JEng
Tue, Sep 22, 2015 10:45am

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.

Xherdan
Xherdan
reply to  RogerBW
Wed, Dec 02, 2015 9:35pm

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.

SaltHarvest
SaltHarvest
Tue, Apr 07, 2015 2:04pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  SaltHarvest
Tue, Apr 07, 2015 9:20pm

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
SaltHarvest
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Apr 08, 2015 12:59am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  SaltHarvest
Wed, Apr 08, 2015 10:25am

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

SaltHarvest
SaltHarvest
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Apr 08, 2015 1:59pm

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

angus williamson
angus williamson
reply to  SaltHarvest
Mon, Jul 27, 2015 6:19am

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

Burroughs
Burroughs
Wed, Apr 08, 2015 1:13am

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
SaltHarvest
reply to  Burroughs
Wed, Apr 08, 2015 1:47am

Not sure I’d call that “fun.”

angus williamson
angus williamson
reply to  SaltHarvest
Mon, Jul 27, 2015 6:15am

dog, shut the fuck up

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Burroughs
Wed, Apr 08, 2015 10:27am

Ugh.

Burroughs
Burroughs
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Apr 10, 2015 9:36am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Burroughs
Fri, Apr 10, 2015 9:08pm

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

Burroughs
Burroughs
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Apr 12, 2015 7:46am

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Burroughs
Sun, Apr 12, 2015 11:56am

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.

Burroughs
Burroughs
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Apr 21, 2015 12:32am

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

Adam J. Qüæck
Adam J. Qüæck
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Dec 14, 2015 10:42pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Adam J. Qüæck
Tue, Dec 15, 2015 10:40pm

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
Adam J. Qüæck
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Dec 16, 2015 10:57am

Ok.

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Adam J. Qüæck
Wed, Dec 16, 2015 11:43pm

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.

Adam J. Qüæck
Adam J. Qüæck
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Jan 17, 2016 5:20pm

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Adam J. Qüæck
Mon, Jan 18, 2016 1:39pm

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

Tracie
Tracie
reply to  Adam J. Qüæck
Sun, Jan 17, 2016 3:19pm

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.

Adam J. Qüæck
Adam J. Qüæck
reply to  Tracie
Sun, Jan 17, 2016 5:22pm

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.

Frankie
Frankie
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Mar 06, 2016 3:37am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Frankie
Sun, Mar 06, 2016 11:29am

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.

Adam J. Qüæck
Adam J. Qüæck
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Dec 16, 2015 1:01pm

he’d have left her due to boredom

JCB
JCB
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Sep 18, 2017 2:45am

This comments speaks volumes; about your character, life and psychology.

Please don’t misunderstand – I have neither made a POSITIVE nor a NEGATIVE implication…….
That is for me to extract…

But, wow..
What a ‘revealing’ comment, none the less.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  JCB
Mon, Sep 18, 2017 12:50pm

Oh, sure. You don’t mean to suggest ANY negative implications. Right.

Say what you want to say, and stand by it. You won’t impress anyone by tossing out implications and then protesting innocence, or by editing your original comments to back away from your claims.

Either have the courage to make your criticism and defend it in conversation, or don’t bother to comment at all.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  JCB
Tue, Sep 19, 2017 4:51pm

Oh, I think we get that you’ve made an implication that you believe is negative.

debbW_winning
debbW_winning
reply to  Burroughs
Wed, Aug 12, 2015 2:52pm

that fits the movie, lol

Kat105
Kat105
Wed, Apr 08, 2015 6:44pm

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.”

Tracie
Tracie
reply to  Kat105
Sun, Jan 17, 2016 3:27pm

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 :(

Joel
Joel
Sun, Apr 12, 2015 10:02pm

You sound like a whiny feminist twat.

a
a
reply to  Joel
Sun, Apr 12, 2015 11:22pm

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.

cinderkeys
Sat, Apr 18, 2015 9:40am

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.

Daniel
Daniel
reply to  cinderkeys
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 8:30am

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?

cinderkeys
reply to  Daniel
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 9:22am

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

angus williamson
angus williamson
reply to  Daniel
Mon, Jul 27, 2015 6:15am

i got a phat wang

debbW_winning
debbW_winning
reply to  cinderkeys
Wed, Aug 12, 2015 3:05pm

I disagree.

****Spoiler***

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.

Kilo
Kilo
reply to  cinderkeys
Sun, Sep 20, 2015 10:09pm

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.

Garlic
Garlic
Tue, May 26, 2015 4:51am

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
Danielm80
reply to  Garlic
Tue, May 26, 2015 8:10am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Garlic
Tue, May 26, 2015 2:11pm

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
Daniel
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 8:25am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Daniel
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 9:05am

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 3:08pm

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

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 3:18pm

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
sympdlp
reply to  Danielm80
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 4:43pm

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!

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 6:09pm

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
sympdlp
reply to  Danielm80
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 6:37pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:37pm

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

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 8:01pm

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.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Daniel
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 12:50pm

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
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Jun 03, 2015 5:17pm

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.”

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Wed, Jun 03, 2015 9:20pm

Charming. You make men sound so appealing.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Jun 03, 2015 5:17pm

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.”

Dixie88
Dixie88
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Apr 09, 2016 1:58am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dixie88
Sat, Apr 09, 2016 7:49pm

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  Garlic
Wed, Jun 03, 2015 4:08pm

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
Danielm80
reply to  sympdlp
Wed, Jun 03, 2015 4:35pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Wed, Jun 03, 2015 9:18pm

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

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 12:55pm

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”.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 6:48pm

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 9:01pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 9:19pm

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 10:26pm

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
Danielm80
reply to  sympdlp
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 11:50pm

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briseis

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

Neither woman is ordinary.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  Danielm80
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 12:33am

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
amanohyo
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 3:30am

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  amanohyo
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 11:55am

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!

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 2:18pm

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?

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  amanohyo
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 2:34pm

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?

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 3:14pm

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  Danielm80
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 3:35pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:33pm

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

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 9:14pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:32pm

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.

Lawrence Gray
Lawrence Gray
reply to  amanohyo
Sat, Jun 06, 2015 12:13am

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…

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Lawrence Gray
Sat, Jun 06, 2015 3:01pm

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…

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 10:11am

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
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 11:42am

Take the plank out of your own eye.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 10:05am

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 10:58am

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:29pm

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

You’re right: We’re done here.

Daniel4Wood
Daniel4Wood
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Jun 27, 2015 5:10pm

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
Daniel4Wood
reply to  Daniel4Wood
Sat, Jun 27, 2015 5:21pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Daniel4Wood
Sun, Jun 28, 2015 7:32pm

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.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Daniel4Wood
Sat, Jun 27, 2015 7:56pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Daniel4Wood
Sun, Jun 28, 2015 7:28pm

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.

xeno morph
xeno morph
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Jul 11, 2015 5:11pm

WINGS OF DESIRE?

[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.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  xeno morph
Sat, Jul 11, 2015 6:50pm

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.

xeno morph
xeno morph
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Jul 11, 2015 5:12pm

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

Lawrence Gray
Lawrence Gray
reply to  sympdlp
Sat, Jun 06, 2015 12:08am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Lawrence Gray
Sat, Jun 06, 2015 8:56am

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.

Gabriela
Gabriela
reply to  Lawrence Gray
Sun, Jun 07, 2015 11:26pm

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.

xeno morph
xeno morph
reply to  sympdlp
Sat, Jul 11, 2015 5:13pm

It’s called WINGS OF DESIRE.

Stephanie McBrayer
Stephanie McBrayer
reply to  Garlic
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 9:49pm

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.

Sara Trifković
Sara Trifković
Wed, Jun 03, 2015 7:42pm

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.

Oliver
Oliver
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 8:19am

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Oliver
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 9:33am

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.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 1:04pm

What are the prizes?

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 1:07pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 6:48pm

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

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 9:15pm

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!

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  sympdlp
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 9:41pm

>confused< A San Francisco Treat?

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 10:54am

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

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 12:48pm

You want to read the comment that was deleted from this thread? It is enshrined in internet perpetuity at https://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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:35pm

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 8:04pm

Again, fuck you.

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

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 8:25pm

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
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Jun 04, 2015 9:12pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 10:02am

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.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 10:46am

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

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 12:46pm

Exactly. The review is not misandrist.

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 2:02pm

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.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 2:21pm

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
sympdlp
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 2:53pm

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
sympdlp
reply to  Danielm80
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 4:01pm

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!

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 5:27pm

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.

http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/mpaa-data-shows-that-women-are-still-the-majority-of-moviegoers

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

sympdlp
sympdlp
reply to  Bluejay
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 6:44pm

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
Bluejay
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:18pm

there’s plenty of stuff for women to see.

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

http://variety.com/2015/film/news/women-lead-roles-in-movies-study-hunger-games-gone-girl-1201429016/

In terms of television? Not really.

http://deadline.com/2014/09/women-in-primetime-tv-losing-ground-boxed-in-study-834920/

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:26pm

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.

jennywren
jennywren
reply to  LaSargenta
Tue, Jun 30, 2015 2:17am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  jennywren
Tue, Jun 30, 2015 8:57am

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  sympdlp
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:25pm

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.

paul_pjl
reply to  sympdlp
Mon, Feb 15, 2016 4:41am

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.

Oliver
Oliver
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 8:44am

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.)

Barry Melton
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 3:52pm

“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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Barry Melton
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:24pm

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.

Barry Melton
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 7:35pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Barry Melton
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 8:03pm

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.

Barry Melton
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Jun 05, 2015 8:16pm

“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.

N. Sudborough
N. Sudborough
Sun, Jun 07, 2015 2:03pm

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

Jack Simpson
Jack Simpson
Fri, Jun 12, 2015 12:32am

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
Danielm80
reply to  Jack Simpson
Fri, Jun 12, 2015 12:44am

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Jack Simpson
Fri, Jun 12, 2015 10:12am

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?

joe cramer
joe cramer
reply to  Jack Simpson
Thu, Jul 02, 2015 7:37am

BRAVO JACK!
RELAX RIGHT
IT’S JUST A MOVIE

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  joe cramer
Thu, Jul 02, 2015 9:47am

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

Roger
Roger
Thu, Jun 18, 2015 5:54pm

I think she falls in love

joe cramer
joe cramer
Thu, Jul 02, 2015 2:13am

JESUS YOUR NASTY. CAN’T ENTERTAINMENT BE JUST THAT? OVER DISSECTING EVERYTHING IS NEGATIVE AND POINTLESS. SO BITTER AND UPSET ABOUT A MOVIE. WHAT PRECISELY DOES THAT SAY ABOUT YOU?

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  joe cramer
Thu, Jul 02, 2015 4:27am

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
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Jul 02, 2015 7:28am

I WRITE IN CAPITALLLETTERS ONLY BECAUSE I ENJOY THE WAY IT LOOKS. ONLY THOSE WHO INFER A NEGATIVE TONE COMMENT ON IT. I DO BELIEVE THE PURPOSE OF AN OPEN FORUM IS THE ABILITY TO SPEAK ONES MIND.I PERSONALLY FIND ANYONE WHO TAKES TIME OUT OF THEIR LIVES TO INSULT ANOTHER’S ARTISTIC VENTURES TO BE INSULTING. AND YET I HAVE TO SAY THANK YOU FOR BEING EXACTLY WHAT I EXPECTED FROM SOMEONE SO QUICK WITH A CRITIQUE. ENJOY YOUR LIFE I CAN ONLY IMAGINE IT’S PLENTIFUL.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  joe cramer
Thu, Jul 02, 2015 9:46am

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.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  joe cramer
Thu, Jul 02, 2015 12:36pm

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.

MsRemyM
MsRemyM
Sun, Jul 19, 2015 2:48am

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
Jack
Sun, Jul 19, 2015 7:57pm

Wow, this author is a douchebag.

jack
jack
reply to  Jack
Sun, Jul 19, 2015 7:58pm

A Feminist douchebag. Figures.

angus williamson
angus williamson
Mon, Jul 27, 2015 6:16am

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.

Glamslinky
Glamslinky
Sat, Aug 01, 2015 6:09am

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Glamslinky
Sat, Aug 01, 2015 11:03am

What did you find cute about it?

Glamslinky
Glamslinky
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Aug 02, 2015 4:00am

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. :)

Daniel Joffe
Daniel Joffe
Tue, Aug 18, 2015 2:40am

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Daniel Joffe
Tue, Aug 18, 2015 11:31am

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
LaSargenta
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Aug 18, 2015 5:17pm

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

MarbleCrown
MarbleCrown
Wed, Aug 19, 2015 3:50pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  MarbleCrown
Thu, Aug 20, 2015 11:52am

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
Paul W
Sun, Aug 23, 2015 5:56am

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Paul W
Sun, Aug 23, 2015 9:49am

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
Paul W
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Aug 23, 2015 7:00pm

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.)

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Paul W
Sun, Aug 23, 2015 9:05pm

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

Paul W
Paul W
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Aug 23, 2015 9:21pm

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
LaSargenta
reply to  Paul W
Sun, Aug 23, 2015 10:25pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Paul W
Sun, Aug 23, 2015 10:50pm

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
weak
Sun, Sep 20, 2015 12:43pm

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
Danielm80
reply to  weak
Sun, Sep 20, 2015 2:50pm

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
weak
reply to  Danielm80
Sun, Sep 20, 2015 9:01pm

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.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  weak
Sun, Sep 20, 2015 10:31pm

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.

A Sophie Neveu
A Sophie Neveu
Tue, Sep 22, 2015 9:21pm

Awesome review!

MG Carroll
MG Carroll
Wed, Sep 23, 2015 5:01pm

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

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  MG Carroll
Thu, Sep 24, 2015 12:26pm

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  MG Carroll
Thu, Oct 01, 2015 8:47am

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

hahaha
hahaha
reply to  MG Carroll
Fri, Oct 02, 2015 3:54am

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.

hahaha
hahaha
Thu, Oct 01, 2015 8:20pm

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.

Danielm80
Danielm80
Fri, Oct 02, 2015 11:47am

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
CC
Fri, Oct 16, 2015 7:31pm

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!?!?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  CC
Sat, Oct 17, 2015 8:50am

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
Dan Singe Connor
Sun, Nov 01, 2015 7:27pm

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…

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dan Singe Connor
Mon, Nov 02, 2015 5:33pm

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

MsLeo
MsLeo
Thu, Nov 05, 2015 5:03pm

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
Xherdan
Wed, Dec 02, 2015 10:29pm

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

Digusting.”

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Xherdan
Fri, Dec 04, 2015 9:37am

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
GaigeMechromancer
Sun, Dec 13, 2015 11:05am

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
Danielm80
reply to  GaigeMechromancer
Sun, Dec 13, 2015 12:20pm

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?

GaigeMechromancer
GaigeMechromancer
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Dec 21, 2015 9:47pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  GaigeMechromancer
Tue, Dec 22, 2015 9:56pm

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

GaigeMechromancer
GaigeMechromancer
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Jan 09, 2016 12:32am

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  GaigeMechromancer
Sat, Jan 09, 2016 11:43am

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.

GaigeMechromancer
GaigeMechromancer
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Jan 20, 2016 10:33pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  GaigeMechromancer
Sun, Dec 13, 2015 11:45pm

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

Adam J. Qüæck
Adam J. Qüæck
Mon, Dec 14, 2015 10:45pm

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

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson
Fri, Dec 25, 2015 9:49pm

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.

Thomas Neitzey
Thomas Neitzey
Fri, Jan 15, 2016 2:02am

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
Danielm80
reply to  Thomas Neitzey
Fri, Jan 15, 2016 3:24am

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:

https://www.flickfilosopher.com/2006/01/my-top-100-films-movies-i-think-about-when-i-think-about-movies.html

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Thomas Neitzey
Sat, Jan 16, 2016 1:23pm

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

Tracie
Tracie
Sun, Jan 17, 2016 4:34pm

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.

Don Duncan
Don Duncan
Tue, Feb 09, 2016 1:40pm

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
Danielm80
reply to  Don Duncan
Tue, Feb 09, 2016 2:44pm

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
Don Duncan
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Feb 09, 2016 11:00pm

So you agree?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Don Duncan
Wed, Feb 10, 2016 8:39am

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
Thu, Feb 18, 2016 7:21pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Fri, Feb 19, 2016 2:37pm

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

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Feb 19, 2016 5:24pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 22, 2016 10:01pm

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
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 22, 2016 10:07pm

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Tue, Feb 23, 2016 9:00pm

We’ll have to disagree on this.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 5:53pm

On what grounds? With what logic?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 9:19pm

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

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 9:39pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Thu, Feb 25, 2016 8:26am

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
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Feb 27, 2016 12:26am

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Sun, Feb 28, 2016 12:03am

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Feb 28, 2016 11:55pm

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
Danielm80
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 2:55am

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
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 7:16pm

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
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 8:46pm

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
Danielm80
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:24pm

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
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:29pm

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
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:31pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:55pm

Are you calling me a troll at my own site?

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:02pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:14pm

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:57pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:54pm

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

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:06pm

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:15pm

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

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 11:00pm

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

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:51pm

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:02pm

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:13pm

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

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:17pm

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
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:23pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:47pm

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:00pm

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:11pm

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 10:39pm

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.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 9:34pm

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 5:57pm

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?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 9:19pm

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

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 9:38pm

Other than literally everything I’ve said?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Thu, Feb 25, 2016 8:24am

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.

Ari Feblowitz
Ari Feblowitz
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 7:52pm

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.”

https://twitter.com/JustinHBenson/status/700749761230434304

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Ari Feblowitz
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 8:28pm

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