There’s no point denying that Scarlett Johannson was a motivating factor in placing this movie on our Netflix queue. H knows that since Lost in Translation, my interest in Miss Johansson has been nearing Kate infatuation proportions. But H has been having dreams about Jason Bateman lately, so I’m not going to worry about it too much.
But, as I said SJ was only a factor in putting this on the queue. Holly sometimes wonders why in the world I want to watch some movies, and sometimes, I honestly can’t say. Sometimes a trailer just piques my curiosity. The fact that this was written/directed by Woody Allen and that it looked to be kind of dark seemed compelling.
It was interesting. It started with a shot of a tennis ball hitting the top of a fence and bouncing straight up. The main character overdubs a soliloquy talking about how life seems to be just about luck. Like in tennis where sometimes you hit the top of the net and for a split second, you don’t know where the ball is going to go. Sometimes it goes over and you win. Sometimes it falls back on your side and you don’t.
Spoiler Alert: There’s not any kind of huge surprise ending and this movie has been out for awhile, so if you really want to see it and don’t want anything given away, stop reading now and go watch it and come back and read this later. I’m just not going to worry about spilling the beans on anything.
At the start of the movie, the lead character has just quit the pro-tennis circuit. Apparently, he’s tired of all the travel and not having any money or anything to show for his efforts. He seems to be good at tennis, but just hasn’t had the breaks that would make him a big star or champion that would mean he wouldn’t have to worry about money anymore. So, he starts making friends with wealthy folk. He makes a friend and meets the friend’s sister. Sister and family immediately like him and Patriarch offers him a job with this company with hints that he could go far, (especially if he and the sister get serious).
Before the expected betrothal, he meets his friend’s American Actress fiance (SJ) and is immediately smitten. However, he realizes he’s got himself a future with the rich girl and her family’s money and support and doesn’t want to upset the boat with his friend or the family. In spite of one afternoon tryst with the other guy’s fiance, he marries the rich girl. The next thing he finds out is that his friend has dumped the actress. Main character proceeds to find and get into an affair with actress while his wife is desperate to get pregnant and start having babies. Of course, the mistress, who main character is obsessed with gets pregnant first and lays down the ultimatum that he tell his wife or she will. He’s torn between his “passion” without a future and his “future” without passion. If he left his wife, he’d be without anything. He’d lose his career, his newly acquired affluence and opportunity to gain more.
The themes of passion and luck’s role in finding success in one’s pursuing one’s passions intrigues me. He gave up on his passion for tennis because “luck” didn’t lead him to wealth and prosperity in that pursuit. Only then, when he turns his attention to pursuing wealth, (which seems to me a terribly hollow pursuit) he finds luck corresponding success with relative ease. But then, is he lucky or not?
In the end, when he chooses between the passion w/o future of the American Actress or the future w/o passion, he again ends up with a striking bit of luck that allows him to get away with having his cake and eating it too, but leaves one wondering if, in the end, he turns out strikingly lucky or strikingly unlucky.
I always find myself disappointed in my blogs where I attempt discussing this sort of thing. I’m sure that if i spent more time working on the writing, it would make more sense and have something worthwhile for you faithful readers to explore, but the movie wasn’t that great to spend too much time pondering. However, it keep circling in my mind, so I thought if i wrote something about it, I could give it a rest.
September 17, 2008 at 2:59 am
i too thought this movie was very interesting.
December 11, 2009 at 7:30 am
The movie “Matchpoint” was more talented, interesting and smart than anything you could ever write…. So if you comment about it saying ” the movie wasn’t that great to spend too much time pondering” and two seconds later you state ” that it kept circling in your mind”, it probably wold have been best not to mention it at all.