Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life During Wartime - *

Life During Wartime may have many of the ingredients of a Todd Solondz film: loneliness, pedophilia, social misfits, confused children, but it's missing the most important part, which is the spark that makes it all hilarious and poignant at the same time. A brilliant opening scene aside, Life During Wartime is missing the awkward tension that is too painful not to laugh at. Instead it plays out a little more straight, feeling more like a misguided drama than anything else. And finding out that this was a pseudo-sequel to Solondz' Happiness doesn't really help. I'm not sure why we needed to revisit these characters, or why the choice was made to cast different actors in the roles. It doesn't work. Life During Wartime feels less like a continuation of that film than a tired rehash of it. It just came off as a series of boring scenes with vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity, and by the end I was left feeling not like I didn't get it, but like there was just nothing there to get.

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