Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fun with Oscar - Up In The Air

It's hard for me to intelligently review any movie with George Clooney.  The Cloon is a hottie and clouds my ability to see clearly.

All that aside, I enjoyed this movie, as some of my academic research focused on the subject of lay-offs and unemployment.  I was naturally appalled that any company would consider laying people off via videoconference.  How inhumane!  When I interviewed people for my research paper, they generally got uncomfortable and emotional while telling me how they got "let go".  I can't imagine how much worse the situation would have been for them had they received the news through a computer/television screen.  Research shows that people view getting laid off as a violation of a social contract, so I guess you could liken getting laid off via videoconference to getting broken up with via text.  Ouch.

If you haven't seen this movie, don't keep reading, as what I'm going to talk about next will spoil it for you.

Still here?

Okay, either you've seen the movie or you're not planning on ever seeing it.  All right then.

I have to tell you, I knew Alex had a husband.  I SWEAR!  She just seemed so perfect for him, and c'mon.  This movie was REAL.  Shit like that doesn't work out in real life.  I enjoyed how they turned the tables on normal gender roles (ie - it's usually the man who's a dawg in movies).  I personally know more marriages that were ruined by the WOMAN cheating, not the man, so it was refreshing to see a movie maker show a woman stepping out.

One thing I found a bit frustrating, and it's the same thing that I did a research paper on, is the fact that no one ever focuses on single women who lose their job.  The movie had that heart-warming scene with the guy who wanted to know what he was supposed to tell his family, but there was no scene where they had a single woman say "But how am I going to take care of myself?"  I assume, but do not know (alert! another spoiler ahead!) for certain, the woman who jumped off the bridge was single.  Why didn't they break that down?  I guess because it was a movie, not a research study...ha.

I know quite a few people who travel a lot for business, and I think this movie really hit them hard.  I've never had a job where I traveled, and sort of wish that I had experienced it when I was in my twenties, so I can only imagine the toll it takes on people.  Sure, racking up miles and hotel points is sorta sexy and can be convenient for any personal trips you might want to take, but the whole experience is probably very isolating.  It would feel a bit like leading double lives, which could be super fun for a couple days, after a while you might start to get a bit confused or feel like you were a character in a movie.  I think that's sort of what Alex felt like.  In her head, she probably felt like all that was okay, because she likely has put up a separation between "work life/travel" and "real life".

Anna Kendrick certainly has come a long way from playing Kristen Stewart's sidekick in the Twilight movies.  I thought she was really cute and very "real" in the movie.  I've known about 100 Natalie's (not really girls named Natalie, I mean girls like Anna's character Natalie) in my life, and I'm sure I'll meet about 100 more.

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