Beyond the Sea (x-posted to my journal)
Why was "Beyond the Sea" made? Because Kevin Spacey wanted it. He wanted to play Bobby Darin, and he has the money and he has the clout, so he produced it and directed it and starred in it, by gods. And by gods, we're all supposed to watch it and go "oooh" and "aaah" and applaud and nominate it for Oscars (tm).
Bobby Darin was an arsehole. Personally, I'm sick of talented people who feel they can get away with being arseholes because they're "driven". Spending 2 hours watching a movie about such a person is, to me, the equivalent of being tied down and forced to listen to a dentist-drill symphony.
So why, you may ask, did I watch it? It was on pay-per-view, I was bored, I like "Mack the Knife."
Oh yeah. Bobby Darin did a cover of "Mack the Knife". He also had a few other hits, a few Grammys (tm) and an Oscar (tm) nomination back in the early '60's.
Have I mentioned how much I loathe the early '60's? I'm allowed to, I was born in '63, two weeks after the Kennedy assassination. (That's John F., for you kids.) I don't like the pop music of that era, I don't like the clothing, and I don't like the home decor. I don't like "camp", I don't like "kitsch", and I hated bellbottoms the first time around, thank you very much.
This movie is all about the pop music, the clothing and the home decor of the early '60's. I'm probably not the best person to be writing about it.
Poor Bobby Darin has rheumatic fever as a kid, so everyone thought he wouldn't survive until the age of 15, so that makes him "driven". He grows up, though, so that should give him a clue that it's okay to chill a bit, especially if he doesn't want his heart to blow a valve. But nope, he's driven all the way to toupee-wearing adulthood and marriage to Sandra Dee, the White-Bread-and-Mayo movie princess. And then he's an arsehole to her. And she drinks. And then comes the late '60's and poor Bobby has a crisis because he needs to find himself. So he does. And then he dies. And there's a lot of singing, and some dancing, and Kevin Spacey emotes, and all his pals like John Goodman and Bob Hoskins get to play Rat Pack wannabes with names like "Boom Boom" (I kid you not).
copperbadge says it's hard to make biopics "Because real lives generally do not have an aristotelian climax or four tidy acts." So if you ask me my opinion (and if you're reading this, that means you're asking my opinion), biopics should only be made about people whose lives are unique enough to hold an audience's interest.
I suppose Kevin Spacey felt that Bobby Darin's life would hold an audience's interest because it interested him, and by gods, he has the money and the clout and he's gonna make this movie. Which actually reminds me of the way Bobby behaves in this movie. So in a sense, this movie tells me just as much about Kevin Spacey as it does about Bobby Darin. I just hope nobody makes a movie about Kevin Spacey's life. Because while Kevin Spacey is a very fine actor indeed, he's probably an arsehole too.