I don’t remember what it was that originally brought me to this movie, but it was possibly a chance encounter on Sky (when I still subscribed to that debt builder). All I know is that even by the end of that first viewing, I was sold. It’s been one of my all-time favourites ever since I first saw it.
It’s a lot like Girl, Interrupted – so much so that I remember wanting to look up who wrote it, as I was convinced I recognised the name in the credits and could only conclude it was the same writer (it isn’t). But this type of movie can be made and remade literally over and over, it just doesn’t get old, and you can invent any wild character you like. The trick, which bother 28 Days and Girl, Interrupted pull off so brilliantly, is in getting it right. I can point to specific scenes in 28 Days that really pull it up over other movies of its kind for me. The ending: so joyous, bringing back the most beloved character, the character you so badly want to see this thing out with, creating a gag from earlier background dialogue, and a freeze-frame (and freeze-frames are always good, trust me). Sandra Bullock’s turnaround scene – this movie transformed me in that before the movie I was kind of skeptical of any Sandra Bullock movie; but now I go into them with hope, that they’ll be as good as this. The scene in the corridor outside Steve Buscemi’s office, where she completely reveals her fears and self-knowledge etc, is absolutely the best performance she has ever given. And Azura Skye – every scene she’s in – one of the most beautifully sad characters ever. I actually missed this scene last time I saw it because I was out of the room, and was livid, but check out a moment towards the end of the movie where Azura Skye comes downstairs, like as if to check out what the other guys are doing. She has this real purpose to her body language, like she’s not gonna be brought down. She holds her arm up, like as if to say hi, and then realises no one has even noticed her. Arm goes down, she leaves the movie. It kills me everytime I see it.
This movie is way deeper than any trailers would tell you. Yes, it’s absolutely a Sandra Bullock movie, plenty of comedy, plenty of usual mainstream movie stuff to keep the lowest denominator happy. But if you’ve ever lost your direction in life – or if you feel you’re losing your direction in life (and if neither of these applies, then I don’t know what to think) – then there’s a whole heap of other stuff here. I keep this movie around for the really bad days, next to Tuesdays with Morrie.