Archives for posts with tag: Reese Witherspoon

It’s said that we get the democracy we deserve. If you watch “Election” (1999), you get the movie you deserve. If you just want to chuckle at the haplessness of how one student government go-getter (Reese Witherspoon) triggers a series of life-changing events, go ahead and enjoy this well-crafted dark comedy. But if you want to dig deeper, heaven help you, because this film’s an invitation down a rabbit hole of issues. Ethics, morals, sexism, human frailty, competing American values of doing whatever it takes to win versus winning “the right way” (whatever that means), there’s gracious plenty to ponder.

Wall Street values of the Reagan era are mocked in “American Psycho” (2000), a film that balances on a knife’s edge between satire and horror. While it may have succeeded in its moment, this film has no current purpose. The values of subsequent eras are even more twisted. Therefore, making fun of musical tastes (Huey Lewis, Phil Collins) or competitions over who has the fanciest business card or reservations to the trendiest Manhattan restaurant seem quaint in retrospect. However, this was one of Christian Bale’s first big roles and it’s quite fun watching him learn how to be a star.

How do you know when the filmmaker has done their job? When you know how the movie turns out, but you’re still worrying about the protagonist and hoping they succeed. “Wild” (2014) is one of those movies. Reese Witherspoon is a young lady with a lot of baggage who is searching to find herself. So she and her humongous backpack set off on a 2,600-mile hike. The symbolism is heavy-handed, but the movie is not. Wisps of her dark past mingle with the outdoor beauty so as to not repulse you by the former or bore you by the latter.