I finally saw that movie CRASH that everyone’s been talking about. Not the Cronenberg “sex and car crashes” flick from about 6 years back, but rather Paul Haggis’ multi-character, multi-vignette movie about L.A. and prejudice, starring the likes of Don Cheadle, Larenz Tate, Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, Ludacris, Ryan Phillippe, Matt Dillon, and more.
I expected to either love or hate it more. To its credit, I kept watching without pausing the DVD once. With so many characters having their own little subplots, you don’t get bored. It’s slick like that.
But it doesn’t feel like the work of someone who actually lives in L.A., or if they do, they don’t interact with it much.
The film’s thesis: Everyone in L.A. is a racist dickhole. But hey, don’t hate them, because they love their families when the rest of us aren’t looking!
Practically every character actually utters racial epithets or racial caricaturing out loud at some point to someone of another race, which in actuality would be a great way to lose your job. No-one here does. And if there’s a character who doesn’t seem racist, chances are they act out later on. We know this is all Really Significant because choral music kicks in on the soundtrack every time the Curse of Stereotyping goes into effect.
People have said that it’s good to see actors like Sandra Bullock and Brendan Fraser stretching a little bit, and it is. But no one character gets a whole lot of screen time, so the stretching they actually do isn’t for very long. I estimate about two days of work here for Bullock, max.
Haggis can’t resist the MAGNOLIA touch, either, ending his movie with a freakish weather event (not as freakish as frogs, however) that plays like a cheap stunt.
Overall, I dunno — this might just be Oscar-bait. It’s the sort of movie that makes people feel like they’ve heard an important statement without actually having said anything much. And it’s very watchable.