I had a friend in college who may have set the world record for scaring women away. It wasnt that he was obscene, rude, or even frightening, but rather that he got too serious, too fast. He no sooner had a girl out on a first date than he started mentioning his views on child rearing and places to get married. I can remember several occasions when he returned to our townhouse, eyes wide, announcing that the girl on the barstool next to him was most certainly his future wife. A few days later, when someone would inquire about her, hed get oddly silent (we knew that she probably stopped returning his phone calls after he mentioned how much she reminded him of his mother). Every girl he dated ended up saying the same thing: nice guy, but a little too eager to buy a retirement home in Boca.
Things may have been different if everyone involved had been over 30, but at 20-years-old and in college, the thought of a vacation with his family after two conversations was a little too extreme for most young women. Even the ones that said they really liked him eventually felt uncomfortable with his ability to fall blindly in love so quickly.
The funny part about this guy was that he was oblivious to his own indiscretions. Even after a few of us sat him down and tried to clue him in on the error of his ways, he still committed the same dating faux pas. We concluded that he lacked an internal dating radar that alerted an individual that the current conversation was inappropriate and might have ill effects on the future of the relationship.
So youre probably wondering what happened to this guy, huh? Well, not surprisingly, he fell in love again during senior year, this time with an attractive underclassman. Since she was so stunning, we begged him to go easy and not blow it again. He promised not to broach any subject that revolved around long-term commitment. Needless to say, within the first five minutes of their date, she told him she wanted three kids and a house near the water. Nearly twenty years later they have three kids, a house near the water, and one of the best relationships I know of. Aint life grand.
Many times in motion pictures, directors falter in the same way by not adequately integrating two romantic characters. The result is a forced relationship that comes across as contrived to the viewer. When an on-screen relationship goes from dreamy eyes across the bar to Thanksgiving dinner with the family in just a few days, it ultimately detracts from the believability of the story. This is exactly what happened with this weeks feature, Fracture, starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling.
Many aspects of this film were top-tier including the fine acting portrayals by Hopkins and Gosling. While Gosling continues to be on the fast track toward the coveted A-list, Hopkins really has nothing more to prove other than his unending ability to deliver interesting and complex characters. His performance in Fracture (arousing memories of Hannibal Lector) was not only compelling, but also the one aspect of this picture that succeeded throughout.
Unfortunately, the side story between Gosling and his love interest only detracted from the story. Like my friend from college, this on-screen relationship went from zero to fifty in less than two seconds. The director expected us to believe a strong bond had formed in what turned out to be an unrealistic timeframe, ultimately deteriorating an evolving storyline.
In the end, Fracture is little more than a trumped up episode of Law & Order, albeit one with several great actors. Check this one out if youre a fan of the crime/courtroom genre. It wont disappoint, but it also wont leave you enthralled. A listless C+ for Fracture.
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