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Interesting analysis, Lance. I think the area where we part company is your sense that we're supposed to be hoping for, or at least expecting, Elizabeth to recover. That wasn't the sense of it that I got at all; it seemed clear to me from the beginning that she was never going to improve, and every single shot of her served to drive home that, although she was still breathing, she was essentially dead. It just took her family--and friends--time to come to terms with that, time they needed, and time that they wouldn't have had if she'd been killed outright at the beginning.


There was an important character you didn't mention - Elizabeth's mother, "Tutu" who suffers from severe dementia, thus giving us no clue as to how Elizabeth would have turned out had she lived. She is another cypher like Elizabeth - only met in a second-hand, hearsay way. Having three daughters myself, I thought the behavior of both girls was pretty realistic, but the most amusing part was when King is spurred on to this teenaged spy scheme by his daughter. If he had been a normal dad and not an absentee, static one, he would never have played the Spy vs. Spy game. This is something young lovers do, not grown-ups; at least not grown-ups who are healthy in the head! King is stuck in a kind of adolescence himself throughout the movie, and while it's amusing, it's not compelling.

The result of the land deal was too predictable, and I wished we had some better backstory on the family instead of only photos and short anecdotes. I think more Hawaiian or family history would have been more interesting than the drawn-out chase to find the lover.

I am with you, Lance. I liked it OK.


My big takeaway on this movie was similar to yours--absolutely no idea what the wife was really, really like. Because I do know this. If I was married to someone who looked like Clooney in the movie and had his personality, there's no way in hell I would have cheated on him with that fucking weasel. And my friend, Diane, agrees. I thought Clooney did a far better job with a more complex character in Ides of March.

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