Weekends are for movies and if you don't know what to watch the next time you power up Netflix on your Roku, I would highly recommend "The Interview."
Unfortunately the marketing of this movie was so bad that they almost totally ruined my interest in it. But I should have known that if Seth Rogen and James Franco were involved it was going to be a certain kind of funny, and it absolutely was.
Here are 10 reasons you absolutely have to see this movie:
- James Franco's portrayal of the host, which is so funny and over-the-top it makes the movie.
- The screenplay, which is hilarious - these lines are so rich I can't quote them enough: "America tried that before and it didn't work." "That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it again."
- The intelligent worldview of the movie, which is that wars are just as much fought through communications as guns, that both are equally powerful
- The plot, which allows us to talk about real issues by combining reality and satire
- The focus on North Korean dictator specifically, which was highly imaginative and which allows us to look at him from a psychological point of view
- The psychological bent of the movie, which doesn't use action to cover a lack of thought
- The empowering messages about women, subtle and not-so-subtle: "It's 2014. Women are smart now."
- The overall message of the movie, which is that taking care of each other is the most important thing we can do on this planet.
- The cameos by Eminem, Rob Lowe and Bill Maher, which were very funny.
- Seth Rogen's portrayal of the Jew as Franco's moral conscience who's also lost his way because his job pays a lot of money, and Franco makes him feel loved and wanted.
Imagine what kind of world we would live in if we could not incorporate anti-religious messages - even if crude or insensitive - into art the same way we incorporate sexuality and violence. We would be starting down a path where the only end is bleak totalitarianism.
In any case this is a fantastic, funny, movie that is rare in combining true art with a truly important set of themes and messages about the world. I hope you take the time to see it, on Netflix or anywhere else.
All opinions my own.