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 2001 - The Search For John Gissing

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~Lilith~
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PostSubject: 2001 - The Search For John Gissing   Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:56 pm

Alan as John Gissing



Quote :
The Plot: Matthew Barnes (Mike Binder) and his wife, Linda have just arrived in London, tired but relieved to be starting a new opportunity in Europe. However, their problems begin almost immediately with noone at the airport to meet them. A few phone calls later to their contact, John Gissing, and they are off to the office ... which is closed. Another call to Gissing leads them to a restaurant which is... begetting the question, where EXACTLY is John Gissing - because something is going wrong!

Comment: I think my IMDB comment sums it all up - Blake Edwards meets Woody Allen. Before we go any further, it should be noted that I am not a big fan of Blake Edwards and have absolutely no patience for Woody Allen films, so that gives you an idea of the direction I may pursue here...

The Search for John Gissing is a fast paced film which would probably have been more suited to an audience in the 1970s than the modern day. The first 20 minutes or so were for this watcher, quite mortifying with Mike Binder doing what to all intent purposes seemed to be a representation of a distressed and whiny Woody Allen. Couple that with some odd editing which saw the film go for an 'arty' splicing affect at random moments (i.e. not when the story most justified the jumpy effect) and I was fairly gritting my teeth wondering what disaster Alan Rickman was involved in this time...

However, after the opening sequence, the film picked up considerably. The film took on a slightly more of a Blake Edwards approach (which was at least watchable) and the actors had a more of a chance to develop their characters and thus win over the audience. I'm afraid, I never warmed to Mike Binder as barreled through the film, one minute as whining Woody Allen caricature, and the next as a smooth talking stereotypical monied American (please direct me to the London cabbie who will go to every single High Street for £35.00!).

I was a bit disappointed with Janeane Garofalo - I felt she was deeply restrained in this film as if there was a real fear that to let her launch into her usual deeply cynical persona would undermine Mike Binder. So, she was under-utilised and seemed to be tied to playing an exasperated straigtman to Mike Binder's characters angst attacks. However, she managed to squeeze out a few of the best one liners in the film and could have done a lot to enhance the film if she hadn't been so 'restrained.'

Alan Rickman was magnificent as the scheming company man on his way out... Alan Rickman seems to be enjoying the migration from much-loved villain and period actor to contemporary comedian and he successfully adds a lot of warmth and humour to this film. Building upon his comedic success in Dogma and Galaxy Quest, he hammed it beautifully in this role - although there was one scene where I would have liked to think it was beneath him, but alas... (it involves a favoured french chair...). He also got the only other decent lines in the film. 'Tis but a shame there were not more scenes between Janeane Garofalo and Alan Rickman - one suspects the film would have been much darker but oh so much more fun!

However, despite the criticism, this is funny movie which will probably not get the recognition it deserves. And, it is a must see for Alan Rickman fans as he really is very good in this comedic role!

http://www.cybamuse.com/movieThemes/actors/arickman/john_gissing.htm

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