I have probably seen the most intense, most reality based movie based on relationships. I have seen it before, but I watched it again last night because I think it speaks to me on different levels. The movie I am talking about is Closer.
It’s a very realistic and “real” movie based on emotions, feelings, truth and lying, and love and sex that can be found in relationships. Forget your usual rom-com movies; they are very stylized and over-romantic movies, stuff we know just doesn’t exist in real life. Rom-com movies are usually very fantasy-world based, where a few simple things happening to make the girl fall in love with the boy to the background music of some latest pop ballad. That’s not real life. Real life is what Closer is all about.
Dan (Jude Law) saves Alice (Portman) in a car accident and they are acquainted. They start dating and become involved in a relationship for months. Dan has written a book on Alice, and is having his headshots done by Anna (Roberts). Dan is immediately attracted to her, and during their photo sessions, he kisses and asks her to meet with her. Alice, who visits them there figures it all out but stays quiet about it. Dan, in a fit of denial about Anna rejecting his advances, talks to someone over the Internet chatroom and passes himself of as Anna. The unsuspecting person on the other side, Larry, falls for the prank and actually ends up at the aquarium, where he sees Anna the photographer. These two get acquainted and embark on a relationship and eventually marriage. However, Anna and Dan still have that spark from their brief fling earlier. The rest of the movie unfolds over the course of four years as these two sets of couples’ lives are entangled with one another, with various issues dealt with including deception, lying, honesty, sex and love.
What I loved about this movie was that it portrayed the emotions and feelings as I would imagine would occur in real life. It’s very raw and very true. There are only four people in this movie who have speaking lines, and so we are focused entirely on these four people. One of the underlying themes running is that of “being honest and lying.” One person lies to another, when the other person clearly knows he is being lied to. What should one do? Lie to save face and relationship, or be honest and hurt the other person? It’s a tricky situation, and sometimes we may think its easier to lie to save ourselves the embarrassment and all, but what if the truth is demanded? Would we say the truth at the cost of hurting the relationship?
Other issues I will not get into, but it was very clever movie on how men and women perceive relationships differently, and how those people getting into a relationship have to deal with everyday issues, and realize their newfound relationship is nothing like these teen rom-com movies would have you believe.