Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Films of the 00s: Two Family House

After Timecode, I was both eager and nervous about checking in with its polar opposite, a determinedly modest dramedy called Two Family House that reaped some genuinely warm word-of-mouth during its brief commercial run. I can't say I was a fan, but I concede that for certain viewers, Two Family House will be eminently embraceable as "the kind of movie they just don't make anymore." To wit:

"It's obviously snobby to hold one's preferences above others', confusing any line between judgment and personal taste, and I don't want to do that. Besides, Two Family House was as beloved by most critics as it was by its tiny but devoted audiences, so I stand to learn something from its fans. I just couldn't convince myself to join them, despite the movie's occasional pleasures and admirably atypical environment. Unfortunately, the look, pace, and structure of the film stop feeling elegantly restrained and pass into something like boilerplate mediocrity." (keep reading...)

If an ardent fan of Two Family House can talk me up, I'd be delighted to hear the pitch. Otherwise, we'll soon be moving on in the interest of time from 2000 to 2001, even though it will mean short-shrifting several titles from the turn of the millennium that I recently caught and wanted to trumpet: the monumental but poignant Werckmeister Harmonies, the spirited Faat Kiné, the lengthy but transfixing Eureka, the austere but profoundly moving A Time for Drunken Horses, the sweet romance Big Eden, and the wonderfully amiable Snatch. Hopefully, I'll squeeze out a word or two about these at some point, and I had more titles from 2000 that really cried out for a first acquaintance or a second look, but that's just as true of 2001...

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3 Comments:

Blogger Bill C said...

It's always surprised me that Raymond De Felitta didn't become an in-house director for, say, Disney, or Fox, after this movie (more specifically, after the kind of middlebrow hype it generated). He seems to have stuck to his guns by carving out a niche as the Italian Ed Burns, but he'd probably be preferable to a Joel Zwick or an Andy Fickman if he ever went corporate hack.

3:52 PM, August 13, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

So is it fair to say I detect a comparable shortfall of enthusiasm on your part? (The Disney idea is genius.)

4:25 PM, August 13, 2009  
Blogger Bill C said...

Well, I liked it in the moment, but my enthusiasm cooled pretty quickly, and I think your review articulated why I've had no urge to revisit it over the past 8 years.

4:52 PM, August 13, 2009  

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