Today our Valentine’s Day Staff Picks series comes to a close. We’ve heard from our staff members about their favorite and least favorite movies on love and we hope you have found the perfect flick to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you’re still looking for that last minute movie to watch with your significant other, roommate, or even all by yourself (cue Céline Dion), consider picking up Film Department Director Ryan Darbonne’s pick, IN THE SOUP.
It’s 2:23 in the morning. Valentine’s Day. I’m perched in front of my iMac watching buffering vids of iCarly, on mute, as the self-assured stylings of Ms. Nina Simone croon through my iTunes (iKnow…lame joke). You see dear reader, I’ve been assigned (read: forced) to pick a film about love and ‘cha boy ain’t got nothin’…nada…diddlysquat; films overwrought with heterosexual romanticism are a dime a dozen making it hard to narrow my choices down. Suddenly, as if on cue, inspiration hits: The modern bromance. What better way to celebrate V-day than by exploring the platonic, and often complex, relationships between men on the silver screen? My pick is the 90’s independent classic, IN THE SOUP.
Directed by Alexander Rockwell, the film stars Steve Buscemi as aspiring “screenwriter” Aldolpho Rollo whose 500-page opus, and unrequited obsession with his neighbor, serve as points of contention in his, already, pathetic life. Plagued by economic hardship, Aldolpho places a newspaper ad in a desperate attempt to sell his screenplay. As a result he meets Joe (Seymour Cassel): A wily hustler who agrees to finance and produce the film by any means necessary. The two stooges form an unlikely bond resulting in mutual feelings of love and admiration. Even when their plans start to go awry, much to the dismay of Aldolpho, neither one is willing to completely severe ties. Aldolpho sees Joe as a creative savior and Joe views Aldolpho as a short cut to salvation.
Told through a series of interconnected vignettes, and shot in stark black and white, the film co-stars Jennifer Beals, Will Patton and a young Sam Rockwell (no relation). Alexander Rockwell has crafted an offbeat, existential comedy that is a resounding ode to the creative struggle, and the platonic ties that bind, set against the backdrop of pre-Giuliani Manhattan.
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