Film Experience guy Nathaniel R. wrote to say he’s glad I liked his redo of the Blob poster, which I posted last week. Also glad to see I’m still championing Things We Lost in the Fire. But he doesn’t get where I’m coming from at all with Rachel Getting Married, which he feels is the best of the year thus far.
And I wrote back that while I admired and enjoyed much of Rachel Getting Married, I couldn’t accept it as anything other than an expression of director Jonathan Demme ‘s soul and sensibility and world view. Which is fine as far as it goes. It’s just that the wedding doesn’t seem to be actually happening in Stamford, Connecticut, or any other recognizably “real” milieu for that matter. Any more than the characters behave in a way I would consider familiar, at least as far as the under-written (or non-written) African American characters are concerned.
The whole shebang is basically taking place in Demme Land, which to me is no different than Munchkinland or Emerald City. Cool places, engaging people, color and verve…but only tangentially related to the planet Earth.
People in Demme Land are very highly alert and attuned. Their hearts are light and gay, and their eyes are almost always sparkling with joy or full of feeling, and sometimes moist with tears. They laugh and pass along witty lines. They’re spunky but sincere types, and very inquisitive. When they’re in a crowd they have this irrepressible tendency to open their hearts and souls and let it all pour out. They kind of twitch and go “ooh!’ a lot. They drink good wine and serve each other healthy food and drive sensible Priuses and Volvos. I would much rather hang with these people than, say, the family of Sarah Palin but they’re still bothersome in some respects.