Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

We watched this movie last weekend with my BIL on our annual “let’s do something for our birthdays” night. This year, I cooked dinner, knowing single guys usually appreciate home-cooked meals, while Steve and Mike went to pick out a movie and ice cream for dessert. We won’t talk about how long that took them. Suffice to say the sauce on the chicken marsala had pretty much cooked away but they had some story about the checkout line at the grocery store to explain away the delay. Given that delay, we might not have started this movie had we known it was almost three hours long.

In the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt plays a man who, as a result of some strange disorder, was born an old man, and regresses to youth as his life goes on. His story is encased in flashback, as his lover, now a dying woman, recounts their story to her daughter through the help of her journal. For me, the story was a cross between time travel, and, in an odd way, Forrest Gump. I generally love time travel stories. I hated Forrest Gump. My feelings about BB lie somewhere in the middle. The story kept my attention well enough. From his crippled, constrained beginnings, his life takes him around the world and finally back home to the girl he always loved. However, that’s all it was for me – a story. I felt like I was on the outside, looking in on two people’s lives. Nothing in the story invited me in to their lives; nothing in their story touched anything in mine. I guess I prefer movies with movement – where something happens in a character’s life to change them internally in some way. Benjamin Button’s changes were curiously limited to the physical realm.

It’s was an interesting concept though, the idea of growing younger. For all we value youthfulness, the bottom line is, going backwards just wouldn’t work. I would not be quick to trade the bit of wisdom and experience I’ve accumulated over the past four decades in favor of smoother skin and youthful energy. (Plus I’m sure there’s probably an energy drink for that!) Growing up and the whole maturity process are hard enough but to be un-maturing while everyone else is going in the opposite direction would just be weird. Sharing the journey with others, no matter what their life stage, is one of the joys of life. It would be hard to truly share that journey if the stages of our lives were moving towards opposite extremes.

This was indeed a curious movie! Don’t tell my husband, because I don’t have a desire to watch it again, but I actually thought Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood) was a much better movie!


One thought on “Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  1. Three hours long? If I had any doubt about why I had not ever put this one in our Netflix queue, that cinched it for me 🙂 Like you, this one just didn’t look like it would be rewarding in any way or something I just couldn’t live without seeing. I got Gran Torino for Tim a while back, but the language was so bad in the first 10-15 minutes, that I went to another room to read. He liked the plot, but said he could have done with a lot less language.

    Great review though, Ms Dianne!

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