Movies I really don’t want you to see

There are 2 movies I really don’t want you to see for the same reason — because they are unfunny adaptations of funny source material.

Of course, there are people who disagree with me — who like these movies — but if you trust my judgement please avoid them.

{2/5} The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is the funniest book I’ve ever read. It would be tragic if your only knowledge of Douglas Adams were this movie, because although amusing in parts it’s much much less funny than the book. I’m not sure what went wrong with this movie. It seemed to have everything going for it — actors, special effects, and a screenplay co-written by Adams himself. But humour is tricky. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy should not be occasionally amusing — it should be hilarious. I encourage you to read the book. There’s also a miniseries version from 1981 which is very good.

The story? Arthur Dent is having a bad morning — a bulldozer is at his house to knock it down because they’re building a bypass. Then his friend Ford Prefect comes along and tells him he’s actually an alien — and some other aliens are about to destroy the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Arthur and Ford manage to “hitchhike” onto the alien ship and from there launch into a series of amazing adventures — including meeting the two-headed President of the Galaxy, and discovering the real reason the Earth was built (by mice, who are actually hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings).

Director Garth Jennings also directed Son of Rambow, which I haven’t seen but looked like it might be good.

{2.5/5} The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde first performed in 1895. I’ve seen the play live and it’s screamingly funny. If this movie had had a different title it would have been an OK movie. But it’s not funny and therefore does not deserve the title The Importance of Being Earnest. If your only exposure to Oscar Wilde were this movie that would be a tragedy. Once again the movie seemed to have everything going for it — the costumes and locations were certainly fine. And the actors — you’ve got Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon, and Judi Dench. I encourage you to find a production of the play in your area. There’s also a movie version from 1952 — I haven’t seen it but my guess is it’s better than the 2002 version.

The story? Algernon has a visit from his friend Ernest, who comes to tell him that he would like to marry Algernon’s cousin Gwendolen. But Algernon discovers that his friend Ernest is really named Jack — he goes by Jack and adopts a serious manner in the country, whereas he goes by Ernest and is more fun loving in town. Algernon also discovers that Jack has a pretty and wealthy young ward named Cecily whom he decides to meet. When Algernon comes calling on Cecily, who does he say he is? Jack’s friend Ernest, of course. There’s some mistaken identity, and on the whole it’s a satire on Victorian customs.

I see that the director Oliver Parker also directed Johnny English Reborn, another movie that should have been much funnier than it was (since it starred Rowan Atkinson). I just happened to start watching it the other day, but I didn’t finish it.

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 8th, 2012 at 8:09 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply