Sunday, December 6, 2009

Meet Bill

File this one under "depressing comedy."  Maybe the rest of the world can relate better to this movie than I can, but I was put off from this movie, almost from the beginning.  Bill is unhappy with his life.  He works at his father-in-law's bank, which pays nicely, and he has a beautiful wife, but he's miserable.  He dreams about opening a donut franchise, to get out from under his father-in-law's financial umbrella.

Then, by planting a hidden camera in the bedroom, he learns that his wife is having an affair with a local TV news personality.  Of course he goes nuts, attacking the guy on the air.  But when he confronts his wife about it, her only response is to be appalled that he did not respect her privacy.  Bill wants to win her back, so he starts exercising, cutting down on sweets, and shaving his chest (surely the way to a woman's heart).

He becomes a mentor to a high school student at his alma mater.  The student becomes a sort of life coach for him, arranging to have the sexy lingerie saleswoman speak to Bill when Bill is with his wife, in hopes of making his wife jealous, and later arranging a sexy sleepover for Bill.  Oh, and getting him stoned.  Marijuana solves all of life's problems, right?

So this movie had some funny moments, but not many.  And plenty of morally objectionable moments, too, especially for a movie that seemed to want to be clean and uplifting.  The happiest, most admirable couple in the movie was Bill's brother and his lover.  The nice, domestic gay couple comes to Bill's rescue, providing a disturbing contrast; the movie wants the viewer to see how happy the gay couple is when all the heterosexual couples around are making each other miserable.

Bill's wife's affair, while it deeply affects Bill, is treated by everyone else as no big deal.  And when Bill's secret video of the act of infidelity lands on the internet, no mention is made of the fact that the only  people who would have had access to post it were the police.  Bill also seems to think that since his wife was sleeping around, it's OK for him to have a little one-night stand as well.

I'll go ahead and give the end away: Bill and his wife get back together.  Good.  I like a message that says marriages can be saved.  But amid all the other messages of the movie, this positive message rings hollow.

Bottom line, don't waste your time.  One star.

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