Monday, February 14, 2011

Theory of Flight(1998)

Today is Valentine's day which is the inspiration for a week of romance films. What is actually the subject of the romance is not always the human heart. There will be other things floating around. And even when the matter is interpersonal relations things are going to get a bit off beat. With that in mind we begin with a film that is more or less straight forward the Theory of Flight.

Kenneth Branagh stars as a young man who is a perpetual screw up. Anything he does tends to go horribly wrong. When a stunt involving his dream of human powered flight goes wrong he's hauled into court, again, and as part of sentence he's given community service. Unfortunately for him it involves minding Helena Bonham Carter, playing a young woman with a smart mouth and a degenerative disease that is slowly killing her. Oh yea, Her one goal is to have sex. Saying that things don't go smoothly is an understatement.

My discovery of this film was via trailers that seemed to be on the front of any number of VHS tapes that I was renting about the time this film came out. The film seemed to be everywhere, except at my local video store. Somewhere along the way I tracked down the film put it on and fell in like with it.

Awkward, off beat and decidedly different, the films characters and direction seem to be driving anywhere but towards romance. Sure we can see that Ken and Helena are perfect for each other, but they sure can't. They are so wrapped up in their own garbage too see that their perfect mate is right in front of them... then again neither one is looking for romance, Ken just wants to get his public service over and done with; and Helena just wants to lose her virginity before her illness over takes her. It's so wonderfully a typical that you'll forgive the bumps and dents that keep this from being the perfect romantic film.

Even though it's not perfect its a blast, especially if you're like me who hates by the number romances. Then again what would you expect from the director of two of the recent Bourne films?

This film is apparently not on DVD in the US. However the film is available from overseas if your so inclined. Or if you're like me you can catch it on cables since it seems to be back in rotation. My recently stumbling upon the film is what brought about the post.

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