Thursday, May 31, 2007


This week's comedy:

If you like Morgan Freeman, this film is for you!

This movie revels in all that is Morgan Freeman. It glows with brightly colored Freemanosity. It’s thick with Morganess and punctuated with Freemanitude. Characters are buoyed up with giddy Freemanistics, and are propelled along the film’s arc on the Morgan Freeway of life.

OK, you get the idea. This film has a lot of Morgan Freeman in it. But, that’s actually a good thing. Everybody loves Morgan Freeman, and everybody loves him in this film. And, on top of all that Freemanism, it also stars Paz Vega! You may remember her from such films as Sex and Lucia, and Spanglish. She speaks English in this movie – I didn’t realize she could.

Morgan Freeman plays a character that is ………well, Morgan Freeman. He’s an actor – although he’s never really called by name. He’s referred only as “him” – as in, “Hey! You’re him, aren’t you?” The only effort they’ve (the filmmakers) made to suggest that he isn’t really Morgan Freeman, is that he claims not to have worked for 4 years. That is obviously fiction, because, as we all know, Morgan Freeman has been in every movie during the last four years.

He is researching a role as a store manager for a new movie, and so he spends the day at a grocery store. The exquisitely beautiful Paz Vega plays Scarlet, who works the day at the “10 items or less” express checkout line. At the end of the shift, he doesn’t have a ride home and, for some reason, he can’t remember his telephone number. Scarlet agrees to give him a ride – but she’s got some errands to do first.

Thus begins their afternoon of fun and adventure together.

Morgan Freeman has fun simultaneously celebrating and poking fun at the celebrity lifestyle. His character suggests that he leads a very sheltered lifestyle and thus has a childlike naiveté about the ordinary world. But it’s this naiveté that allows him to cut through the haze that forms over most adults’ worldview, and simplify. He passes celebrity wisdom on to us, and you know what? It makes sense.

The film has this great vibe to it. There’s an energy that’s carried by the salsa music soundtrack (believe me – it works) and a positive feel that’ll make you smile. It has a great look to it. The beautiful Paz Vega is, of course, beautiful. And Morgan Freeman - Mr. Easy Reader ………..Morgan Freeman has become such a fixture in our movie-going experience that he represents a familiarity that is beyond degrees of beauty. That is why I say that this is probably the Morgan Freemanest movie ever made.

I must say that the critics are split on this film. However, as I scan through the comments, I find that the most common fault they have with 10 ITEMS OR LESS is that the characters are “too likable”.


……..and that’s bad ………..why? Also, that it’s totally unbelievable (“That would never happen like that!). Keep in mind that these are the very same people who gave thumbs up to “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Apparently, fun-loving pirates and ghosts and sea monsters are believable – but an older man and a younger woman striking up a friendship and having a “perfect day”, is not!

Screw the critics! I don’t buy into that. I, and I assume most of you, don’t watch movies with the same clinical eye as most film critics. They, after all, need to always be thinking about what they’re going to write about the film – even as they’re watching it. You almost have to have an innate cynicism to view films (or anything) like that. I, on the other hand, am, and have always been, a die-hard optimist. I smile a lot, I wear rose-colored glasses, I think people are good, and that the world is a beautiful and marvelous place. I can tell what you’re thinking, but no – I do not take a lot of drugs.

I am an optimist and this is what I believe.

  1. I believe that if you smile at somebody and they smile back – that’s a good day.
  2. It takes very little effort to make someone’s day. I believe there is good Karma in making a strangers day. Karma accumulates and will eventually come back to you someday – so make sure it’s “good” Karma.
  3. It is much easier to make a stranger’s day than someone close to you. Strangers expect nothing from you. Try it sometime – it’s easy.
  4. I believe that life, anybody's life, can and should have a salsa soundtrack.
  5. I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.
  6. OK, let’s not kid ourselves about #5. I was just caught up in the moment.
  7. I believe that there will someday be peace in the Middle East. Now maybe #5 isn’t sounding so far-fetched after all.
  8. I believe that it will all work out in the end. It may just take us a long time to get to the end.
  9. I believe that celebrities are just like us. I believe that if I met Morgan Freeman at a car wash, he would help me wash my car and give me advice on how to pick out a good T-shirt.
  10. I believe there are Paz Vega’s working at checkout counters in every Target, Sears, and supermarket in America.

Being an optimist, I could’ve added more – but I was limited to 10 ITEMS OR LESS.



At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good.

I'll check it out Frank.


- George

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Jan said...

I'll put it on my Netflix list, but the title will bother me in a grammatical way even so.

10 Items or FEWER!

At 10:27 AM, Blogger FranksFilms said...

I've already sent a memo off to the film makers about this - but still no word. Sorry.


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