Give me Broken Flowers Any Day

The back story is this: I’m walking around Park Slope on Sunday, doing my thing, and I spot a Burberry shopping bag sitting on a cement wall. It looks like the aftermath of a stoop sale all contained in that one bag. So I look inside and see a handful of DVDs, picture frames and other assorted items. I open one DVD case, disc is in check. I open another, disc is in check. I do this three more times. Then it sinks in: I have hit the freebie jackpot.

And these movies are quality, we’re not talking no name shitters. Among the finds? Broken Flowers (as seen above), Mean Girls (aka Lindsay Lohan), Intolerable Cruelty (with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones), The Cinderella Man, Adam Sandler’s Punch Drunk Love (which made me want to drink … heavily it was so bad) and here’s the kicker, which I know is going to make some queens scream, the whole First Season of Desperate Housewives. Still wrapped. I am not kidding you. It was like, bonanza!

As for Broken Flowers, I know this movie is circa 2005, but if you haven’t seen it, 14K gives it her golden seal of approval. Murray is a master of emotional control, as the ultimate bachelor who is left by his fed up girlfriend (a nice-assed, well-suited Julie Delpy) who tells him she’s tired of being his mistress, when he’s not even married. On the same day, he receives a pink letter in the mail by an unsigned past lover who tells him he might have a 19-year-old son on the search for his father. So, with the persistent pestering of his Caribbean detective wanna-be neighbor, he sets off on a search to meet with four lovers who could have been the mother. He brings pink flowers to each. And each have basically the same reaction to him: wistful longing wrapped in what could have been.

The amazing thing about this movie, aside from who is cast as his lovers: Sharon Stone (a desperate racecar driver’s widow with a Lolita daughter in small town America) and Jessica Lange (a very fuckable animal communicator) especially stand out, is Murray’s ability to just be this totally withholding guy. It’s strange because he is expressing emotion, albeit slightly, which translates into this incredible depth. He means what he says, he moves when he needs to and he shows his reactions through a blink of an eyelid or an inflection in his cheek. He doesn’t say or give anything extra. He is giving, but the people around him just want more. It seems to be by choice not flaw because he doesn’t apologize for what he can’t give. He acknowledges missing his latest lover but doesn’t do anything about it.

I like him. He’s likable. His bachelor pad is styled-out tastefully, with leather chairs and couches, 70s-influenced but modern aesthetic dude guy, for sure. That paired with his outfit of choice, a leisure suit and operatic music; he is the ultimate hermit, a lifestyle his neighbor buddy thinks needs life.

In between watching to see what Murray is going to do next, he brings us comedic moments. Like when he wakes up on his couch, on his stomach, face completely entrenched in a pillow. Such an awkward way to sleep, especially since he most likely has a bedroom, but he’s there, on his couch, remotes on his stark coffee table, waking from his slumber. It’s a shot of sly humor and it works.

In fact, the whole movie works. Rent it! Rent it! Rent it!

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