So I finally got around to seeing….
I’ll admit going into Michel Gondry’s third feature I was a little nervous. Having really enjoyed his directorial debut, the oft-quoted Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but hated the follow-up, the fantastical looking but storyline deficient Science of Sleep, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Be Kind Rewind. I was happy to have watched a movie that I feel comes squarely between those two and was really enjoyable.
The first 15 minutes of this film made me think I was in for it. The film starts out a little too quirky and inaccessible, too much like the Science of Sleep. Jack Black was all over the place and I was fully expecting to hate this film. My girlfriend had already tuned out when she looked at me and said, “This is really stupid.” I nodded my head in agreement, this movie, early on, quirked me into submission.
The movie really turns a corner when they start to remake the films that become erased. It is at that point that you really start to care about the characters. Jack Black’s performance becomes a little more subtle, Mos Def is great throughout and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saint’s Melonie Diaz turns in a really charming performance. It is during the remakes that you really see Gondry’s creativity (the same creativity that I felt hammered over the head with in Science of Sleep) used in a way that enhances the film.
By the end of this film, you really come to care about the characters and the film’s backdrop, Passaic, New Jersey. My girlfriend, the same person that had lambasted the film early on, was wiping tears from her eyes as the closing credits ran.
It’s a really charming, sweet movie much in the same way that Eternal Sunshine was charming and sweet. At just over 90 minutes, Be Kind Rewind is definitely worth your time.