LOVE AND MERCY
Stars: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti
Plot: The story of the life of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson
Clint Says: I saw it, but I can't give it an honest review
This film came out a couple of weeks ago and typically I try to see as many of the films as I can before they are widely released. This film was one where I just couldn't do it. I wanted to see it, and at the same time I wanted this movie to be washed from my memory forever. This back-and-forth mental tug-of-war lasted about 10 days until I finally got the nerve to go see it.
I sat near the exit just in case I needed to make a quick escape.
As the movie began I got that queasy feeling you get when you are about to go on a roller coaster that you don't want to go on. I almost left.
But, I stayed.
And this movie wrecked me.
Most people will see LOVE AND MERCY and walk out feeling pretty good. Like they just saw a nicely done overcomer story. Making my reaction to the film seem completely out of place. But there is a reason for it.
I lived in Malibu, California in the early 1990's and over the course of a couple of years became acquainted with Brian Wilson. I say acquainted, because during that time I don't even know if it was possible for him to actually get to know someone. He was so fried from drug use and the forced over-medication by one of his confidants that most of the time I was around him he was barely able to talk. I'm sure back then he would have recognized me on some level, but there is no way he would remember me now.
I was just a teenager scooping ice cream at the local shop that he would frequent. Occasionally, we would exchange pleasantries, but that was about it...for him. For me, I would see this man...this legend...sitting there fumbling with his treat, sometimes so much so that his girlfriend would spoon feed him, and it devastated me.
This was the guy that had written the songs that defined a decade and are still powerful anthems to this day. This was a guy that had it all and, for whatever reason, threw it all away for a high. (I know now that he had mental issues and was being purposely over-medicated, but back then I thought that it was all his own doing).
I didn't understand. And even now, I still don't.
In a way, I am thankful for the time I got to spend with and around Brian Wilson. He basically showed me how not to live my life. The fact that I never got into drug use in any way is partially because of seeing what it did to him.
Watching the movie threw me right back into the early 90s. John Cusack absolutely nails it as Wilson. Other than that I can't honestly tell you if it was a good movie or not. Just thinking about the movie gives me a knot in my stomach.
So, if you were hoping to come here and find out if you should go see this movie or not, my apologies. I hope you will understand my reasoning and come back again for my next review.
Thank you for reading,