Written and Directed by Marshall Lewy
Starring Breckin Meyer and Anna Paquin
DVD Released Feb. 12
Marshall Lewy’s “Blue State” is a romantic comedy that misses the mark completely. It is neither romantic nor funny and features a horrible premise. Here are some of the film’s major flaws:
Problem 1: Clichéd and contrived premise.
Breckin Meyer plays John, a democrat blogger who decides to move to Canada after George W. Bush is re-elected in 2004. For no apparent reason, he needs to find someone to drive there with him. In the altered world he inhabits, he puts up flyers, which people actually respond to and he interviews candidates for his road trip. It is weird and stupid. Even more improbable is that a hot chick, Paquin’s character Chloe, responds to the ad and they instantly depart for the border. Hmmm … I wonder if they end up together? This is not a tough question for anyone who has ever seen a movie before. If you haven’t seen a movie before, don’t start with this one. The plot clichés continue as the first stop on the road trip is an unexpected visit to John’s parents. It is no surprise that John (like every character ever) has problems with his father. I suppose writer Marshell Lewy giggled at the silliness of John bringing a girl with blue hair and leather jacket home to his conservative mom and dad … but no one else will.
Problem 2: Problematic politics.
Trying to make a movie about some event such as the 2004 election poses a problem because by the time the movie is made, a lot of other things have happened and no one really cares anymore. Writer Lewy channels his opinions through John, but the problem is that he doesn’t have anything interesting to say. He touches on broad topics — the same thing that everyone says about president Bush. I don’t need to sit through a romantic comedy to figure out that the war in Iraq was a mistake and that Bush sucks at public speaking. The inclusion of Lewy’s whiny political opinions does nothing for this film whatsoever. I guess it is just necessary to fuel the pointless plot.
Problem 3: Writing.
Watching “Blue State,” I wondered whether this was a film student’s final project. The writing is juvenile and awkward. Chloe actually says, “It seems to me that you’re running away.” All the characters are closer to caricatures than believable and interesting beings. The dialogue is simply void of the kind of subtlety required to make an interesting and affecting film. Plot twists are also introduced for no reason. For example, John has a brother who is serving in Iraq … no wait, he is dead. If only anyone gave a damn.
Problem 4: Acting and poor chemistry.
I suppose “Blue State” could have been decent if the two main characters had been more complex and believable. Unfortunately, the two leads give less than inspired performances and lack a considerable amount of chemistry. When they finally kiss, it is really icky. Think about your parents — no, your grandparents — having sex. This is a little bit like the feeling induced by watching Meyer and Paquin get it on. The problem could be that Paquin looks so much younger than Meyer that it seems like an inappropriate professor/student romance and Paquin isn’t even getting an A out of sleeping with this creep.
To cap it off, “Blue State” is visually conventional and uninteresting. The narrative is accompanied by an aesthetic that is very flat and does nothing to perk up the emotionally dead movie.
Now that I have outlined everything I didn’t like about the film, I should say that it is not as though “Blue State” is the worst movie I have ever seen, or even the worst movie I have seen this year. But there are just so many better movies to see that I feel compelled to dissuade anyone from wasting their time with this crap.