Dear stuff:

Please happen.

Yours truly,

– me, the viewer

I Netflixed Morvern Callar based on the AV Club’s recent feature on modern cult classics, but after watching it, I’m pretty sure its cult consists entirely of those unlucky people who feel exactly like Morvern. Bummer for them, because if they are anything like her, they’re completely unsympathetic and uncompelling.

Here’s a short list of things I would rather do than watch one more scene where Morvern identifies with a lowly bug or lets her shame drive her away into yet another quietly understated episode with no narrative connection to the rest of the movie: 1) lie on my couch with a pillow over my face. 2) Eat a peanut butter sandwich and wonder if I’m going to barf for the next five hours. 3) Tape my alarm to my head, then make my alarm go off as I sit in my unfinished basement and think of all the ways I could be killed just walking out the door.

This is the kind of movie that makes people hate smart things. That’s right, Morvern Callar is the reason you were beaten up as a kid. It’s lifeless and joyless and insulting–okay, so she’s lost and confused and unhappy and can’t connect with other people. That was established within the first ten minutes. The following eighty is where the story was supposed to go.

That’s what bugs me to no end about movies and fiction with no higher aspirations than showing their emotionally crippled characters walking around being emotionally crippled. If that’s the only dimension you’re interested in working with, don’t be surprised when your audience ends up as a cult. You’re lucky to have one at all.

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