DVD Review: Up in the Air

May 7, 2010

I knew this movie was depressing before I watched it. I had been warned.

Let me start with the technical. The acting was fine – no big problems there (although it was spotty at times). The dialog was very spotty (a couple times it was embarrassingly stupid and unrealistic). The story was told fairly well. Over all from a technical standpoint, I am not sure why it got all the great reviews but it was ok.

Now the story. The story is about a man (played by George Clooney) whose job it is to fire people. He goes to companies that are downsizing and uses his people skills and training to let people down in a way that gives them hope for the future and avoids a violent confrontation. He travels constantly. The title of the movie reflects that fact that he is more at home on airplanes than at home. He has no family and no real friends outside of work. His sisters in Wisconsin have pretty much written him off as lost.

The movie is basically a moral dilemma. It discusses the benefits of being attached verses unattached to relationships with other humans. Ultimately, it sort of comes down on the side of attached …although not decisively.  The dilemma is discussed from a purely secularist standpoint. The strengths and weaknesses of living a life free of relationship ‘baggage’ is discussed not from the standpoint of what is right or wrong or what God might want but what is better for the individual’s personal happiness.

The movie made me want to jump off a bridge – seriously. Regardless of which side of the moral dilemma the makers of this movie intended to come down on, the result was a depressing nihilistic thought experiment . I feel sorry for whoever thought this movie up.

If you were feeling sort of happy and optimistic and were hoping to bring your mood down a few notches: 4/4 stars

If you are depressed and hoping to see a feel good romantic comedy starring George Clooney: Ahhh stay away!! 1/4 stars


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