Thursday, October 06, 2011
Crazy For You
CRAZY FOR YOU
Directed by Drew Barrymore, United States, 2011, 11 Minutes
Actors: Chloë Moretz, Tyler Posey, Alia Shawkat,Miranda Cosgrove, Shailene Woodley
This film is a modern day retailing of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (R&J), or more specifically, its successor, West Side Story. This film follows two gangs. One is dressed in neon colors and called the Day Trotters, and one is dressed in black leather and called the Night Creepers. Within these two gangs, there is a boy, Lucky, from the Day Trotters and a girl, Veronica, from the Night Creepers who inevitably fall in love and want different peaceful lives. The two young lovers have a secret affair for a few days and only communicate through writing on their hands, and the tragic instance of graffiti on the wall. After a misunderstanding, their teen love affair comes to an end. When a gang fight erupts between the two gangs due to a brutal beating of the Night Creeper's female leader's sister, Veronica pushes Lucky accidentally off the roof, and learns of his true answer to her palm question too late.
I have never been a fan of Romeo and Juliet, but this film does do a modern adaptation of the play--and amazingly does it without dialogue. The only dialogue we get is from Night Creeper's gang leader, played by Alia Shawkat, and it is one of anger and hate, a very important and sad emotion that is exists in R&J. In addition to Alia Shawkat, this film is full of young up-and-coming stars: Chloë Moretz as Veronica, Tyler Posey as Lucky, Miranda Cosgrove as the beat up gang member, and many more. I am not sure this film would have been made if Drew Barrymore, a well-known actress herself, had not directed it. This film is characteristic of a Drew Barrymore piece. From Charlie's Angels to Whip It, Barrymore has a distinct 1980's clothing cut and colors styling. As far as quality, this film, partnered with MTV, is of high quality--high quality as both a short and a music video for the band Best Coast and their song "Our Deal". Also, I really enjoy how Lucky is a combination of both Tony and Bernardo from West Side Story, two males that greatly affect Maria and her view on society.
This film is a successful modern retelling of a classic play for the MTV/Reality TV age. It also follows the frustration of the play elegantly. In the play, you always want to yell at Romeo to stop taking the poison as Juliet awakes. This film evokes the same frustration when we watch Lucky, who is not lucky, write "I can't" and then disappear to the other side of the wall. Of course, Veronica does not notice the rest of the answer until Lucky is already on the pavement dying. Why does he have to be so dimwitted and write the two most disappointing and most misleading words to answer her question on the wall she is standing closest too? Also, playing on the similarities of its predecessor West Side Story, the fight at the end of the film is dance fighting, which also goes with the music. Furthermore, this film is effective because it promotes love, not violence--something every generation needs to remember. I think, though, that this film is ineffective because it deals with two gangs that control the same streets different times of day, so why is it necessary for them to fight? In West Side Story there is racial discrimination as well as youths trying to control the same streets the same time of day. Also, this is meant to be a music video. I did not realize this fact until I watched it for the second time. The film plays to the music, but the music gets lost in the film at the same time.
One last note: I am really happy to see Chloë Moretz in another film. She is great in both Kick-Ass and (500) Days of Summer. Also, without looking, does anyone recognize the actor who plays Lucky? That's right. He plays Jennifer Lopez's son in Maid in Manhattan. Crazy.