14 September 2011


Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Written by: Jason Lew
Full credits at IMDb

When I describe the plot of Restless, Gus Van Sant's sweet new movie about the paucity of time, the finality of death, and the small measures of love that give our short lives meaning, try not to roll your eyes. Ok, yes, it's about two teenagers who meet cute at a memorial service—she as a guest, he as a crasher, like Harold and Maude without the age discrepancy—and, yes, she has a terminal illness and he has a best friend who's the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot. But, despite this dangerous level of whimsy—compounded by a Danny Elfman score—Restless succeeds thanks to its winsome leads, black comedy and irreverent spirit. Plus, it'll make you cry.

Though tearjerker would be the wrong word because of its pejorative implication. Restless earns your tears, eschewing in favor of charisma the emotional manipulation that typically mars movies about death-disrupted puppy love, from Love Story to A Walk to Remember.

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