(Paramount Pictures; Linked from Entertainment Weekly 11 Aug, 2017)
(Originally posted on PatPostsAboutFilm.tumblr.com 20 Dec, 2017)
Release Date: December 22nd, 2017
Runtime: 2hr 15m
Director: Alexander Payne
Due to the plot of the film, any puns that may seem overused or intended are not. They are simply how I will describe this film.
When scientists discover a way to potentially save the planet and save resources, they literally downsize the overpopulated human race and create a self-sustaining ecosystem that will help the planet for generations. Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) is the film’s attractive average Joe who runs into constant frustration into trying to keep his marriage to Audrey (Kristen Wiig) a happy one, and ends up losing her in the process of what they think will make her happy.
Selfishly, Audrey backs out of the downsizing project (which would aid in their housing and wealth status when transformed) and rejects Paul, admitting that she feels that she needs to think about herself. “How do you think I feel? I’m five fucking inches tall!” exclaims Paul, in the only scene where Damon seems to strike a chord with the frustrating protagonist in the film.
While the films starts off appearing that it will follow Damon’s character in this new utopia, a subtle 180 takes place and the plot becomes unclear. Paul eventually downgrades from his riches during the divorce, and gains new riches in his neighbor and eventual girlfriend. Even then, the film begins taking the story outside of that utopia and back to the original colony in Norway where this project began.
Turns out this race of tiny people isn’t working out after all and must go underground to keep their lives running or they will go extinct. I’m usually good at paying attention to a movie, but about 2 hours in, I was still focused on what could be happening in that utopia we left halfway through the movie. This point, however, I lost my attention. The humor ran out, but made a decent comeback before wrapping up the story.
Since seeing this at SCAD Savannah Film Festival 2017, I had the opportunity to stick around for the Q&A session with writer Jim Taylor. I tried to think of a few questions, but each question I had come up with, I also had a reasonable answer for. The one question I would have for Mr. Taylor that I couldn’t answer on my own was how could such a 180 happen to the plot?