Because life is a parody of something that must exist somewhere.

06 April 2010

Things You'll Get To Experience If You Watch The Happening

* The word happening being used over and over.

* The revelation of five or six news articles Shyamalan read and thought were interesting, from which he culled the premise of the movie.

* 60% of the story being told through cell phones and scenes from the news.

* Dialogue that wouldn't be uttered by any human being, such as offenders of the "show don't tell" policy that are almost as bad as those from Revenge of the Sith. Example: "I understand why you are whispering. I don't like to show my emotions either."

* Sometimes creative (lawn mower over body), sometimes mundane (sliced wrist) killings that happen anytime even Shyamalan feels someone might get bored.

* Mark Wahlberg, as a science teacher, pulling teeth to get his students to become better scientific thinkers, only to -- one second later -- tell them that science just makes stuff up "for the books" but that only God (or whatever) knows what's really going on.

* Mark Wahlberg hitting on his teenage male student, telling the student he has "a perfect face."

* Complete strangers showing Mark Wahlberg YouTube footage of lions mauling zookeepers on their perfectly-held (as if by robot hands) cell-phone screens.

* A man obsessed with hot dogs, for -- among other reasons -- their "cool [penis] shape."

* Mark Wahlberg, again as a serious science teacher, preaching the legitimacy of mood rings.

* John Leguizamo (aka "Johnny Legs") and his little girl appearing in the movie for no real reason. Perhaps, Jurassic Park style, to show Zooey Deschanel that she wants children after all? (In the end, it turns out, she does, proving once again that you are only worth anything as a woman if you give birth.)

* John Leguizamo insisting that the best way to get through a panic attack is to try to work out math riddles. Then, once someone (surprisingly) has gotten through the attack this way, overemphasizing the importance of the answer of the math riddle, as if it's a metaphor for life.

* Mark Wahlberg getting up in people's grills for no real reason, for example snatching the cell phone from a woman whose daughter is dying on the other line (after the woman puts the death on speaker phone for complete strangers to listen to).

* An entire group of people, of all ages, who can't figure out that they are in a model home--which apparently the audience isn't supposed to figure out either, since there is a musical sting when the "model home" sign is revealed. Note: the fact that it's a model home is of no significance.

* Zooey Deschanel, married to Mark Wahlberg, guiltily telling her husband that she has been on a date with someone else, to which Wahlberg responds with a charming joke, showing that infidelity really doesn't matter much to him: in fact, it's merely cute.

* Two twelve-year-old boys getting shot in the head after inexplicably shifting from merely annoying to homicidal in two seconds.

* Mark Wahlberg singing Doobie Brothers songs for no reason.

* A family of eight or so watching television in a bathtub, in a scene that isn't supposed to be comedic.

* Zooey Deschanel and a little girl, in the middle of an epidemic, happily playing with a frog in a former slave hideaway, complete with speaking tube through which she communicates with Mark Wahlberg.

* After establishing for an hour and twenty minutes that something in the air is killing people, Zooey Deschanel still not being sure why she should close the windows.

* Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel attempting to explain their personal problems, through metaphor, by saying they've forgotten what color "love" is on the mood ring.

* Zooey Deschanel giving the little girl a cumbersome picture-framed picture of her dead parents to take to her first day of school, so that she can grieve properly and openly during recess.

* A movie in which the premise is actually established early on, but instead of simply following through with the premise and maybe showing us something exciting that results from the premise, pretends that the audience doesn't know what the premise is and offers us red herrings throughout so that we can figure out Shyamalan's usual trick ending. The trick this time: there isn't one. It's what he told us in the first ten or so minutes.

* The most elaborate red herring: a stereotypical southern woman who offers a hungry child dinner only to slap her hand when she grabs for food, later giving it to her. The woman becomes obsessed with the child, Mark Wahlberg, and Zooey Deschanel stealing her things (especially an old doll). In reaction to her weirdness, Mark Wahlberg feels he can explain it all to her. His explanation? "See, I'm a teacher..."

* Forty-five minutes worth of grass and leaves blowing in the wind.

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