Movie Review: “For Chance or Change”

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Spoiler Alert: Read at your Own Pleasure


I’m not gonna lie; this is the best movie I’ve ever wanted to see.  It’s the best.  If the star rating system went to 6 stars, I would give it all 7s.  This movie has everything.  Action, adventure, love, midgets, abolition, transformers, Cobra Kai and partial nudity.  It’s crazy.

First, casting Jim Carrey as Williford Barley was a HUGE risk.  Here’s a guy that’s on the downside of his career and also someone that Americans can’t relate to anymore.  I’ve always been a fan and I’m so glad that James Cameron cast him.  Amazing.  

He gained nearly 75 pounds for the role and reportedly kept this a secret from his family as well.  HOW DO YOU HIDE 75 pounds?  For those of you not familiar with the novel, “For Chance or Change” is unique in the fact that fans are divided down the middle as to whether Williford is a caricature of the modern man or if he is in fact the driest most sarcastic American middle-aged man in existence.  I thought Carrey did a good job drawing the line right down the middle.  Some will probably say that he played it safe, but if you know Carrey as an actor, “safe” isn’t’ in his vocabulary.

One of the biggest surprises of the movie was that they ignored the suggestion that Louisville was in Kentucky.  The book never mentions which state the story takes place, but there are quite a few references to bourbon and race horses.  I guess the studio feared nobody would go see it, so they decided to make it more “hipster” by setting it in Oregon.  Louisville, Oregon… I looked it up.  Doesn’t exist.  Whatever.  I guess people drink and screw in Oregon too.

My favorite character in the novel and coincidentally in the movie was Jill Jill, played by Kristen Wiig.  The movie made her significance of transforming Williford’s super powers for good a bit smaller than I thought, but she was still the strongest character.  

If I was to cast anyone for this role, I would have chosen her or Ellen DeGeneres.  The role calls for a really funny person that looks sad all the time because you want to laugh at everything this person goes through, but they aren’t actually supposed to be funny.  Kristen is probably one of the funniest women in Hollywood, but she absolutely refuses to do anything but carry the weight of the world with this role.  Jill Jill has no time for funny, even though she should.

I thought the special effects were amazing.  Tom Hanks really outdid himself as the producer and it’s rumored that he had a significant role in developing the technology Cameron is going to use for Avatar 2.  

I was really nervous to see how they were going to handle the midgets. Little People… whatever.  They call them midgets in the book.  I was afraid they were just going to animate them like they did in Lord of the Rings or just use the same small people they use in all the movies.  Nope.  They brought in Justin Timberlake and somehow just shrank him and duplicated him 20 times.  It was cool because every time Arthur (played by Ludacris) tried to get laid, JT’s character (can’t remember the name) would break out in a dance and song.  The soundtrack is going to be great.  Nora Jones and Maroon 5 and YES are all in the soundtrack.

My wife probably liked it too.  I didn’t ask.  There was a pretty epic love story that kept everything together, not to mention a really unbelievable sex scene in SPACE between Meg Ryan (still hot) and Ryan Seacrest (still hot?).  Imagine the cinematography from “Gravity” but two people have sex and that was this.

I admit that I cried when the robots (I like to call them transformers) actualized their reality and chose to kill themselves.  That part was totally blown up for the movie, but I’m glad they did.  Watching 3 million robots “Self Shut” was pretty powerful.

Whatever.  Go see the movie.  You won’t regret it.



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