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The Pitch for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

So I’ll write Forrest Gump1 again, right, only instead of a feather floating off into the sky, it’s a hummingbird, and instead of getting Tom Hanks to play an idiot manchild, we’ll get Brad Pitt to play himself, only we’ll use the magic of film and makeup to make him grow younger!2 We’ll make sure he’s “raised” by a black woman, but he’ll get rich when his black army buddy white father leaves him the shrimp boat button factory. And he’ll fall in love with Cate Blanchett, but they’ll be like two ships passing in the night—they’ll love and hate each other, but they’ll meet in the middle long enough to have a love child. Like Forrest, Benjamin will be afraid the baby’ll be just like him; like Forrest , Button will meet people when he’s young/old who turn out to do something important or great later when he’s old/young; and most importantly, just like Forrest Gump we’ll bring home piles of Oscar!

1 Not more than an hour into the movie, I leaned over and asked K, “Isn’t this—” She finished my sentence: “Forrest Gump?” I so wish I had seen this before we dropped $17 tonight.

2 I have never read the short story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” but I can tell you that it is a short story and not a two-and-a-fucking-half-hour long movie because the plot is nothing more than an inversion of the seven ages of man (or, if you prefer, a meditation on the riddle of the sphinx; likewise, an intimation on immortality). Were it were more than that, it would dwell on the tragic moment when Button is most interesting: wise in years, but too young to be respected for his years. But that moment is elided by the short story (I assume), and the film just turns it into a Mrs. Robinson dalliance between the aging Cate Blanchett and the teenage Brad Pitt. I really, really want my damn money back.

 

Comments

Brad Pitt doesn’t “play himself,” but it almost seems so when Benjamin finally youngs down to the actor’s current age (no prosthetic makeup needed)—causing Cate Blanchett’s character to gush “You’re perfect!”

glad to know it sucked… it had that feeling, despite the oscar nominations.

I was angry about it all weekend. Had there been no Gump, it would’ve been tolerable; indeed, a good (not great) movie. But Gump does exist; I felt like I had been scammed.

And it isn’t nearly as charming as Gump.