Saturday, February 27, 2010
There are two reactions a person can have to 'Harvey': a good reaction, or a bad one. I don't think it's the type of movie that you walk away from with mixed feelings. You're either a fan or you're not. For me, it's the latter. I did not care for this movie at all. Not the characters, not the story, not the pacing, not the performances (even though I'm a big James Stewart fan) and no, not the rabbit. The basic premise is that Stewart plays a man who has an imaginary rabbit friend named Harvey who's over six feet tall. The movie is based off a play by Mary Chase (who also wrote the screenplay). Sometimes adaptations of plays can work nicely, while other times it's clear we're seeing something from the stage and in that case might as well be watching it live. That's the case with 'Harvey' (though I wouldn't really care to see this one on stage). What I mean by this is that while watching the movie we see that certain things are foreshadowed and then we just wait for them to occur. It's the way the story is structured and while it might work for a stage play it certainly doesn't work on the screen. And was it just me, or was the movie just really boring, too? But I think my main distaste for this film comes from the idea of a supposedly crazy man trying to be likable and funny. I didn't care James Stewart's character and I didn't find him amusing, either. I also didn't like how the movie tried to make Stewart's character so innocent, as if we should cheer for him and his problem. And then instead of Stewart reaching a miraculous conclusion about his problem by the end, the story goes into complete fantasy land and looses any sort of sincerity that it managed to build up. Yes, 'Harvey' has an imagination, and yes, it has a heart. But in this case that doesn't mean it's a good movie.