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October 23, 2006

Review: Garfield -- The Movie

garfield.jpg In the history of Western Civilization there is little question regarding some of the greatest achievements in human creativity: Michaelangelo's David, Da Vinci's Last Supper, Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. In that same vein, the past has also blessed us with some of the greatest films of all time such as Citizen Kane, Ben Hur, and Casablanca. However, for many of us, these movies were relased before our time. What then will be the cinematic marvel for our age? What will be the example of cinematic perfection to meet ... nay even surpass the great movies of the past to reach the pinnacle of achievement for the medium? My friends, there can be little argument that the wait is over.

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of viewing Garfield: The Movie and I am still stunned by what my eyes beheld. Garfield tells the story of that lovable fat cat and his struggle for the respect and love that all of us crave. When Jon (masterfully played by Breckin Meyer) brings home a new dog (Odie), Garfield is forced to reevaluate his relationship with Jon and perhaps even his place within the universe. One would have to have a heart made of stone to not be able to relate with the feelings of regret and rejection pouring from the screen. When Jon's love interest (Jennifer Love Hewitt) graces the screen and decides to help Jon find his lost pets, the viewer can't help but think about two things: how big is her heart to sacrifice her own evening to help a friend, and also the inadequacy of our own lives that we don't have such a selfless compatriot. The lack of even a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Ms. Hewitt is one of the biggest disappointments of the 2005 Oscar season, and is a decision that still continues to cause America to question the very selection process of the Academy. For shame.

When director Peter Hewitt came out with his then crowning achievement, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, it can be argued that all of us thought that we have seen his best. How glad I am that we were so wrong! Who else could have directed Jon to so forcefully deliver what will surely become one of the most recognizable lines in all of cinema, "Garfield, did you eat all four boxes of lasagna?" causing the viewer to laugh and question our own gluttonous eating habits all at once? This directorial magnum opus was so phenomenal, it was like he opened a direct pipeline to my heart and poured a little magic inside.

When the movie ended everyone watching sat in stunned silence as the credits rolled across the screen. It may have been the dust in the room, but I don't mind admitting that tears fell down this reviewer's face. For those of you that have seen Garfield I would be surprised if you didn't have a similar reaction.

Posted by snackeru at October 23, 2006 8:57 PM

Comments

Shane, quite frankly I’m surprised at your superficial review of Garfield – Paul Hewitt’s genre busting 2nd work in his seminal “In Praise of the Patriarchy? trilogy.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure re-established the “Great Man? theory of history as two young men, obviously emasculated by a late 20th century educational system, discover and re-establish a patriarchal response to worldy problems – a template for a new paradigm that Bill and Ted learn to apply to the classroom as well.

Garfield ups the ante as the feline Garfield – an obvious metaphor for the matriarchy – asserts control over Jon’s (man’s) social, economic and psychological well being. Becoming fat on lasagna (the Greek root which means political power), Garfield/The Feminine must come to terms when Jon tries to rebalance the political power struggle of the sexes by bringing Odie – the archtype of the “strong male? (see also Ayn Rand) into his social universe.

Garfield and Odie's misadventures represent a world gone mad with this struggle of man’s attempt to reverse its loss of social dominance. Paul Hewitt turns the table again as it takes Jennifer Love Hewitt=JLH=Just Love Him to demonstrate that Love, yes Love is what is needed to stake out that balance.

So Shane the tears you shed were not tears of joy, but were tears of discovery ...the discovery and realization of what man has lost and what Paul Hewitt believes can be re-established through the love of a woman.

Posted by: freealonzo at October 24, 2006 9:08 AM

I have not seen "Garfield" yet, but I do have to comment about JLH...usually when I've seen her performances, I'm not really thinking about how big her heart is...

Posted by: Mark at October 24, 2006 1:13 PM

You guys should lay off the scotch...

Posted by: Doug at October 24, 2006 3:29 PM

You see, this is what happens when you take a ride on Willie Nelson's tour bus.

Posted by: twayn at October 27, 2006 1:42 PM

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