And it is nearly impossible to make a great movie. That is just a fact. Making a movie, especially a big budget movie – and I don't mean a $300,000,000 big budget movie, just a $30,000,000 – is incredibly complex. If the script isn't almost perfect, the movie doesn't work; if one of the main characters is mis-cast, the movie doesn't work; if the music is wrong, the movie doesn't work; if the cinematography doesn't fit, the movie doesn't work.
Maybe I have read too much Pauline Kael, but I used to think that good movies weren't made because people weren't trying or that they were selling out. There is plenty of that, but making a good movie is really, really hard.
I was reminded of this after seeing Morning Glory late Sunday afternoon. Both Michele and I were feeling punk Saturday, so we stayed home, built a fire, watched it rain, let the cat out when it stopped raining for a few minutes and let her back in when it started again, and watched three movies. Waiting to Exhale, It's Complicated, and Invictus (for the second time).
All four had aspirations to be very good movies. To be intertaining and say something meaningful. Each of them came close. For me, Morning Glory was the most entertaining, but they were all good. Not great, but good. I am sure that each of the directors, each of the actors, was trying to make a great movie – or, at least, a very good movie, a better movie than the end result – and fell short. Because it is hard.