Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The D Train: Um...What.

The D Train is one of those rare flicks that I saw without knowing anything about it outside of the trailer. Ths ticket was free and it had James Marsden in it.

In hindsight, I should've done a bit more reading.

The plot follows Dan (Jack Black), a run-of-the-mill kind of guy who married his high school sweetheart, took a job out of high school, and had never moved away from his hometown. He is trying to oganize his upcoming 20-year high school reunion. Understandably (because who really thinks about high school that often when you're in your late 30s), he's having trouble getting people into it. But a ray of hope appears in the form of his former classmate Oliver Lawless (James Marsden), who he sees in a national commercial for Banana Boat sunscreen. Flying to California to try and recruit him, Dan weaves an intricate web of lies to get Lawless to come. But um...Dan may have bitten off a bit more than he could chew... And Oliver might not be the guy that Dan idealizes anyway.

Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum...

How...to describe...the turning point this movie took...

I really don't think I can do it without spoilers, so here we go:


I don't know whose idea it was to make Oliver Lawless have sex with Dan after a great night partying in L.A. Or whose idea it was to make Dan keep trying to be his friend after that. Or whose idea it was to make this entire movie a giant cringe-fest.

I don't know whose idea any of this was, but I was not into it.

Like who wants to see Jack Black have sex with anyone, let alone the impeccable James Marsden? The shock factor is significant, and while it tries its best to make this black comedic moment funny, I really just did NOT see it coming and felt like the aftermath read as unrealistic. Well...not as unrealistic as James Marsden having sex with Jack Black...but pretty unrealistic.

Okay, I had to get that off my chest, let's try to analyze this without mentioning it ever again.


Here's the thing: the movie tries to make a commentary on how we all feel after high school without giving us any context to how high school actually was for Dan and Oliver, and that is a damn shame for two reasons:

1. Everyone likes a good flashback sequence.
2. We'd actually understand these guys a little better.

It's hard to sympathize with these characters when we don't know the circumstances that lead them to be who they are in the present. We also don't really get a lot of context for who they were in the past. Consequently, we see Dan become increasingly, and SO UNCOMFORTABLY, obsessed with Oliver's lifestyle and coolness, which just grosses us out, and we see Oliver reveal himself to be more and more of a terrible human with each scene, which isn't very fun either.

Though he IS pretty fun to look at...

Like, I get it. The end game is that no one in high school (or life even, if you wanna go down that road) is as self-assured as they seem. Cool kids are usually harboring troubles of their own (if we are to learn ANYTHING from John Hughes movies) and nerds feel underappreciated.

It's hard to shed the identity that you develop as a teenager, but you don't have to hold yourself to that standard. There's more to life than being well-liked. You just gotta find your groove.

At least, I think that's what it's saying. I got distracted by a PARTICULAR SCENE (spoiler-readers know what I'm talkin' about...)

4.5 outa 10. I hate cringe-humor movies.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I read about that scene a few months ago. I find it funny that Marsden and Black are all like "we can't tell you about the twist" in interviews when this has been known as the movie where they...um...you know...for months now.