The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


Eternity: The Movie

It's not easy to review something like Eternity: The Movie. The film revels in a style of comedy that some people find very funny and others do not. I fall squarely in the “do not” camp. In fact, I found the experience of watching this picture pretty arduous. Admittedly, there are those who will feel the exact opposite. They will laugh themselves silly. I'll refrain from saying that this is a bad movie. Instead, I will say that it is really, really, really not for me.

Eternity: The Movie is about Todd Lucas (Barrett Crake), an aspiring musician who moves to Los Angeles in 1985 with hopes of making it big in the music business. After getting a job in a clothing store, he meets B.J. Fairchild (Myko Olivier), a John Oates lookalike who plays TV cop show themes on his saxophone at a local bar. Together, they team up to form a pop group called Eternity and are eventually signed by a record label exec (Jon Gries). Their first song, “Make Love, Not Just Sex,” becomes a smash hit, catapulting them to fame. But success slowly tears them apart.

The big joke of Eternity: The Movie is the film's utter lack of sincerity. Even the silliest movies – think anything with Adam Sandler or his pals – try to create some semblance of plot and characterization. They at least attempt to feel like real stories. Eternity, on the other hand, engages in the anti-comedy style that's gaining popularity in some quarters. Every joke calls attention to itself as though lit by a flashing neon sign, and the film makes no pretense of creating characters or a story that you can get invested in. In fact, it takes great pains to prevent you from becoming invested. Because that's the gag: What if we made a movie where we purposefully didn't even try? It's all just a lark, an attempt to wring laughs from being as self-conscious as possible at every second. The actors don't even bother approximating human emotion in their roles; they just put on funny clothing, intentionally deliver dialogue in a stilted way, and hope to generate laughter by flaunting their own lack of interest. Imagine a college fraternity tossing together an impromptu theater production and that's the overall vibe.

And really, it's kind of a shame that the filmmakers took this approach, because the potential is here for comedic gold. I grew up in the '80s and remain a connoisseur of music from that era. It was an amazing time, in part because so many artists were so fearless with their images. They also incorporated synthesizers to create music that sounded like nothing else ever heard before. (I still remember the awe I felt the first time I saw and heard the androgynous Annie Lennox singing “Sweet Dreams” on MTV.) There's so much to lovingly parody about '80s pop, but Eternity in no way authentically captures the feel of the music or videos that were so indicative of the era. That would take effort, and again, the joke here is that there is no effort.

If this kind of self-impressed anti-comedy is your thing, you may well like Eternity: The Movie. I couldn't stand it. To quote Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

( out of four)

Eternity: The Movie is unrated, but contains adult language, plus drug and sexual content. The running time is 1 hour and 28 minutes.

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