Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The First Trailer for "Accidental Love" Reminds Us How Much Better Russell Has Become in 7 Years

Left to right: Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel
After years of delays and long ago being disowned by the creator, director David O. Russell's Accidental Love (formerly Politics of Love and Nailed) is finally seeing the light of day. Last that we heard, a studio was working on a cut that wouldn't be approved by the filmmaker and that the film would be released earlier in the year as to not compete with Russell's recently made film called Joy. Today marks the first footage released from the trailer and things are beginning to make sense. At least in the realm of explaining his disowning of the project.

There was something that happened to David O. Russell in 2010. With the release of The Fighter, he suddenly started his position as an Oscar darling. Between The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, he has swept up a lot of nominations and a few awards. In fact, he seems posed to win Best Picture at some point in his career for being able to deftly make films with top notch actors delivering solid performances. 

While he did receive Oscar nominations prior to 2010, he was more of a renegade filmmaker. He was someone who was notoriously aggressive and subversive with films such as I Heart Huckabees. In Accidental Love, he ran into a whole slew of problems and walked away.Nobody could be sure if he would continue to have the edginess to his style that made him an interesting force early on. In an interesting twist, this film feels like the middle-ground with a section that saw the edgy commentary paving the way for pure yucks.

Check out the trailer:

One of the strangest things about the film is how much it feels like a time capsule. With exception to everyone looking younger, it does seem like the film is tackling a different time entirely. The premise itself makes no sense in trailer execution, as it seems like Jessica Biel randomly gets a nail in her head during a dinner event. Everything after seems a little bizarre bumping back and forth between painting her as over-the-top mentally unstable and somewhat compassionate. Also, the film's "high concept, low brow humor" feels like a very 90's thing from an era prior to when Judd Apatow made millions off of riffing dirty jokes.

I never expected this film to be an Oscar contender, though it is interesting to see it finally get the light of day. With this and Serena, this will be an interesting year for the American Hustle team. Of course, I do think that there could be some interesting jokes, as I do feel like Jake Gyllenhaal's recent resurgence with Nightcrawler will give this film a noteworthy boost. Still, I don't see it standing a chance in the long run. It tries to be Russell's Flirting with Disaster but with deeper context. I am not entirely sure what to expect, but it does seem disappointing.

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