So I rented The Lovely Bones a while ago. I’m trying to figure out who would ever find this movie appealing. It’s bad. Really bad. I mean, there are some scenes that are really beautiful visually and I’m sure no hobbits were harmed during the filming, but it was really odd and it laboriously plodded along at an EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW PACE and is in no way anything that I ever want to watch again.
For one thing, the age of the main character, which is fourteen I think, and the ages of the people that she plays against were so off. Her love interest is so obviously an ADULT and her sister is in no way younger than her at any point (pigtails and braces do not disguise that). Ray, her crush, is supposedly a senior in high school? Right. It’s not like seniors have never dated freshmen, but this guy is a senior in COLLEGE. It might even be his second or third senior year. You get the point, right? Right. Watching him flirt with her is disturbing in a film that is supposed to be focusing on other disturbing things. He says something to her like, “See, another thing we have in common!” after they’ve exchanged maybe two words and even she was confused, “Wait, we have things in common?” Then he breathes, “You are beautiful Susie Salmon.” *shudder* Why don’t you go ease on down the road, Creepy McCreepster? Also, and I’ve mentioned this before, Ray is supposed to be DARK SKINNED. Moving on.
So Susie Salmon is murdered, the evil-doer goes free, she watches the world go on without her from her version of heaven, and while most of it worked as a novel, the movie just falls flat. Too many things were taken out: Susie’s parents’ affairs, Ray and Ruth’s growing friendship. I never knew how much time supposedly passed by at any given moment. Did her brother even age? Ruth is a seer (she saw Susie’s ghost the night she was murdered), but none of that was really explored. Oh, and this is a silly quibble of mine: I have no idea where the actress who plays Ruth is from (I’m guessing New Zealand?) but a convincing American accent would’ve been nice.
There are far too many scenes where Susie is walking slowing towards something, wind blowing back her hair, blue eyes wide or her murderer is sitting in a chair fidgeting with her charm bracelet looking EXTREMELY vomit-inducing and I wanted to scream: WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS?
Mark Wahlberg’s portrayal of Susie’s father was the only thing that I was pleasantly surprised about; it was really heartfelt and touching. Everything else? Not so much. I’m not even going to get into Susan Sarandon. I guess originally Ryan Gosling was supposed to play the father? Even though he looks like a kid himself? WHO WAS THE CASTING DIRECTOR?! Hollywood fails again.