Holiday in Romania
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman is so forgettable a film that I started forgetting the plot while watching. Never to fear, all I had to do was recall the dozens of other films that cling to their genre tropes as tightly as this one. Even better, all I had to do was recall one of those operatic R&B music videos from the '90s (think: R. Kelly) to recall the plot, which goes something like: Guy meets girl, girl has mafia boyfriend, guy insists on having a relationship, and then bad things happen to guy. At least, give me a good slow jam!
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
Once I stopped marveling at how horrendous it must be for Shia LaBeouf to sit under the hot lights on set with an unholy amount of hair gel, I started following Charlie Countryman's plot and unfollowing it, like you do when a friend tells the same story you heard last night to another friend. Keenly aware of its pedestrian plot, the film takes bold strides in peppering its formulaic story with personality: an ambulance driver continues to smoke his hash pipe after an accident, LaBeouf talks to ghosts, and worst of all the film is narrated in the style of a fairy tale -- "Dear ladies and gentlemen" he keeps repeating, to my chagrin.