The End of the Affair didn’t do it for me. There’s no other way to say it – in my eyes, it fell flat. Stellar actors didn’t help an otherwise passionate story of love, loss and obsession. And who do I blame? Gossip Girl. Motherfuckers.
If I’ve ever said I have no guilty pleasures, let me retract that statement and make an amendment – I never used to, until Gossip Girl started to suck on such a colossal level that it could no longer be categorized as entertaining cheese. It’s just terrible. The writing is awful, and one of my biggest pet peeves with it these days is how it sucks the life out of otherwise wonderful films.
The show has frequently played on Blair Waldorf’s love of classic cinema – particularly the films of the simple and wafish Audrey Hepburn. I was okay with this, as they managed the blasphemy in a playful way. When they did All About Eve I had a bit of a hard time. In their defense, these were all mere moments of plot, and usually dream sequences, making them tolerable. This time, however, they’ve gone too far.
They ripped off the entire plot of The End of the Affair in order to give shoddy character motivation to simpering Blair and the now yawn-inducing Chuck. What’s worse – I didn’t know they were doing it until I saw the film. Watching the episodes based on TEOTA, I was nearly screaming at the screen, begging Blair to stop being such a whiny little moronic pain in the ass. It was almost as annoying as when Serena went around claiming to be a murderer, when she merely bore witness to a dumbass OD-ing on her bed. THAT’S NOT MURDER! STOP PLAYING MORON MARTYR!
I started TEOTA and was excited – the tone was dark, and romantic, fueled by a level of intrigue and seduction that I was anticipating. Then the plot started to unfold, and I felt myself run cold. The entirety of Gossip Girl’s idiocy had invaded my Netflix, and it was NOT okay! It was entirely ruined, as I couldn’t push the comparison from my mind. It’s almost like listening to the cover of a Beetles song (pick any, it’s been covered!) before the original – your expectations are skewed.
That being said, being critical of the film is difficult, because I was left with such a bad taste in my mouth (fuck you , GG.) But I’ll try.
Ralph Fiennes had his appeal in the beginning, but his character’s obsession quickly left the realm of passionate pursuit and entered creepy-jilted-lover-who-can’t-take-a-hint. I wanted to swoon, but I just couldn’t. He’s a marvelous actor, and I’ve loved him in many roles – for me, this was less than stellar.
Julianne Moore always impresses me, and this was no exception. However, she wasn’t as good as she could be. She’s given far more memorable performances, and, in spite of how captivating she looks on film sans dialogue, her performance felt mildly forced.
Perhaps it’s Gossip Girl’s fault – I’d like to think it is – that I simply couldn’t lose myself in the film. But the entire production felt as if it wasn’t as organic as it should have been. It didn’t flow naturally for me, and natural progression of plot is a huge selling point for me. If I can’t lose myself in the film, want to wander its streets, know its inhabitants, and be a part of their world (hold all Little Mermaid puns forever, please), then it’s a harder sell. Unfortunately, I’m just not buying it. Better luck next time?
This post was originally published on my tumblr on April 3, 2012.