Not since Guy Ritchie’s Snatch and Jodie Foster’s forthcoming Beaver have I laughed so hard at a title for so long. “Who fancies watching Cameron Diaz’s Box?”, “Yeah I wonder what’s in her Box”, “I wonder if she’ll open up her Box”. Ha ha, LOL, ROFL, whoops I’ve just peed my pants.
Fuck you! You grow up!
Sadly Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly’s latest doesn’t have a lot in it that will dissuade you from giggling like a schoolkid.
Based on I Am Legend scribe Richard Matheson’s short Button, Button, The Box (hahahaha) is a cleverly simple tale of choice and greed. When a mysterious stranger (Frank Langella) visits their house, The Lewis family (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) are left with a box and a decision. Press the button inside and someone, somewhere, who you don’t know, will die. You will also receive $1,000,000.
So far, so a little Shallow Grave (would you do something seemingly inconsequential for huge dollops of cash?). Without giving too much away, they do, of course, push the button. Then comes the really clever part. Mysterious man takes the box (hahaha) away stating, “Now I’ll give it to someone else, I promise you, you will not know them”.
After this the movie nose-dives into ridiculousness, as Kelly tries to weave a simple morality tale into sci-fi weirdness, harking back to the vessels and wormholes and pain relief of his debut hit. If a film tries to go all out loony it had best have the stones to back it up. The Box doesn’t.
It would be unfair to say that Cameron Diaz has difficulty walking and talking, but I am unfair. Cameron Diaz has difficulty walking and talking, so why anyone would cast her as someone who has to talk differently (see: poor attempt at accent) and walk differently (see: exaggerated limp) is baffling. As for some of the dialogue, Jesus Effing Christ.
“As a fan of the philospher Jean Paul Sartre you may take comfort in this quote…” states a character towards the end of the film. Firstly, nobody talks like that. Secondly, you haven’t set up that the person in question is a fan of Jean Paul Sartre.
Thirdly, if they are a fan, you probably don’t have to describe Sartre as a ‘philosopher’. Unless of course, somewhere, there is a famous plumber called Sartre that has also come up with deep meditations on life that might somehow be shoe-horned into a script at a late stage. Dialogue like that is just lazy.
Toned down and with a little more justification for the main duos actions, this could have been a gem of a film. Ultimately it’s just a poor house of cards that comes tumbling down mid-way through the film. Leaving it as chortlesome as it’s title.
Oh and if anyone else can think of any movies that share their name with slang for a lady’s vagina, please write it below. I really am that juvenile.