Up in the Air is Fantastic!
The movie is great. It’s a movie about a fictional character in a fictional job, and yet it’s probably the most realistic movie I have ever seen. The movie is completely predictable, dark, gloomy and bleak, yet I loved it. It’s incredibly well acted and the characters’ soul searching felt tangible and real.
I loved the movie’s treatment of the “runner syndrome” where someone single mindedly chases a goal for years without thinking why. In the real world, individuals often chase down the societal expectations of the rat race. In this case, George Clooney seems to be running away from life. It’s not clear even to him why he chose the goals he chose, but the words he uses could apply to many as he’s chasing “the number he has in his mind”.
Up in the Air is probably the first post modern chick flick. Many of my female friends argued it’s not a chick flick at all because it’s not romantic and it does not have a happy ending, but I beg to differ. Being married and having a family sucks. Even when you are married you end up dying alone (if only because your significant other dies at a different point). However, it’s better than the alternative! The movie’s conclusion is clearly an adaptation of Churchill’s quote on democracy adapted to having a significant other: it’s the worst of all forms of living except for all others!
Girls: take your boyfriends because the conclusion is ineluctable: he better marry you because the alternative is much worse! No one wants to end up like the Clooney character!