I’m usually a pretty firm believer in whatever RottenTomatoes has to say about movies. So when I arrived late to the showing of TRUMBO I was going to see, I took to the internet to see what else was — shall we say — trending.
BROOKLYN was the next closest showtime and internetters everywhere gave rave reviews. It has a 99% rating on RT! I’ve done the math and looked at some numbers — that’s almost 100%! Right then and there I decided that I wouldn’t be the only one come Oscar time who hadn’t seen the movie Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called “Easily the year’s best and most beguiling love story”.
When Irish immigrant Eilis (try saying that three times fast) played by Saoirse Ronan (try saying that at all) moves to 1950s New York, her entire life is ahead of her. Though she’s homesick, Eilis — along with the help of her smart-mouthed boarding house sisters — finds a job at a glamorous department store, goes to school to become an accountant, and even snags herself a man.
Props to the guy behind me in the theater who announced that her manager at the department store was Megan Draper. I bet he was so excited to say it, too.
Hard knock lifer and plumber extraordinaire, Tony (Emory Cohan), falls for Eilis swiftly and with reckless abandon. He sees her home safely after class every night. Even when he has plumbing emergencies! He takes her on fun dates like days at Coney Island, stares at her in a way that would make any millennial’s ovaries explode, and eventually takes her home to meet his family.
When tragedy befalls her, Eilis must return to Ireland. As anyone in love would, Tony does not take the news well, but he understands her predicament. I like to think he would’ve used the word predicament but with a real hearty Italian-livin’-in-New-York accent.
And, listen, I’m gonna be honest with you right now… when I’m really into somebody, I get bummed when they have to work and I don’t. I can’t imagine being with someone who I was crazy about and one day they’re like, “Well, I have to go away for awhile. I’ll be back though! Probably.”
On her return to Ireland, it becomes clear very quickly that 1) Eilis has no intentions of telling anyone she loves — with the exception of her dead sister — that she got married and 2) that her loved ones are trying to get her to stay. They set her up with Ireland’s most eligible bachelor, Jim (Domhnall Gleeson). Dude’s about to inherit property, he wears nice suits, and he has a stupid haircut. All signs that he can provide the life Eilis deserves.
Maybe it’s because nothing exploded and movies with explosions are typically the fare I enjoy the most. Maybe it’s because at some point during Act II I started to feel like it was never actually going to end and wished I had worn more comfortable pants if this was going to be my life now. I don’t know. What I do know, is that when you have a love story — a legit love story — it must go somewhere. I never got the feeling that it was going anywhere. Except for America, then the beach, then Ireland, then the beach… we get it.
Anyway, a lot of you will probably enjoy this film. Or you won’t. I’m can’t see the future. Maybe you’ve already seen it and think that Peter Travers was on point in his Rolling Stone review. And that I’m just some asshole. If you want to watch Saoirse Ronan make the same face for 112 minutes, be my guest. I’ll be over here watching a truly great film about love and loss in the Big Apple: CLOVERFIELD.