Things I Loved This Year: A Stupid Movie That Knows It’s Stupid

Each day this month (assuming I don’t get busy or bored!), I’ll reflect on a tiny sliver of pop culture that I enjoyed or appreciated this year — scenes, shots, gestures, verses, sights, sounds, moments. Today: The Shallows lives up to its name.

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There are many dumb things about The Shallows, a movie I enjoyed when I saw it and have recalled fondly in the months since. Why is Nancy, a medical doctor on leave while she grieves her mother’s death, so fixated on her own Instagram repertoire? Where is this secluded beach with wi-fi lightning-fast enough for crystal-clear FaceTime calls? What kind of monster friend begs off on a relaxing trip to the sun and sand because she’s too hungover, but then decides only a few minutes later to go meet the guy she slept with the night before during her drunken escapade? Does the movie really need to end on a sentimental denouement, scored to Sia? Oh, and back to the medical school thing — what about that character description screamed “Blake Lively”? Does any character description scream “Blake Lively”?

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