Friday, October 31, 2008

Film Cliches

I saw the French film I've Loved You So Long (Il y a longtemps que je t'aime) earlier today.

It stars Kristin Scott-Thomas as an ex-convict reunited with her younger sister. There's two cliches in this film. On the meta level the plot is a bit of a cliche... another story about a character who has a secret, a secret you must wait until the last moments of the film to learn. Entirely the case here, although in I didn't mind. But a more annoying cliche presents itself at the end of the film. (minor spoiler.)

It's the cliche of repeated dialogue. Screenwriters love to have characters repeat certain phrases to underscore importance of the moment. "I'm going home. Going. Home." Nineteen times out of twenty i hate it. It's artificial, annoying and filmy in the worst way.

Near the end of I've Loved You So Long, Kristin's character Juliette musters her courage saying "I'm here. I'm here."

This time it works. Perhaps because she's not just really repeating the same phrase. The first "here" is just a statement to friend. The second is a vow, a sign she's finally moving forward.

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