For three and half years, I wrote a blog post titled “What is your plan, Anna Kendrick?” based on the news that he had been chosen to star in a comedy christmas called Nicole, about the daughter of Santa Claus, who is in charge of the family business. In that moment, it seemed that the star of Pitch Perfect, Oscar nominated had been diverted a bit, so that discouraged me because I really like Anna Kendrick. In that moment, she had been a part of american cinema for about 10 years, and though I can not claim to have consumed all of your work, I know that I have enjoyed every performance I have ever seen.
From what I can tell, this is an opinion rather conventional. Everyone likes Anna Kendrick. So, while I didn’t expect her to go Up in the Air 2009 with a new presentation nominated for the Oscar every year, I was ready to settle in a period of 20 years, in which every few months we would have a pleasant time and new comedy Anna Kendrick, punctuated periodically by a dramatic supporting role to remind everyone that he still has serious acting skills. Maybe she would not be the Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep of our generation, but rather the Millennial Madeline Kahn, or a kind of woman Ben Stiller. It is difficult to specify a comparison because she has that range.
That, however, simply has not happened. Nicole was renamed with the name of Noelle, then was expelled from the launch of the theatre to Disney +, where has a rating forgettable 53 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. “The always charming Anna Kendrick does her best”, says the Consensus of Critics, “but the progressive version of Noelle, an eternal story is, unfortunately, a moderate”.
Which is a kind of history of the last three years. (Not to be confused with The last five years). She and Blake Lively organized a confrontation of the level of Hagler-Hearns in A Simple Favour for 2018, but nothing more stands out. And this spring, Kendrick has sparked an effort by transmission of double canyon in the u.s. population. First is Dummy, and a series of shorts about a woman who befriends a sex doll. (I have not seen it, but it is in Quibi, so neither do you.) In second place is Love Life, that is premiered along with the rest of HBO Max Wednesday, and tracks the love life of a promising future. millennial in New York city.
Love Life carries the ornaments stylistic drama of cable of prestige, and the role of executive producer Paul Feig, who directed Kendrick in To Simple Favor. He has acted well, with a supporting cast that includes John Gallagher Jr., Hope Davis, Zoe Chao, and Scoot McNairy. (It’s against federal law to do a series of semi-independent without involving Scoot McNairy.) And if we’ve learned anything from the success of runaway of Hulu’s Normal People, is that the public is moving a little to see them grow to young men attractive. and fall in love with in the course of a limited series.
Here is the problem: Love Life is not very good. See Kendrick in he is like watching Allen Iverson in the Sixers end-of-century: a artist small, dynamic and eminently lovable that seeks to lead a company based on ideas obsolete.
Love Life is built on a territory well traveled: we are not missing the shows about twentysomethings who confuse romantic attachment with personal fulfillment, and only when you try to find what they first realize that they are worthy of the second. And for a good reason, because that premise has led historically to a tv standout. But this genre is full enough now that their tracks are too familiar. Then, to highlight, a great show about horny young but hateful themselves have to invent a great trick (How I met your mother, ex-girlfriend crazy), to subvert the tracks in any way (normal people listed above, or the works collected by Phoebe Waller-Bridge), or to run those familiar rhythms with a style and competence exceptional (Lovesick). Love Life is constructed in such a way as routine that originally I assumed that, as A Simple Favor, it was making fun of the genre. But it is not enough fun as it is to be parody, or even creative enough to be called a pastiche.
To do that Lesley Manville narrated the show sets up expectations of some kind of break fanciful in the fourth wall, which made for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Man Seeking Woman stand out. In contrast, the narration only serves to tell viewers what is happening instead of letting them grow to know, understand and love the characters so gradual and organic. Kendrick’s Darby know in and out with several men over the course of the series, one of which appears to be kind and romantic at first, but becomes a loser toxic so incredibly predictable, up to a monologue of rupture that could well have been a list of the top five results of Google for “What your boyfriend emotionally abusive you might say to not break up with him.”
It is a pity, because it is easy to see how the idea behind Love Life could have turned into something that resonated with the public and took Kendrick to where it was around 2012. Instead, he finds himself as the face of two transmission services completely new. and a series of children’s films and television projects. If Simple Favor is his artistic adventure more successful, from Pitch Perfect, it may not. 2 in that list is his series of commercial for Hilton hotels. That old spark of Kendrick is still present in every performance, but generally is in the service of a project forgettable.
Then, perhaps what has changed is simply the environment; Their first successes, from Rocket Science to Up in the Air, until Scott Pilgrim vs. the World up to Drinking Buddies, were characterized by a rarity of sincere and endearing, even and perhaps especially Pitch Perfect, in which she essentially played the straight man. I would not dare to sacrifice a dollar to the Anna Kendrick Cliché Jar to characterize their actions as “extravagant” or “brave”, but the movies themselves were.
It is a ray hard to capture in a bottle. Consider how different (or at least much shorter) would have been the McConaissance if Mud would have been a failure of art forgettable, and True Detective Season 1 would have been more like True Detective Season 2. And that is a roll of the dice cosmic not very far out of the which ended with Matthew McConaughey winning an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club. Certainly, if you Love Life would have done what it said on the packaging, we would be on the way to something similar to Kendrick. (Do the Re-Anna-mation? We will work on it).
In contrast, here we are again, talking about a good performance wasted in the service of a final product mediocre. Another project that does not take full advantage of an actress as popular and talented. I don’t know if the decision is to return to independent films without obstacles, as did McConaughey, or find a place for guests to level of King Kong in a drama for premium cable set. But Kendrick still obviously has talent and options. Perhaps within three and a half years we have better news to discuss.
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