The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008)
Written by Rawson Marshall Thurber, Michael Chabon (better book)
Directed (proudly) by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring John Foster, Peter Saarsgard, Sienna Miller, Nick Nolte, Mena Suvari
The postgraduate summer in the life of the son of a successful mobster, set in Pittsburgh before he goes off to work for his uncle ('s legitimate business).
LAME. everyone in this movie was an unendearing assface. this kid who liked these people and was attracted to these people was an idiot. there was nothing remotely attractive about their personalities or the way they lived life. therefore i don't understand this movie. nor do i care to, in fact. moster says it's not a good adaptation of the book, but i can't even see, even if it's dramatically different, how this would be a book i would want to read. the core of the characters are dumb. their drive is dumb. what makes them, them, is dumb. their existence is dumb. there was a similarity in the rhythm of their conversations that was reminiscent of "wonder boys" and by conclusion chabon, but, jeebus. "wonder boys" was so awesome and this was sooooo bad. i also just had to ask moster, rather passionately, why thie hell was this even titled the mysteries of pittsburgh!? i thought they were in baltimore. apparently, they were in pittsburgh.
It's extremely difficult to adapt first-person narrative written fiction to film; too much information exists only within the narrator's mind. While I would probably be equally annoyed if it had succeeded through voiceover, there is at least one way to show the narrator's impressions in some depth.
This notion is called, "characterization." Slumming it in a tuxedo, Nick Nolte occupies the only character. The leads--and these aren't future Oscar-winners--do about as well as can be expected with what they're given. They can't magically pull off the page what the writer couldn't even intimate, and this is compounded a thousandfold by the fact that HE'S ALSO THE DIRECTOR.
It's extremely difficult to adapt first-person narrative written fiction to film, and this movie failed.