Finally saw it.
First thing, major props to Zach as this is a very accomplished movie for a first time writer/director. And starring in it as well. That's more than was done in Lost in Translation, of which this movie reminded me.
I think it takes some balls to be able to say to a studio that you want to write and direct and star in a feature, when you're basically a little known tv actor. Oh, and Natalie Portman is to be your girlfriend. :) I mean, seriously, Natalie plays the sort of adorable young thing that I think every man could easily fall in love with in 4 days.
Despite the age difference thing, I felt the movie spoke to me as well. I could identify, and not always in a pleasant way, with what was going on. Not just in terms of moving away from home or recently going home and attending the funeral of a parent or anything like that. But in the sense that the death of a parent wakes you up to the world in a way that nothing quite like it before does.
And truthfully, I've always been a sort of emotionally numb person. The death of my father didn't devastate me the way I thought it would. I feel very much in the head, and not in the heart. Which has of course, screwed up more than one relationship.
And that was why the ending rang true then false and then suddenly true again.
True, because I remember having that conversation with a girl in my past. Telling her how I was basically too fucked up to give her or anyone what she wanted/needed. Not telling her that I knew she had been telling her friends that she had decided I was the guy she was going to marry. Needing the space to sort my life out, but ultimately just moving to yet another country and staying pretty much as fucked up as I've ever been.
Seeing Large insist that he'll call, and he'll be back, I was like Sam saying "No you won't, dude." I understood where he was coming from. And because it is still a regret of mine, I wanted him to stay, sure. But he gets on the stairs and leaves.
Then suddenly, he's back, and I'm going "What the fuck? Didn't expect that. But okay." It did kind of strike me as a tacked-on semi happy ending.
Until the camera pull back.
And then, I think, it's pretty clear, that this isn't happening. It's his imagination. It's what he will think about when he thinks "What if" over the coming years of his life. The room is too suspiciously empty for me to think otherwise.
Too many weird things about it, such as they are in baggage reclaim (before you get to customs/excise) yet Sam is there. (Surely only incoming travellers can get to there?) And they kind of set up that Large does have a vivid imagination. The start of the movie is in his head. It's just that it's so negative. The end of the movie is capped by another "in his head" piece. This one, sweetly positive. But ultimately just as destructive.
I don't know if it's just me, or if anyone else got something like that from the ending. But that's what I took from it.
And Ingrid where ever you are, I'm just as messed up today as I was then, but damn, I should have stayed.