Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

13 September 2008

George Lucas in Love

Director: Joe Nussbaum
Writers: Joe Nussbaum, Daniel Shere
Released: 1999
Cast: Martin Hynes, Lisa Jakub

STEVE says: I took this 9-minute short to a friend's house a few months back because I thought he'd get a kick out of it. He'd seen Family Guy's Blue Harvest episode and the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special (had turned me on to both, in fact), so I wanted to reciprocate by sharing one of my favorite Star Wars themed shorts.


He had no time for a "fan-boy" movie, he told me (although he's got the entire Kevin Smith catalog, so I don't know what to make of that), and quickly turned my attention to the new Gnarls Barkley video, which I apparently had to see.

It's a shame he missed out because this is one of the better Star Wars shorts out there, along with Troops, Trooper Clerks, and possibly Thumb Wars. What's different about George Lucas in Love - and what makes it so great - is that it's not a parody. It doesn't make fun of the Star Wars universe or Lucas (well, maybe a little bit with Lucas), but uses Lucas' USC days as a backdrop for a greater story, one of a writer who's run out of ideas, and how true love inspires him to write his greatest work ever. And if that sounds suspiciously like the synopsis for Shakespeare in Love, well-spotted.

Familiar characters fill the campus at USC; prototypes for Han and Chewie, C-3PO and R2, Ben Kenobi, Yoda and Jabba the Hutt all make fleeting appearances, and it's fun to see how they fit in to young Lucas' life.

What makes this movie most remarkable is Martin Hynes' portrayal of Lucas. Nerdy and awkward, almost as if he's channeling Woody Allen, Hynes nails Lucas without making him into a punchline.

There are some issues, of course. The girl Lucas falls in love with is named Marion - the only reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and quite out of place among all the Star Wars characters. If, as it turns out, they're actually brother and sister (somehow kept apart all these years by a woman they both recognize as their mother), why not just have her named Leia. Or Leah. Or Leigh, something. And the lame reference to Howard the Duck I could have done without.

All that aside, though, I rate this one pretty high. Too bad it's longer than my friend's attention span. Maybe if there were some dick jokes...


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