I love summer, because it’s much easier to get to the free previews when the kids are out of school. And free previews are the best way to see some movies. Take Tom Hank’s latest film, The Terminal, for instance. It’s a sweet little comedy about a guy stuck in an airport. There’s nothing offensive about it at all. It doesn’t suck. But I’m glad I didn’t pay for a ticket.
Directed by Stephen Spielberg and very loosely based on the true story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, a man stuck at the Paris airport for over 15 years due to a diplomatic foul-up, the movie has Hanks stuck at JFK while his tiny Eastern European country goes through a civil war. He figures out ways to survive on Burger King and airline food (no small feat), runs afoul of the airport security chief (Stanley Tucci), and falls in love with a flight attendant (Catherine Zeta-Jones).
It’s all very cute and lovable in a kinda “You’ve Got Sleepless in Seattle Mail Forest Gump” way. It has some laughs and some misty-eyed moments, but overall it lacks any kind of serious drive. In fact, Kumar Pallana as a little old Indian service worker, who is paranoid that Hanks’ character is a CIA spy, nearly steals the show.
I wish they had done more with the reason Hanks came to America in the first place. Without giving away anything, I think it would have been more fascinating to have seen him try to fight his way out of the airport and then through the unfamiliar streets of NYC in order to fulfill his father’s dying wish than to watch him twiddle his thumbs in an airport for two hours. “The Terminal” will make you give up a couple hours of your life. But what were you doing with them anyway?
Guess this is as good a time as any to unveil my new “Give up…” movie rating scale, eh? From best to worst:
Give up insulin! If you don’t see this movie, you’ll die anyway!
Give up crack for a week to buy a ticket!
Give up caffeine, so you can sit still for it.
Give up a couple hours of your life.
Give up counting sheep. Zzzzzzzzz.
Give up lunch (if you see it).