Why is everyone doing heroin on a Saturday night? Where is everyone’s parents?
“Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,” a movie with interwoven multiple story lines, went on after “Requiem for a Dream.” Both take place in New York, both have drugs.
But in “Thirteen Conversations,” the drugs are a minor note. A young guy in a secluded corner of the city shooting up. He’s the bane of his father Gene’s (Alan Arkin) existence, always asking him for parole money.
Minor characters like him are unchangeable. He’ll always be a delinquent like that Gene’s coworker Wade will always look on the bright side and like Bea’s (Clea Duvall) coworker Dorrie, who I swear to God looks like my coworker, will always be lazy and bitchy yet outgoing. In a way Gene’s always gonna be grumpy. Unfortunately enough we have to watch Gene and Alan Arkin be the weight in his workplace’s sinking ship.
However, the main characters like Bea and Troy (Matthew McConaughey) change because of an event that involves them. Troy’s a douchebag lawyer and Bea is spiritual and optimistic girl. That changes when Troy hits Bea with a car.
It was nice to finally see Matthew McConaughey do good work and play something close to a real character. Troy becomes noble yet masochistic after the accident, someone dedicated to justice that he couldn’t give to himself not to Bea. He still didn’t turn himself in and let Bea alone to die, and you can either forgive him for that or not. But there was a purity and innocence in his face that went well with the character’s redemption. He spends some of his time looking in the mirror, thinking about the consequence of his actions, or going back to the place of the accident. He could either have been a George Clooney or a Paul Newman or a Christian Bale, but he chose to become himself. It sucks watching movies and knowing the future.
Bea is in the choir and listen to the homilies, but she becomes a Debbie Downer so much that Dorrie stops taking her calls. Pardon the expression again, but it sucks having a taste of someone with rare genuine goodness only but the movie takes that away from us.
It’s an interesting film. I disagree with its worldview – that an event can turn a personality upside down. And Gene isn’t sympathetic enough as a foil against Troy and Bea. But I’m not bitchy enough to totally dismissive.