WEIRDLAND: Devastating "Proof" Review

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Devastating "Proof" Review

"Oh my god. That’s one hour and forty minutes of my life I am NEVER getting back…not that I was counting…no, I was falling asleep in the back of the cinema…or trying to fall asleep and forget the utter cheese-fest that was this film. I have no idea what the director or half the cast were thinking when they signed on to do this movie.

Directed by John Madden, Proof has an all-star cast of Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins…its all downhill from here. Paltrow is Catherine, the daughter of a mathematical genius Robert, who recently kicked the bucket…not that you’d know because Catherine still has conversations with him. Oh and by the way, Robert was insane, and Catherine spent most of her time housebound caring for him and has become a bit of a junk-food eating recluse (who somehow still has a willowy figure and perfect skin and hair…how odd). Then there’s Hal (Gyllenhaal) a maths geek lecturer and drummer on the side who wants to go through Roberts last notebooks (all 103 of them); which are pretty much full of the ramblings of a man who has lost his mind, although Hal thinks there may be a moment of genius in there somewhere. And he also wants the chance to shag Catherine...naturally. Lets leave the incredibly unlikely probability of someone as ludicrously attractive as Jake Gyllenhaal being a maths geek (if that’s what maths geniuses look like these days, I know what I’ll be studying at university) and deal with Claire (Hope Davis), Catherine’s insanely cheerful and highly insensitive sister who has her own little crazy habits and who wants to sell Robert’s house and cart Catherine off the New York where she can see a good shrink. Throw in one notebook with a brilliant and ridiculously complicated mathematical proof that Catherine is convinced she wrote (Hal and Claire don’t believe her) and the most insensitive wake ever (involving a shockingly bad rock band and a lot of people getting laid), and there you have it…Proof in a nut shell.

This clearly aims for the likes of “Good Will Hunting” and “A Beautiful Mind” but ends up being more cheesy romance with a mathematical twist…well of course the lead character is a chick and she needs a nice, strong supportive guy to get her genius out into the world. Its corny and fake with the most false dialogue I have EVER heard in a movie, and its only saving grace is Jake Gyllenhaal…not that his performance is any good, in fact its abysmal, but at least he looks adorable whilst making bad maths puns.

Gwyneth Paltrow is absolutely bloody awful in this. I’ll admit I’ve never been her biggest fan, but the term “wet mop” comes to mind in this movie to consider her acting in this movie. She wibbles, she pouts and cries and makes big eyes in an attempt to seem sensitive and perhaps a little crazy, but her performance just comes off as histrionic Cuckoo’s Nest instead of a portrayal of a woman who is fragile but nonetheless gifted...kind of like her Oscar acceptance speech then. [...]

Generally all the performances are way overstated and the actors involved have clearly been instructed to go the way of melodrama…and melodrama is the way they go. Gwyneth wails, Anthony gesticulates wildly and Jake lurks in the corner looking puppydog, pouting and cracking the bad jokes. I have never been a great fan of melodrama, it makes me cringe and that’s pretty much what the acting throughout this film made me do. Gwyneth Paltrow is capable of a good performance (although most of her films will tell you otherwise), and I KNOW that both Gyllenhaal and Hopkins can and do usually deliver superb performances, so I really have to place the blame for the bad acting mostly in the hands of the director here, because all the performances are the same type of stagey, exaggerated nonsense.[...]

The relationship between Hal and Catherine makes me want to heave. Apparently, in the play that this film is based upon, Catherine takes much longer to come around to Hal. I don’t understand how such a loner could turn into a lover in such a short space of time. The whole relationship progresses far too quickly, and although I can forgive any woman wanting to jump straight into Jake Gyllenhaal‘s bed, sadly it doesn’t make for a very believable relationship, when Catherine is supposed to be an isolated eccentric genius. Paltrow plays the come-rescue-me damsel in distress card, which really shouldn’t be allowed in movies made after 1989...
and Jake Gyllenhaal will never be the stereotypical romantic hero (thankfully).

Dooyoo full "Proof" review Of course I have to disagree with passion, and I'll prepare my personal review of this film, I've watched a subtitled version (whose is the caption posted) and the original, and Jake's voice is so soft in "Proof", softer than Gwyneth's.


Anonymous said...

Proof was like a chick flick starring an insane nerd who despised other nerds. But Jake looked like so hot and smart in his role, I didn't mind the script at all.

Sandra White said...
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Anonymous said...

Jake looked absolutely gorgeous in PROOF. And I thought he acted his part very well. Madden did a piss poor job of adapting the stage play to the screen. And the most implausible, major flaw with this movie was Jake falling in love with, being attracted to, and actually bedding Gwyneth Paltrow. Ugh. Her whiney, emotive voice and her grunge look got on my last nerve. I can't stand her.There was nothing about her character that made you empathize with her. She was cutting, bitter and superior. She whined incessantly and she looked like shit. She added no depth, no dimension and no nuance to her character. And she had NO sexual appeal. The only chemistry was Jake's. When he walked into a scene, he owned it. I'd just dismiss Gwynnie and unspool my unbridled lust for Jake. I didn't even care that she was in the room.

Kendra said...

She was cutting, bitter and superior.

You know, she was one scholar year in student exchange living in Toledo learning Spanish, and some people my bf knows commented the same.

And she had NO sexual appeal.
She has sexual appeal, but not much in this movie.

The Bearded Lady said...

I haven't seen this one yet either "chick flick"
Doesn't compel me to do so.
Jake was at a handsome peak in 2004 in my eyes....he still was boyish, but becoming more of a man...
A nice combo...a brief period in a man's life , short like spring...just when you begin to appreciate it, it's passed.

Kendra said...

Believe me, Tbl, although it was 2005 year, Jake managed to reach a new peak in "Proof". And Gwyneth isn't so awful, the problem is that the story focus on her shoulders too much, and Gwyneth would have needed a wider emotions range to succeed, the script was very monothematic, but it contains some beautiful passages, which ones when are recitated by Anthony Hopkins gave me chills (I have to post here some of those lines) and Hope Davis is funny and witty (definitely less histrionic than Gwyneth). I recommend it you to watch when you are in mood for a quiet, theatrical-play style movie.

Anonymous said...

You've nailed the uselessness of Proof. What a waste!

But Jake's suspect filmography doesn't end there... just what is he up to?