Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Up in the Air" is a lead baloon

I fly. A lot. It's essential to my job. I fly a lot on American Airlines. For those two reasons, only, I went to see "Up in the Air" on Saturday night. What an utter disappointment. I had read very little about the movie, other than seeing zillions of ads plastered all over my "usual" airport haunts; AUS, DFW, ORD, and JFK and the various Admirals Clubs. Yes, the movie was clearly an advert for AA, Hilton and Hertz.

I really can't imagine what AA was thinking in being such a big part of this movie. "We know why you fly" is their tagline that they display prominently on jet bridges and elsewhere. In the movie, they had replaced that slogan with "We value your loyalty" or some such lame slogan. Clearly, their real-world slogan didn't match the movie, and here's why.

The lead character has an empty life. His self-professed life goal is 10,000,000 miles. His family barely knows him, and yet, in one of the only redeeming moments of the movie, he warms up his future brother-in-law's cold feet on his wedding day.

Just when you think Clooney's character has it figured out, he didn't have a clue. Bammo!

So, to wrap this up, don't bother with it in the theaters. DVD, maybe, if you feel like being disappointed in a movie. And again, American Airlines, what were you thinking? What was the positive in this movie? Your presence was distant, corporate, and awkward.