Saturday, February 14, 2009

That Voice Inside His Head

In Play It Again, Sam, Allan Felix is a slightly neurotic divorced man determined to find love while listening to the ever-present voice of Humphrey Bogart to guide his decisions. What stood out to me during the movie was the constant stream of consciousness from Allan Felix’s thoughts that narrated the movie where there was no dialogue between characters. This is unique, because many movies do not let you hear the characters thoughts at all. 

I couldn’t think of a movie like Play It Again, Sam where the main character guides the direction of the film with his thoughts. However, in The Holiday (I guess this movie just fits with the theme of both my blogs this week), Iris Simpkins begins the movie with a monologue about love, her running thoughts about the different kinds of love, especially that which is unrequited. But she does not keep it up throughout the movie, and the only way we can understand what is going on in the heads of the characters is by analyzing their movements and decisions.

During our class discussion after watching the movie, I said that one of the traits Allan Felix admired in Humphrey Bogart was his inhibition. While pondering what I would write my blog over this weekend, I wanted to find a character who shares Bogart’s inhibition, who possesses a confidence and doesn’t care what other people think.

How perfect then that when I was watching ABC Family (yes, I do watch that station) an advertisement would come up for the movie A Walk to Remember. In one of the scenes, Landon asks Jamie, “You don’t care what people think about you?” Jamie responds with a confident “No.”

 I had found my character. Jaime’s confidence is what attracts Landon to her and causes him to fall in love with her, despite her telling him not to. Jamie is a quiet Christian goody-two shoes, who “sit[s] at lunch table 7. Which isn't exactly the reject table, but is definitely in self exile territory. [Who has] exactly one sweater. [Who likes] to look at [her] feet when [she walks]. Oh, oh, and yeah, for fun, [likes] to tutor on weekends and hang out with the cool kids from ‘Stars and Planets’.” Obviously the girl does whatever she wants, despite what is cool. And in the end everyone loves her for it. She shows that she can be cool and remain herself in the school play, where she sings “Only Hope”. Her confidence is incredible.

It’s too bad that Allan Felix has to have the voice of Humphrey Bogart guide his every decision. Perhaps if he possessed the confidence of Bogart or Jamie he would not strike out on love every time he looked for it. He does say goodbye to Bogart in the end, I’ll give him that. But he walks off alone, no girl, no friend, no voice in his head but his own. At least the movie will still have his voice to narrate. I’ll admit, I found his stream of consciousness amusing. It’s nice to know someone’s life is a little crazier than my own.


  1. You have a good point! I can't really think of any other movies that have a main character's thoughts as the center of focus. Weird.

    Also, excellent choice in Jamie. I love that movie, and I love that character in it. At one point in class, wasn't there a question asking if good could be cool? If good can be cool, this is it.

  2. Ahhh! A Walk to Remember! Noooo! Oh, I'm just kidding... sort of.

    Jaime in A Walk to Remember is the exact opposite of Woody Allen's character if she holds one iota of confidence. Can you think of other neurotic characters like Allan Felix?

    Pi is another movie where the main character monologues, by the way. Don't watch it unless you can stand some very... weird... filmmaking.

  3. ABC Family is nothing to be ashamed of. It is just late to the game on most things.

    You talk about confidence and not caring about what others think when talking about the same character. How are these two qualities related to each other?

  4. I think if you are confident in yourself, then you automatically do not care what other people think. You realize that their opinions do not create who you are. Only you can.