It has been a few years since I saw a real stinker at the Film Festival. I’ve seen films that were screened at the Film Festival at home that were horrible (I rented them from the library) but it has been quite a while before I saw a terrible film at the festival itself.
On Friday, that streak was broken with the film Congratulations! The film Congratulations! tells the story of a couple taking a road trip to see the young man’s mother. Shortly before they arrive at his mother’s house, they stop off at the side of the road to eat a picnic lunch and have sex. Post-coital, the man hands the woman a small box with an engagement ring. The woman replies, “Why would you want to ruin this?” Despite this uncomfortable turn of events, the couple continues on the way to the mother’s house, who is planning a huge celebration for their impending nuptials, and seemingly recovered from her grief following her husband’s death. Needless to say, the couple decide to pretend that they are engaged.
There were two huge problems with this movie. First of all, the pacing was totally off. The film is only 90 minutes long, but it felt as though it was over two hours. That’s a huge problem. A film should feel short, no matter how long it is. That does not mean action packed or suspenseful. But rather, the film should be compelling, and the audience should be fascinated in how the film will proceed.
Second of all, there is no ending to the movie. It simply stops. Don’t get me wrong. I’m actually perfectly happy with ambiguous endings, but the movie has to be structured differently in order to have it work. In this case, the movie just feels like cheating.
I saw this movie with my friend, and we both agreed with this rating.