I’ve noticed that my last several months of reviews have focused exclusively on some of the shittiest films of the year. Thus, I feel that it may be worthwhile to review a film that I actually really enjoyed: Coherence. This isn’t as awesome as Godzilla, but it’s still in second place for my film of the year.
I’ll admit that I didn’t feel that way initially. For the first ten minutes of this movie, I couldn’t help but ask: “Is this just going to be a bunch of white people talking?” It was a harrowing thought, but the film thankfully moves quickly into interesting territory after the initial setup. So, if you do watch this movie, give it a full 30 minutes to establish everything in its first act. It’s definitely worth it.
That said, this review leaves me in a strange place, as I don’t want to spoil anything about the film. I find myself compelled to share my thoughts about this movie and tell people about it without actually telling people anything about it. Maybe I’ll pad this review out with my thoughts on Steven Seagal or something. That’s always good for adding another 1000 words, minimum!
Coherence is the story of eight people who happen to be Caucasian-American that attend a dinner party. The topics of discussion run along the typical lines of work, family, relationships, and other boring stuff. In other words, it’s like every time I attend a holiday dinner with my family and listen to my sister and her husband all but beg Reagan to rise from his grave and ejaculate on their faces. For maximum amusement, I always imagine that it’s the announcer from Altered Beast telling Reagan to rise from his grave, shortly before I am hit by the blinding light of Providence and realize that I have serious problems.
Mixed in with this discussion is the fact that there is to be a comet passing overhead that night. The Tunguska incident is referenced, but the guests in attendance mostly laugh off the possibility of anything strange happening. Shortly thereafter, the power goes out. Two of the gentlemen in attendance realize that the entire neighborhood is out with the exception of one house a few blocks up the street. They decide to walk to the house to see if they have an operational phone, as all of their cells are dead. And… that’s all I will say about the story of Coherence.
Coherence reminded me of The Man From Earth, which was another film focused on people talking to each other at a dinner party. Both films prove that you really don’t need more than a group of talented actors and a single location to make a great movie. All of the actors give solid performances that are able to hint at the deeper life experiences and history of their characters without feeling forced. Backstory is established and foreshadowing is introduced without stopping the entire film to light up a neon sign for all of the morons in the audience. In other words, Coherence is an actual movie, and not an extended advertisement for Sony laptops or whatever the fuck else.
More than that, Coherence is able to explore the theme of longing for a more perfect life in a way that is unique and engaging. This is definitely a film that is worth watching more than once; I’ve just finished my second viewing, and the movie is full of subtle hints and asides that develop its world and its characters more effectively than pretty much all of the mega-budget Hollywood garbage and DTV RedBox trainwrecks that we are assaulted with on a weekly basis. Though, if pressed, I’d have to admit that Godzilla’s performance is still the year’s best, as he was able to do it without talking once. But, you know, that’s why Godzilla is the film of the year! Coherence is still awesome, though.
Man, this review really is a short one, isn’t it? Like I said, I don’t want to spoil anything, which leaves me at a loss as to what to talk about. I mean, I didn’t even talk about the main actress’ ass like I usually do. It’s nice. Well, I guess I just did talk about it, but I don’t want to demean this film by bringing in that type of discussion. I’m sorry. It wasn’t me who wrote that anyway, guys. I don’t have a goatee.
Anyway, this is the best film that features a reference to the Tunguska incident, an explanation of Schroedinger’s Cat that is not up to my standards, and ketamine that I’ve seen this year. True story.