I watched Donnie Darko
last night. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but not quite as much as joker or shroom. The script is very funny, sometimes wickedly so, though I think characters like Swayze's and their Oprah like cult followers are rather easy targets. As has been said before, I appreciated the portrayal of his parents as good people. Many troubled teens do indeed have good parents, their love and support just isn't always enough for some to deal with becoming an adult. A couple scenes in particular that struck me: When Donnie is in the principal's office after his run in with the backward teacher and his parents are trying not to laugh. I laughed as hard during that scene as I did during any movie I saw in the last year. The other scene was when Noah Wylie is doing his best to talk to Donnie but doesn't feel he can continue for fear of suggesting to Donnie the possibility of no God. It was an obvious contrast to the cultish easy answers being peddled by the gym teacher, yet the true search for answers cannot be fully explored because our society subtlely subdues open discussion.
The use of music was outstanding, particularly Tears for Fears and Joy Division.
I had the biggest problem with the final 15 minutes of the film. The ending just didn't make sense and it was disappointing that such a great set up couldn't be adequately tied up at the end. I would love to hear someone else's explanation.
The film isn't without flaws, but overall it is an outstanding film. It probably slips into the bottom of my top ten list for last year.