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Medicine for Melancholy

November 7, 2009

Girl: “This is a one night stand.”

Boy: “It’s only been one night…can’t do anything about that.”

Boy. Girl. The City of rises and falls.

Here is a 24 hour observation of the story between these three characters.


Boy is average height, lanky, dark chocolate soulful eyes, full beard. Nice.

Girl is tall, slim, heart-shaped face, pretty smile, short choppy hair with bangs that fall across her forehead. Cautious.

Boy and girl meet at a party in the city one night, drunk.

They wake up together the next morning. Sneaking out.

Boy tries to get girl’s attention, unsuccessfully.

Girl wants nothing to do with boy, unsuccessfully.

Girl left her wallet behind in a cab, unintentionally.

Boy finds the wallet and tracks her down, intentionally.

Girl is not pleased to see boy, at first.

Boy, in his own quirky way, charms girl.

Girl and boy wander the city together.

They bike and walk by many places, some well-known, some unknown.

They discover their commonalities.

They spark.

Boy and girl make love, for real this time.

They go grocery shopping after. Hmmm.

They talk seriously, about housing, music, and race.

They discover their differences.

Boy and girl spend the night together, their second one.

It is now, technically, more than a one-night-stand.

The morning comes…

Boy is still boy.

Girl is still girl.


Beautifully shot, the film is almost black and white.

Drained of the colors that saturate perceptions and veil judgments, it clears the plate.

All we see is the boy, and the girl, and the city, which are beautiful. All of them.

Girl: “It seems like this city just pisses you off.”

Boy: “Nah, I love this city. I hate this city but I love this city. San Francisco is beautiful…you shouldn’t have to be upper middle class to be a part of that.”

Although…even through this desaturated lens, the color never completely goes away.

It is present, and it makes its effect known.

Actually, the boy and the girl effect it to be known.

They choose to.

They can’t help it.


So in the end, what else can I say?

This is a melancholy dose of reality.

It tastes bitter, and sweet, and all kinds of lovely.

It is medicine…medicine for what?

You tell me.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2009 12:53 AM

    So, did you like the film? I’m thinking you did, but it’s hard to say in a review as bare as the colors in the film. Of course, the style you took with this review suits the material as described, but it still makes me wonder: did you like the film?

    “It tastes bitter, and sweet, and all kinds of lovely.”

    I’m thinking you did.

    Grace: with a name like that, how could I not?

    I more than liked it. If I shoot a movie tomorrow, visually that’s the style I would shoot it in.

  2. November 8, 2009 9:40 AM

    Congratulations for discovering this novel format for a movie essay!

  3. November 9, 2009 10:40 AM

    This is one of the rare reviews that sells me on a movie. Now I am going to find it and watch it.
    Excellent job, Grace. Although I fear your write-up may be better than the film.

    Grace: Fear not. It is a very good film.

  4. April 7, 2010 7:02 PM

    Saw this movie months ago but just stumbled on your review of it. (That is to say, I opened my eyes and noticed on the side there that you had written stuff about movies before I discovered your blog.) I really enjoyed this film. I felt it balanced an honest, unembellished look at the romantic relationship between these characters with larger concerns about race and class (in San Francisco, specifically, but in a way that can be applied to America as a whole) in a way that felt natural and unobtrusive. The personal is political, and I believed that these characters would have conversations like this.

    I’m glad that Wyatt Cenac is now a “correspondent” on the Daily Show. His warmth and charisma are a real asset to the show.

    Grace: I don’t know if the discussion would be reflective of those in other parts of America – I hesitate to extrapolate because let’s face it, there is no “one” American culture. But I think it’s very real of those in SF. Who doesn’t like Wyatt Cenac?

  5. Sandy_Ravage permalink
    December 28, 2010 11:40 PM

    No disrespect to but I can’t stand Wyatt and I usually change the channel when he makes his little appearences on the Daily Show. I feel bad for the crowd clearly having to force out some laughter during his extremely bland segments. The only time I ever found him humorous was as a writer for King Of The Hill. To each his/her own however.

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