"Wonderful World" Movie Trailer Review (Another Opinion)

12/22/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Lauren Bull

The good news is that “Wonderful World” appears to be ironically titled only for the first hour. Then we realize…it is! The other good news is that Matthew Broderick stars as Ben Singer. Ben believes the world is conspiring against him, but can barely muster the energy to fight back. He was a failed children’s folk singer and then a successful proofreader, which means he’s trained to find mistakes, a job that extends into to his personal life. It’s not that one specific thing is wrong, but the mounting evidence--corporate greed, terrorism, SUVs, other people--suggest that everything is going to hell. He’s the kind of guy who would tell Ferris Bueller, “Your enthusiasm will wane. Trust me.”

When he’s not busy being a pessimist, Ben also is a divorced dad who only knows how to talk to his daughter as a peer. He seems to be preparing her for disappointment, making sure she is never duped by feelings of optimism. Ben’s Senegalese roommate, Ibou (Michael K. Williams), attempts to throw some sunshine on Ben's dark worldview during their chess games, but Ben remains unmoved by the suggestion of “magic” in the world. All of this changes when Ibou goes into a diabetic coma, and his sister Khadi (Sanaa Lathan) travels to America to be by his side. But really, she comes to rescue Matthew Broderick.

Written and directed by Joshua Goldin, the trailer caught my eye mainly because I think Broderick has the goods to convincingly play a guy this disgruntled with the world. While the movie looks to follow the same formula as other cynic-meets-amazing-woman-who-turns-it-all-around-for-him films, there’s something about Broderick running through the rain in a blazer that is sort of sweet. There’s a certain awkwardness about him that’s appealing. I particularly liked the moment where Ben is talking with his ex-wife about their daughter and asks, “What do you tell her?”  He looks as though he really needs a hint. He even makes riding an escalator seem adorably pathetic.

Yes, there is the danger of some over-the-top dialogue about magic and love, and perhaps some simplifying of cultural traditions. And true, Ben’s emotional awakening probably will happen with greater speed than is believable, but there might just be enough quirkiness and real heart to avoid those pitfalls. Maybe the film won’t be wonderful, but it could be good.

View the trailer for "Wonderful World" below.  Thoughts?

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