Some films grow on you, and Les Misérable is no exception: with each passing minute I hated it more and more. You know how at an open mic the worst comics seem to have the most material? That’s how I felt watching this movie.
When I agreed to accompany my wife to see it at our local theater, I figured it to be a straightforward exchange: she watches the movie with me, I have sex with her. Little did I know that the winner of the Academy Award for “Longest Picture” would make me feel entitled to much, much more.
Leave it to “Les Mis” (even the title must be shortened, as if excessive length is the point of the film) to make you root against the underdog. At about halfway through the movie I thought that surely they must begin wrapping things up. A gentleman knows when to leave the room, right? Anyway, 45 minutes later I’m beginning to root for France’s aristocracy to acquire weapons of mass destruction – and to use them.
The problem with “Les Mis”, say its critics, is that it has “one good song”. This is giving it far more credit than it deserves. The “Master Of The House” melody rears its head throughout the movie. Indeed, several of the songs seem to appear multiple times, as if despite the rough-draft feel of the music they still felt compelled to recycle most of them. If each song appeared only once it might run the length of a normal feature film instead of an incredibly self-indulgent two-hours and thirty-eight minutes.
Like the lines at Disneyland, the story is structured to give the impression that it is, at all times, almost over. Alas, you enter the dome of Space Mountain in order to turn that “last corner”, or learn that the Anne Hathaway character finally dies, only to learn that you’re in for the most self-indulgent two hours and thirty seven minutes of your life.
At least at Disneyland you know you’re being taken for a ride.