Movie Review: The Gift Isn’t Much of a Gift

The Husband and I love watching movies and television shows. Who doesn’t?* We tend to be rather picky, though, because of such horrors as Mad Max: Fury Road and Noah**.

Mostly, we go to the movie theater whenever something new and interesting shows up or it’s a franchise we love or it’s by a director we respect***. However, we tend to watch whatever the Husband wants to watch. Since our tastes run parallel the majority of the time^, this isn’t a problem. When he goes off on his National Guard weekends, though, I like to go see things I suspect he wouldn’t enjoy. That’s why, over this past weekend, I went to see The Gift^^.

the gift movie poster

It was one of those partially artsy films that are intended to make you walk out of the theater feeling vaguely unsettled about what you saw and about yourself as a human being.

The movie follows a young couple belonging to the upper middle class. Their friends are the usual snobby, wine-sipping sort with one exception. That one exception happens to be best friends with the wife, who isn’t at all happy around the other snobs. You get the impression that these are her husband’s friends and she’s just trying to fit in. The couple’s life starts to go sideways when an old “friend” of the husband steps into their life.

The movie has some interesting parallels with high school, quietly remarking that you never actually leave it. You just grow up and get a mortgage. Who you were in high school tends to be at least the foundation of who you are in adulthood, which is not necessarily a good thing.

The Gift has none of the blood and gore of a slasher flick while the tension is almost too quiet to be a suspense thriller. I don’t even know what genre this movie is supposed to fall into. At the end of the film, I wasn’t even sure who the protagonist and the antagonist were and the wife came off as nothing more than a victim caught up in an elaborate revenge plot that she isn’t even fully aware of. And the movie got a little slow and boring in the middle.

If you enjoy thoughtful films, then go see it. If your tastes run exclusively toward films like What Lies Beneath^^^, then you’ll probably fall asleep during the wife’s third jog through her quiet neighborhood.


*Okay, maybe monks and nuns and people who rightly despise Hollywood.

**Rock People.

***Crimson Peak better hurry up and get here or SO HELP ME.

^He made me go see Star Wars: The Clone Wars and I still haven’t forgiven him.

^^I wasn’t sure if there’d be enough blood and explosions to suit him.

^^^Harrison Ford is hot.

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