July 10, 2014

[Lee Daniels'] The Butler (2013)

Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., and because they apparently ran out of other available, famous black people, Lenny Kravitz

Ahhh... another movie that was "inspired" by something real (aka this movie isn't).

Therein lies my beef with the movie. It's not a bad movie, actually. It is extremely watchable and has some very touching moments. Of course, it also gives you a lot to think about. As someone who didn't grow up in the madness of the sixties, I always enjoy watching pieces about it because it gives me a glimpse into how life was then and how thankful I should be for everything I have now. (And at the same time, how much further we as a society still have to go.)

BUT, it's not a true story. It's really not. Other than the fact that movie is about a black butler who served in the White House, almost nothing else resembles the real life of the man upon which this movie claims to be based. Which wouldn't be a problem, except of course, that this movie sells itself as basically being a true story. So the entire time you're watching it, you can't help but pick out all the plot points that must have been embellished or made up to create a more compelling story. (Hint: there are even more of these "Hollywood additions" than there were in Captain Phillips, which is saying something.)

Oh, and that laundry list of stars on the movie poster? To call their appearances "cameos" would be an overstatement. Most of them are in the movie for such a short time you barely have time to identify who they are through the makeup before they are gone forever. And for the love of god, can we stop putting Mariah Carey in movies?!?

Final word: It would have been more believable had it not claimed to be true.

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