Starring Taissa Farmiga, Ben Rosenfield,
What bothers me about the SXSW hit 6 Years is how writer/director Hannah Fidell presents all the college students in her film as carbon copies of not only each other, but it appears she hasn’t met someone that age who doesn’t drink alcohol every day, smoke pot, and act overly dramatic. What 6 Years does accomplish, visualizing through editing, is how different men and women react to a breakup situation. Although even that narrative upon further analysis feels stereotyped to gender perceptions. Farmiga (Higher Ground) and Rosenfield (A Most Violent Year) are either really good at portraying these characters or they are just embodying slightly different versions of themselves.
Dan (Rosenfield) and Mel (Farmiga) have been together for 6 years, but her friends keep asking how she could possibly be with someone for that long. “Doesn’t the sex become boring”, they ask her. Both Dan and Mel party regularly, but have different types of friend circles. Dan is working as an intern with a popular Austin record label, hoping to pursue a career, while Mel has started a Kindergarten teaching internship. When Mel drives home drunk, Dan scolds her for her behavior, a physical fight ensues and Dan ends up in the emergency room. Their troubles escalate from their as they desperately try to keep their relationship together as their lives begin to divert in different directions.
The dialogue, how it’s presented seems like, if there was a script, it was written by a 15 year old.
Perhaps I’m just out of touch with society and today’s youth, maybe they are all as stupid as portrayed in this film. However, it’s infuriating to watch a scene where Dan argues with Mel for making the decision to drive home drunk, knowing that a drunk person can’t make good decisions. Nearly every single scene in the 80 minute film has an alcoholic drink in one or more of the characters hand. There are only about two mature conversations in the entire film (both with Dan talking to his mother), the rest are curse words being hurled at each other. I would say Fidell writes these characters so dull and hopeless… but there was no script and she cast them off a Skype call. That explains a lot of the lack in creativity here.
“Can you just hold me please,” Mel says after getting so drunk at a party she passes out and then wakes to push another drunk college student off her. She has no one else to call but Dan, which backs up the fight about her being so needy in the next few scenes. The dialogue, how it’s presented seems like, if there was a script, it was written by a 15 year old. So many times I felt inclined to tell these, infuriating to watch characters, to get a life. Perhaps if there is a point to the story, its people this age are not mature enough for a long term relationship. Although on the other hand the film does have many scenes that promote destructive promiscuity, so I guess it just doesn’t have an answer.
Fidell needs a script and some individuality in her characters.