She Said: ‘Stay’ and get a headache | PostIndependent.com
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She Said: ‘Stay’ and get a headache

Kimberly NicolettiSummit County Correspondent

My husband opted out of watching “Stay” in favor of studying calculus. Had I spent the night studying calculus, it would have had the same effect as sitting through “Stay”: I would have left with a raging headache and having no clue what just transpired in the last 99 minutes.My parents and I toiled for about a half hour to figure out what the hell “Stay” is about. My mom tried to come up with some logical explanation, which ultimately made no sense at all. She likened it to “Vanilla Sky,” but at least I was able to make sense of Tom Cruise’s religious rants. Director Marc Forster infuses “Stay” with symbolic use of color and images, but, unlike “Hero,” I couldn’t make sense of the visual strategy- or find a decoder on the Web.Sure, I could research “Stay” on the Internet and mix and match more astute reviewers’ observations. But I’m just going to call it as I see it: This movie tries to be an artistic thriller, but it’s so full of lofty ideas, it leaves most viewers behind. (This assessment comes from an idealistic reporter who at least one co-worker calls “kinda a weird chick” and who loves deep movies that explore life, death and psychology.)Even with my best guess at what’s going on in this movie – a parallel-lives/sharing identities kind of phenomena – I still think the movie stinks (and I don’t think I’ve given anything away, seeing I really don’t know what this movie’s about). It creates an unsettling tension, and an hour into the movie all I could think was, “The ending better make this all worth it.” “Stay” is the type of movie where the conclusion makes or breaks it, and in this case, “Stay” remains broken.But here are a few threads to give you some plot line to grasp: Psychiatrist Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor) is substituting for his colleague, Dr. Beth Levy (a blonde and ill-looking Janeane Garofalo), who remains holed up in her apartment drinking hard liquor and swallowing a variety of pills. We see a lot of Sam’s girlfriend, Lila (Naomi Watts), an artist to whom Sam wants to propose to but worries she’ll try to kill herself again. Enter suicidal patient and college student Henry Letham (Ryan Gosling), who announces he will end his life in three days.It sounds like a reasonable story line, until blue spiral staircases, green doors and flood pants dominate the screen, in conjunction with babies crying and dead people (or are they dead?) spliced between scenes that almost make sense.Maybe it’s because I don’t have a mind for complicated formulas, such as calculus, but this movie just didn’t add up.


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