My Thoughts On… Jeremy

Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to the section titled Why Should You See This Film? where you will find no spoilers!

Synopsis

Shy cellist boy meets upperclassman ballet dancing girl at school. They experience first-time love, then happenstance pulls them apart. (via IMDb)

What I Liked

  • The first thing I should say about this film is that I saw it under slightly unusual circumstances. Having been a fan of Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s film review show on Five Live for a while now, I have heard Mark talk about his love for Jeremy a few times. When I realised he was presenting a screening of it in London, I had to go, and not only because it was a chance to hear one of my heroes talk in real life. I was genuinely intrigued about this film that Dr K holds in such high esteem, and yet so few people seem to know about. Listening to Mark Kermode talk about anything is fascinating, but listening to him talk about a film he feels so passionate about was quite an experience. And the screening was held at the Cinema Museum, a beautiful building that I have every intention of visiting again in the very near future.
  • So, Mark Kermode fangirling aside, what did I actually think of the film? Well, I enjoyed it a lot more than I had expected to. I can’t say I had the same overwhelmingly emotional reaction that Dr K claims to have each time he watches it; I certainly didn’t cry. But it was a very sweet love story, between two characters I totally with whom I totally empathised with and felt a connection to. There’s definitely something special about watching a teenage love story, especially when it involves people slightly outside of the social norms. Jeremy is gawky and nerdy, and not the kind of guy that generally gets the girl, so it’s really nice to see him fall in love and have his feelings reciprocated. Susan is a bit cooler, frankly, but she loves Jeremy right back.
  • The film made me laugh out loud, more than once. I really wasn’t expecting it to be that funny, but it really was. Jeremy himself is funny, but the star turn in terms of comedy comes from his best friend Ralph, who provides hilarious one liners at various points throughout the film. Jeremy’s mother is also very funny when she’s trying to get her husband to be interested in what colour tiles she should use for redecorating.
  • Robby Benson and Glynis O’Connor, who play the lead roles of Jeremy and Susan, are both very good. Before the film started, Mark Kermode told us that they had fallen in love for real whilst making the film, and I think that really shines out of the screen; you totally believe in the chemistry, and that makes all the difference.
  • It was a bit of a novelty to watch a proper film, and not a digital film, which is what I am obviously used to these days. I am clearly old enough that cinema trips of my youth would have involved celluloid and not digital presentations, but those days are long gone, and frankly, it was nice to see all the imperfections that film brings along with it. I wish I had sat a bit further back so I could have sneaked some looks at the projectionist who ran the film through the machine.
  • A little off topic, maybe, but it occurred to me while I was watching Jeremy that I have almost the exact same glasses as the titular hero. For evidence, please see this photo.

What I Didn’t Like

  • During a podcast a few months ago, Mark played Simon the song from the film. I don’t know if he actually expected Simon to like it, but in true Wittertainment style, Simon was totally sniffy about it, and frankly, trampled all over Mark’s love for it. I too, thought it was a pretty terrible song, but was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, because Mark said that if you see it in the context of the film, it’s totally different. It wasn’t, not for me. It’s still irritating, and I had it in my head for about four days after seeing the film.
  • I really, really didn’t enjoy the sex scene in the film. It felt as though the director simply had no idea what he was doing, so just went for as many weird close up shots as possible. A close up shot of Susan’s eye was immediately followed by a close up shot of Jeremy’s eye, for example. It was weird and icky, and I didn’t like it.

Why Should You See This Film?

The chances are that you won’t get a chance to see this film, unless you buy it on DVD, and that doesn’t seem to be the easiest thing in the world. I don’t think it’s ever on the television (a bit like The Amazing Mr Blunden, but luckily I have that on DVD), so your best chances might be if Mark Kermode presents a screening in your area. If he does, I urge you to go. I don’t think there’s anything better than hearing someone speak passionately about something they love. And then you’ll get to make your own mind up about the film, which I think is sweet, fairly innocent, funny, and well shot (apart from the sex scene).

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