The Great Gatsby- A 2000 TV Movie (Review) by Patrick McVee

[Cue romantic violins]

Golden autumn leaves billow off of the ground as a woman drives an open-roofed, old-style car towards the camera. A young man in military uniform strides towards the car in slow motion, removing his hat and touching his hair repeatedly. For some reason the woman is already stopped.

“You must be on the way to one of those great, gaudy dances for servicemen.” The woman says, touching her hair in response.

“Um… yeah… I’m uh… my name’s Jay Gatz.”

“You’re going the wrong way; it’s back there.” She replies, pointing. “I’d give you a ride, but I’m late for a dinner engagement.”

“Will you tell me your name?” He asks.

“Why?” She asks.

“I… uh… was hoping you’d come with me to one of those big, gaudy dances. Will you?” He asks, grinning nervously. His hopeful smile cocks annoyingly to one side into a smirk.

 She pauses waves a white-gloved hand delicately, then drives on.

 But no! A few minutes later, she’s driving her car the other direction. She giggles.

“Daisy Fay.” She says.

They shake hands, and the man hops around the car and into the passenger’s seat.

“What did you say your name was again?” She asks. “Was it Braxton? Gatsby?” 

“Uh… Gatsby.” The man says.

FLASH BANG. The audience realizes this is an IMPORTANT TURNING POINT in GATSBY’S LIFE.

They drive off. The romantic music gets louder.

[Fades into night scene]

Daisy five years older (who, by the way, looks exactly the same), stares off over the water tearfully. You can tell she’s supposed to be having flashback-related emotional issues, but she really looks like she’s practicing her sad-face in front of a mirror.

 [Camera pans out. End scene]

 

This is a really good example of a really, really bad movie. The movie, as a whole, is worse than even young Paul Rudd’s acting skills.  Every complex, nuanced moment is spelled out in BRIGHT, NEON, CAPITAL LETTERS for the viewer to understand. The entire elegance of Fitzgerald’s original work has been obliterated, replaced by a cartoonish mishmash of irritating caricatures doing completely unbelievable things. Don’t watch it unless you want a laugh.

RATING: 1/4

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