Ranking on IMDb Top 250: #247
Director: Barry Levinson
Starring: Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise
As those of you who follow me on Twitter probably know by now, I'm wasting my Netflix fee this month because I got Ben-Hur shipped to me five fucking days ago and haven't found the time to watch it yet. To be honest, I'm not particularly excited about watching a 3.5 hour movie from 1959, and I'm almost certain that if I put it on when I'm even remotely tired, I'll fall asleep. So there's my bias on that one, look forward to that. For today (at 2:15 a.m., fuck!), I'll be writing about Rain Man, a movie that has unfortunately become associated with bad impressions of Dustin Hoffman's character and questions from stupid assholes about how many of something there are on the floor when you drop anything. (Man, do I get angry when I'm tired, or what?)
Rain Man, in my opinion, is a fairly overrated movie, and television has made it that way. It's on all the time. And like The Shawshank Redemption and Forrest Gump, it's one of the "good movies" that everybody and their brother has seen. At that point, it starts to bear a lot more similarities to Gump than to Shawshank, as its ubiquity has made it too saturated into our media to live up to anyone's expectations. I'm guilty of catching this movie in bits and pieces literally ten times before I actually sat down to watch it, and I just didn't care that much. I'm sure in 1988 a movie tackling the issue of adult autism was really boundary-breaking, but I can't watch it through those same eyes, and it kind of just falls flat for me.
Of course, Dustin Hoffman gives a great performance; it's kind of what he does. And Tom Cruise manages not to be distractingly bad, which is a nice bonus. And it's a pretty nice sibling drama to boot – the dynamics between the two leads are even touching at times. But the package is not the sum of the parts, and the whole thing falls apart at the finish line. This is officially a paragraph entirely composed of clichés, so I think it's time I called it quits. Yikes. Sorry, Rain Man, I didn't like you well enough to make the effort to write verbosely about you in the middle of the night.
The Good: Hoffman's performance.
The Bad: The huge disparity from how good people say it is and how good it actually is.
The Skinny: It's practically off the list as it is, who's gonna cry if we knock it down four spots to #251?