Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Brass Teapot

What's better than a genie in a lamp? Money in a teapot. When John and Alice discover a magical brass teapot at an antique store, they think all their financial worries will be gone. John is a struggling telemarketer and Alice can't find a job with her art history degree, but all they have to do is hurt themselves and the teapot "pays" them cash. Eventually, they learn that emotional pain works just as well as physical--and that the teapot will pay up when other people get hurt.

If you see this getting out of hand fairly quickly, congratulations, you're right.

From full Brazilian waxes to dental work the "old fashioned way," Alice and John know a lot of ways to feel pain. They start attending MMA fights, visiting delivery rooms, and frequenting skate parks. They get dirty in the bedroom. Then they get personal and start sharing secrets--their own and those of their friends.

I'm willing to suspend a lot of disbelief when I'm home alone on a Saturday night, so I got past the "yeah right" phase pretty quickly, and started thinking about what I would do with such a teapot. It's hard not to think about the benefits, but at what cost? It's one thing to purposely stub my toe on the coffee table, but would I hold my hand inches above the stove for a few hundred bucks?

Critical reception for The Brass Teapot was mixed, but I found it entertaining. The dark humor could have been way more dark or way more slapstick-y, but the movie stuck to an even mixture of carefree spending/money-throwing montages sprinkled with mildly graphic violence and borderline heartbreak. The acting was solid, the writing felt natural, and the soundtrack fit the movie's every emotional up and down.

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