The true story of Charlie Wilson is a fascinating one. Too bad Tom Hanks was cast in the role because then he had to become a saint. This movie is really stupid. The lovable Hanks can't be seen doing coke, saying bad things, or actually doing anything bad. As Mitch pointed out after the movie, anything obnoxious that he did or said was mentioned by another character rather than Hanks thus keeping him lovably charming. Even his womanizing is more of a "Golly gee, isn't Tom Hanks cute" kind of thing.
I know a lot of people who have been down on Tom Hanks for years. I never really was. But count me in now. But then again, is it really Hanks' fault that Aaron Sorkin and Mike Nichols felt like they had to take the fascinating, multifaceted true story of a womanizing, coke sniffing congressmen who led a secret operation to fund the Mujahideen and turn it into a Tom Hanks - Julia Roberts vehicle.
Mitch sums this up quite well with this zinger he e-mailed me, "The entire movie was dumbed down and spelled out to make it appeal to the 'average' Americans who love Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks yet are apparently too stupid to comprehend an average episode of The West Wing."
To that effect, we all knew we were in trouble within the first five minutes when Hanks is in a hot tub with some nekkid beauty queens (Don't worry Tom didn't ever touch them or look down or anything) but gets distracted by a television broadcasting Dan Rather's report from Afghanistan on the Mujahideen. The dialogue is painful as one woman pleads the fun loving Hanks to stop watching TV.
It went something like this: But darling, don't you know the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the freedom fighters are called the Mujahideen pronounced mu-jahi-deen. Dan Rather who is a newsman is wearing that funny hat on his head because he must ... be ... in Afghanistan! Honey, this is big news. I want to hear what he has to say! Barkeep, could you kindly turn that television volume up? Why thank you sir! Anyway, as I was saying, the Soviet Union is our number one enemy honey. We are in a thing called the Cold War. Pronounced cold ... war. Anyway darling, this war could be our chance to really stick it to the Russkies! A war is when two governments can't solve their differences using just words. Anyway, darling where was I? I'd really like to ogle your breasts right now but that wouldn't be becoming for a two-time Oscar winner, now would it?
Philip Seymour Hoffman was great though.
Directed by Mike Nichols
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