No, this is not a review on the Disney movie Descendants. Yes, I realize that it's an older movie by a few years now. But I wanted to watch something I liked and felt compelled to write. The first time I saw the trailer for "The Descendants," I knew it would be a good one. When I saw the movie, my initial feeling was reaffirmed. Now, here's a disclaimer...I love George Clooney and I think that he reminds us of vintage Hollywood leading men like Cary Grant and a young Marlon Brando. Clooney is the smooth, suave, handsome leading man that women everywhere wish they could get to settle down with. Which is why I absolutely loved him in "The Descendants."
For me, I feel like he played completely against type, dad-pants and all. He was a father, a husband, a real human being that you could relate to. The same went for all the characters. I'm not sure if it was the laid back dress of Hawaiian locals or the fact that the makeup crew did minimal makeup for everyone, but it felt like a story that you would hear at a friend's backyard bbq (they even had one in the movie). From the cheating wife who wanted a thrill out of life and it cost her in the end, to the messed up older daughter, played absolutely brilliantly by Shailene Woodley in her breakout role (let's not talk about the TV show she was on first) to the friends who were torn about whose side to take in everything. It was all so real.
It was also incredibly sad. No one wants to hear stories like this, about an inevitable, could-have-been-prevented tragedy. No one wants to watch a family get pulled apart at the seams. I spoke about grief last week and in this movie, grief is a very prominent thing, even for the living. His character is grieving, along with his daughters. But it was just so good. I think it deserves every bit of acclaim it received. Also, I love that the Hawaiian history aspect of the film. We forget that Hawai’i was a wonderful, perfectly capable nation before the American missionaries swept in (much like we did for many other places). I have a book on the last Hawaiian princess and to read how we went in and took their country from them breaks my heart. It's a beautiful world and the decision that Clooney's character made in the movie is one that I hope someone in the same position would make in reality.
So there's my mish-mosh opinion of it. I loved every last character, good and bad. Go rent it, buy it, watch it. You won't regret it.