Dear Richard Linklater,
Your masterpiece Boyhood has critics raving. It recently achieved a 100 rating on Metacritic.com, making it a member of an exclusive club with just a handful of members like Voyage to Italy, The Leopard and The Conformist, all of which are very well-known movies.
While I've seen the movie and it is quite incredible, I have some big issues with it (and I'm NOT just being contrarian for the sake of page views) so please scroll all the way to the bottom of the article and scan your eyes across the entire screen to view all of the amazing advertising content featured on this blog. They will be glad to know that acclaimed director Richard Linklater saw their display ads.
Without further ado, Richard, here are the top seven issues I found with your critically-acclaimed movie Boyhood:
7. Boyhood... why not Young Manhood?
Yes, I know the movie is called Boyhood and that's ultimately the creator's decision, but I would have much preferred it if the movie was called Young Manhood. Yes, the movie is about a boy... but a boy coming of age to become a YOUNG MAN. Richard, hopefully you will take care not to make such careless mistakes with your next film.
6. Twelve years? Why not thirteen? Or more?
One of the most talked-about aspects of this film (and righteously so) is the monstrous 12-year span in which the movie was filmed. And while I was brought to tears by the sheer emotion of watching a young man develop right before my eyes, it begs the question... why 12 years? Why not stop at 13? 14? Richard, I suggest you think long and hard about releasing this movie in short installments every few years and keep the story going until one of the main characters passes away (RIP Ethan Hawke).
5. I don't think the movie was happy enough?
One of the best parts of Boyhood was its ability to take tiny moments, both happy and sad in perfect balance, and assemble the story of a complex life coming together over the course of 12 years. The problem I found with the perfect balance of happy and sad was that it wasn't perfect, for crying out loud! The scene with Ethan Hawke's funeral was just too much, especially after the Boy's continued love troubles. Richard, in your next movie, please consider a happier sendup for one of our generation's most beloved actors, Ethan Hawke.
4. Don't you think Movie 43 messed up a bunch of statistics on Metacritic.com?
Look, Richard, I'm a numbers guy. I like numbers—what can I say? Anyway, I was looking at Metacritic.com for the purposes of this open letter and noticed that Chris Pratt has a career average of 59. He's great! He was in Her! What's he doing with a 59? So I'm looking at his profile and I notice he's in Movie 43, which scored an 18 and has every actor under the sun in it. They were probably brought into the movie thinking, "wow, a movie with this many actors has got to be at least watchable, right?" They were wrong, and now it's screwing with all their personal averages on Metacritic.com. I took out Movie 43 from his score and it went up 3 points. Now that's only a 62, but it's still a lot better than a 59. And from one movie! Don't you agree, Richard?
3. Wow, how did I get so far off track with #4?
Sorry about going so far off-track, Richard. It's almost like I was just trying to fill space on this list. I hope you don't make mistakes like this with your next perfect movie.
2. What's with your fascination with Texas?
For any readers of this open letter who aren't from Texas or who haven't seen the critically-acclaimed movie Boyhood, the movie in question features a lot of scenes set in Texas. The whole movie, really. There might be one scene in which the whole family goes to DisneyWorld before Ethan Hawke's untimely death, but other than that the whole thing is in Texas. Speaking with the experience of a boy who went through boyhood, I did not spend the majority of my boyhood in Texas. A few months, maybe. Please make your next movie more relatable to the viewing public, Richard. I hope at least you'll get that one point from this letter.
1. Are we really supposed to believe that you found the same lead actor 12 years in a row?
I mean, look at the picture below. It hardly looks like the same person, and this is only a snapshot of 8 of the years. How could you, Richard? You betrayed our trust and our suspension of disbelief. In the future, I hope you think long and hard before you make another transgression like this against us, the loyal and paying moviegoers.