This is the second half of a blog post that I began immediately below. In this half, I address Kristen Stewart's latest movie:
Starring Sam Riley (as Kerouac’s alter ego, Sal Paradise) and Garrett Hedlund (as Sal’s best pal Dean Moriarty), along with a number of notable actors such as Viggo Mortenson and Steve Buscemi pulling off cameos, “On the Road” is a rambling version of Kerouac’s equally rambling roman a clef about his experiences traveling around the country during the late 1940s and early ’50s.
The film is of middling interest, though I’m of the firm opinion that such movies – and the “novels” upon which they are based – need to be read while you’re still young. Because while the longings that are at the heart of such stories never tend to go away, they are felt keenly only at a certain age. Over time, life – for better and worse – shows us how to develop emotional defenses against such feelings. And so the effect of such works tends to get blunted as time goes by.
I, for one, read Kerouac only later. When I was in my 40s. And I found his style, and his concerns, intriguing but tedious. I think Truman Capote’s verdict is much more entertaining, not to mention accurate: When asked about Kerouac’s style, he said, “That isn’t writing. It’s typing.”
The film has its charms, mainly in Hedlund’s performance as the mercurial Moriarty. But it suffers from the same self-conscious “lost generation” sense as the novel.
And Stewart? As one of the women attracted to the satyr-like Dean, she’s still the pouty little minx she plays in all her other films (most notably as Joan Jett in “The Runaways”).
Yeah, I could be wrong. Both might go on to have long and varied and successful careers in the movies.
But when actors with actual talent can’t get a paying job, much less a movie deal, it amazes me that actors such as these two can continue both to find work and command movie-magazine headlines.
See, that’s what I think Pattinson and Stewart are REALLY crying about.