Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mini movie review: Veronica Mars

A long time ago, we used to be friends, Veronica Mars television show and I.  And then it got cancelled.  And then Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas raised a ridiculous amount of money on Kickstarter and made a Veronica Mars movie, just for the fans.  When released this past spring, the movie only showed at one theater in my state, and that one about an hour's drive away ... so I waited for it to come out on DVD.  (I'm a fan but I'm not a crazed fan who's gonna drive an hour.)  I did watch all of S1 and S2, and several episodes of S3, of the original television show before I watched the movie so I could refamiliarize myself with the characters, quips and story lines.  I finally sat down to watch the little Veronica Mars movie that could and embraced it with open arms.  It was like getting together with an old friend: familiar and fun and friendly, but not exactly the same.  The dialogue was not quite as clever as in the t.v. show and the movie seemed like it was going through a checklist of everything it wanted to hit.  But still, spending time with Veronica - who is still as flawed as ever - and her cohorts was really a good time.

Veronica Mars is definitely a movie for its fans.  We got to see almost everyone from the show: Veronica, Keith, Logan, Wallace, Mac, Dick, Weevil, Gia, Sacks (poor Sacks), Cliff, Vinnie, Leo, Madison, Celeste Kane and Piz.  There were definite shout-outs and call-backs: Leo said he thought he'd heard that Veronica was working for the FBI (which had been the idea for a possible S4, with a time jump); Dick asks if Veronica has had work done because her boobs look bigger (she retorts that his boobs are bigger - but Kristen Bell's really are because they filmed not long after she gave birth); Dax Shepard (Bell's real life husband) has a cameo as a sleezy guy trying to pick her up at a club; Veronica and Logan still have hawt chemistry (Team Logan, btw); they use the original theme song from S1 and S2.  I'm sure there are more but you'll have to pick them out for yourself.

It's really an impressive little bit of a movie, blatant fan service aside, but there were a couple of things that distracted me (and should have been easy to catch/fix). The uniform that Logan wears when he meets Veronica at the airport is way too big for him and should have been tailored - he looks ridiculous.  Keith gives Piz some grief for not sleeping on the couch when he comes to Neptune ... and yet Piz and Veronica are apparently living together (and have been for some time) in NYC when the movie starts so I find that objection unrealistic.  Finally, Veronica has apparently just finished law school and is preparing to take the bar exam.  But it's also ten years after her graduation from high school.  This would make her 28 years old.  Graduate from high school at 18, four years of college (22), three years of law school (25).  Even if she takes a year to study for the bar, or if she took a year off after transferring from Hearst College to Stanford, I still find it highly unlikely that someone as driven as Veronica would just now be taking the bar exam and interviewing for jobs - the timeline doesn't sync up for me.

But that's not why you watch the Veronica Mars movie.  You watch it because you loved the television show and want to spend more time with these clever, complicated characters.  And when it's all over, when they've teased you with where they could go if they ever did another one, you sit there, crossing your fingers and hoping for more.

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