Lady in the Water

This happened to be one of the five movies shown on the way back from Hong Kong/China. Remembering Nate’s review about the critical hub-bub over this movie, I decided to write notes throughout the movie. I hadn’t read Nate’s review for a long time and was unable to access it on the plane, so this is definitely not a review of his review.

I was in that sort of delirious state where you’re really tired, but unable to sleep, so the following reads as a combination of the notes one would take during a screening of a movie and a stream-of-consciousness scribbling for however long the movie was. I was too tired to keep track of the context in the movie for some of the notes, so some seems sort of random. Anyway, here we go:

lady in the water
If the Lady in the Water were actually a guy, there’d be a solid NAMbLA joke here.

This opening animation/cartoon certainly doesn’t seem like the beginning of a Will Ferrell movie – maybe there’s some sort of ironic, humorous twist at the end. [I had thought that when they announced the movies they were showing, they were announcing them in order.]

Hmm, this movie certainly isn’t Talledega Nights. Judging by the opening titles, this looks like “Lady in the Water.” Nate you’re about to be served.

This looks serious.

Paul Giamatti seems to play the same character in every movie: tortured, middle-aged man who’s best friends with that guy from Wings. Maybe there just aren’t that many roles for unattractive middle-aged men.

Get out of the darn pool! He’s so serious, he goes in with all of his clothes on.

Cleveland Heap’s name should really be “BlueCollar McWorkingClass.”

Apparently, there’s some sort of monster in the pool. Drain the damn pool. I’m sure the tenants would be okay about the pool closing if there were a monster in it.

Your mom is the lady in the water.

Can’t really make out many details: numerous people towards the screen have their shades open or reading lights on.

He stutters: looks like Paul G is looking for an Oscar – “I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL!!”

Chinese people are funny (the people in the movie) – real Chinese people? (not so much)

Your mom is a Narf.


Something about a “chosen one” – man, I wonder if the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies are still as bad as I remember them being.

Whispering = dramatic.

So the guy who sees the water nymph is the “chosen one” – gee, I wonder who that could be…because Cleveland certainly has no idea.

Bob Balaban was funny in Waiting for Guffman.

If they made soup out of butterflies, I wonder if rich white people would eat if only because of its extreme expense.

9 letter word to “in human form” – CORPOREAL – hey, wait, the movie says “INCARNATE” – we’ll see about that, movie.

The guy next to me loves his armrests.

Paul Giamatti has a different voice when he yells, not unlike a certain German teacher I know.

I’ve seen WWE Wrestlers who can do the stuttering disability better than Paul Giamatti.

I think the movie is something about a story about writing a story – something smells recursive.

If M. Night Shyamalan would’ve made Franklin, he wouldn’t have revealed Jefferson as a traitor until the very end, and it might’ve sucked even more.

I spy: a pretentious director cameo!

Right next to my head is a great place to place your screaming, newly adopted Chinese baby after you’ve decided that the people sitting near you are probably sick of hearing it, and you want to take it for a walk.

Real janitors who are introspective are usually just crazy.

Finally, someone is calling out the fact that Cleveland is hanging out with a teenaged girl who has a proclivity for not wearing clothing.

Your mom is a narf.


Cleveland happens to have an underwater flashlight — and the lung capacity of an orca.

Tagline for future water movie: Under water, no one can hear you scream…unless they’re under water with you.

I think the Chinese girl’s accent is fake – it’s too thick considering how solid her English grammar is.

Scrunt? Madame North? – what the heck is going on?

How can people have such serious conversations about such ludicrous things?

M. Night Shyamalan has one face he makes when he “acts” – pensively concerned. Why can’t he do non-speaking cameos like Martin Scorcese in Gangs of New York.

I bet the end of the movie will coincide with Cleveland finding out about the end of the Chinese story.

Why do I smell vomit? Oh yeah, a plane full of adopted babies. It’s stinky enough that I don’t feel bad calling this flight “The Infertility Express.”

This movie is stupid.

“Is the eagle going to come back for her?”

One character says, “There’s no originality left in the world.”
-He’s calling the story and the viewer out.
-What’s the point of the story calling itself out? Self-awareness is a trite, easy avenue for movies to take.
-Will there be a big stupid surprise ending?

Would the movie be more or less creepy if the character named “Story” were a guy? (answer: probably)

When did all of the people from the apartments not think this was all stupid and decided to try to decipher the story.

They should make a sequel to Apollo 13 where the astronauts who didn’t make it to the moon try to blow it up.

It might’ve been a better idea to go through the details of attacking the scrunt instead of being told on-the-fly.

Bob Balaban’s character again: is he talking about all movies or just this one?
-Family Guy and the Simpsons make fun of themselves, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.

Uh-oh, someone killed Cleveland’s family.

It’s the ultimate, indulgent writer thing to think that you’d write something so powerful that someone would kill you over it.

I think Hal Sparks is the muscle head in this movie.

One time I got mauled by an invisible fantasy creature.

Logic challenge: a “good” movie is in which you want to keep watching until the end (so you can see what happens). If I want to keep watching this movie to see how much stupider it gets, does that make this a good movie?

Bob Balaban gets called out for being the type of person who sees through bad movies – then he sees so far into the movie that he gets mauled.

This kid interprets cereal boxes. That’s a life skill, Junior.

Man, that girl’s good and dead – how inappropriate.

They should just show the Star Wars movies on airplanes.

I think this is supposed to be about how traditional stories can be perfectly entertaining…. but this one isn’t entertaining.
– only people who aren’t clever would think that this clever.

Looks like the same creature from Brotherhood of the Wolf.

Okay, that’s NOT Hal Sparks.

James Newton Howard?! I would’ve never guessed.


Actually, the end is pretty strong (everything after when Cleveland “heals” the Story character). Looking back, it doesn’t seem that bad, but boy, was it ever. The ending is simply testament to “film-making” skills, not “film writing” skills. Self-indulgent nonsense that’s made even worse by him trying to be “clever” by defending the problems of the movie inside of the movie.

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  1. If M. Night Shyamalan would’ve made Franklin, he wouldn’t have revealed Jefferson as a traitor until the very end, and it might’ve sucked even more.

    hahahaha…. nice.

    He probably would have cast himself as L’il Shebaz, too.

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