While a standard desk job may sound like a good job to some, for others, the boring monotony is the last thing they could ever think of doing.
In the 1999 movie Fight Club, The Narrator (Edward Norton) is an average Joe with an average office job. Then he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who by day makes soap and by night, is looking to start an underground fight club. What starts out as a diversion from the drudgery of his every day life turns his life upside down.
This movie is sort of quirky, but the backbone of the narrative is the story of an ordinary man who has an extraordinary adventure into the unknown.
In the 2006 film, The Illusionist, Eisenheim, nee Eduard Abramovich (Edward Norton) is a magician with a growing reputation in 19th century Vienna. Duchess Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel) is invited onto the stage to participate in an illusion. On the surface, this relationship seems like a magician and a randomly chosen audience member. But it is so much more. 15 years ago, Sophie and Eduard fell in love but class and religious differences kept them apart. After 15 years, the spark of love is as strong as it ever was.
Now there is another obstacle in their way: Sophie’s fiance, Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). More than a marriage of convenience than of love, Leopold has no problem resorting to less than honorable means when it comes to ensuring that the wedding will take place.
I have mixed feelings about this film. While the screenwriters relied heavily on a standard narrative and characters, they used the magic as an element in the film. The filmmakers also cast Rufus Sewell as the villain. This is not the first time he has played the villain/antagonist.
There is an old joke: a Rabbi and a Priest walk into a bar…..
Let’s tweak that scenario a little. Two boys who are best friends, decide as adults to join the religious leadership of their respective religions, one Jewish and one Christian. What happens when the girl next door who left town 20 years ago comes back and causes the men to think that they have made the wrong career choice?
Jake (Ben Stiller) and Brian (Edward Norton) have been friends since childhood. Anna (Jenna Elfman) was the third musketeer in their childhood adventures. But she moved away years ago. Jake’s chosen profession is that of Rabbi, Brian is a Priest. Anna comes back to New York for work and is not the young girl Jake and Brian remember.
Celibacy is one of the requirement’s Brian’s profession. Marrying a Jewish woman is a requirement for Jake’s profession. While they begin to question their career choices in favor of a possible romance with Anna, both men are simultaneously try to shake the dust off their faiths.
I like this movie. It’s a New York City kind of movie, which is never a bad thing in my eyes. It’s also not a typical rom-com. It’s funny and enjoyable without hitting the moviegoer over the head.