Remember the 1990s, that halcyon decade when you could watch a film by M. Night Shyamalan with a sense of excitement, one fueled by a genuine desire to see and enjoy the film without a shred of irony or so-bad-it’s-good glee? A time before the hackneyed and perquisite twists and leaden plotting of flicks like The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth? Well, such a time indeed existed, and was marked by fine efforts like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, two Shyamalan films that both starred Bruce Willis. And now, the writer/director has re-teamed with Willis for a new film.
Which would be great news if it were still 1999. In 2014, however, Shyamalan has made nothing but bad films for a decade, and Willis has been sleepwalking through 99% of his filmography for just about as long. Which is why we view the announcement of Shyamalan’s newest film, Labor of Love, with some trepidation—though he wrote the script “decades ago,” it will be directed by 2014 Shyamalan, and star 2014 Willis. Which is problematic.
Labor of Love tells the story of a bookstore owner whose great love dies in a “tragic accident”; in response to this, he decided to walk across the country for her. We suppose that will make sense with some obligatory movie-logic. Hell, it can’t be any sillier than characters literally trying to run away from the wind in The Happening.
What do you think of the Labor of Love news?