Finding Neverland (2004)

(In theaters, February 2005) I wish I could be mad about this film, but there’s something to be told about truth in advertising. Everything I’d seen or heard about this film -premise, trailer, poster- screamed “boring”, and it took the official Oscar nominations to make me see the film. While certainly not bad, it’s certain long and boring. The “true story behind the classic” shtick has been done, better, by Shakespeare In Love, and it takes only one errant cough to see where this film is going. I suppose that Peter Pan fans will get a lot more from this film than I did. Even at 106 minutes, Finding Neverland still feels like a slug. I can’t fault the technical side of the film nor the acting of Johnny Depp and the rest of the cast. On the other hand, the script has me wondering: Even though it’s supposed to be a celebration of imagination, the way that Depp’s character simply recycles everything he hears tends to diminish the role of the writer’s creativity. Oh well; if ever I saw the ideal target audience for this film, it was the three nattering ladies in front of me, who seemed to delight in even the tritest plot developments. Let them buy the DVD and torture their grandchildren with it.

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