This weekend we rented I’m Still Here and I was super excited to see it. In case you have no idea what movie I’m referring to (which I didn’t either until Mark reminded me), it’s the documentary or mockumentary about Joaquin Phoenix and his attempt to become a Hip Hop star.
Basically, the movie begins as Joaquin suddenly, in nervous breakdown fashion, decides to retire from acting. From that point he goes after a dream of his to become a musician. He travels between New York, LA, Miami, and Las Vegas all in an effort to meet up with P Diddy. Somewhere along the way he mistakenly believes that Mr. Combs has agreed to actually produce a record. When they finally meet face to face, he gets little more than a hug and a few encouraging words.
When I first heard about the movie, it really sounded to me like it was going to be at least interesting, if not hilarious. If it was a mockumentary, I thought for sure they’d do it up and have me falling out of my seat. And if it was a documentary, I thought I’d see the real side of an actor I love and be even more impressed.
Unfortunately it was neither. In a way it was just plain weird and barely watchable. As far as his talent in the Rap genre, he was not good, but he wasn’t absolutely terrible either. So if it was supposed to be funny or humiliating, it wasn’t really. On the flip side if the movie wasn’t a hoax, well it was a really bad career move. I don’t see how anyone in their prime, with academy award nominations under their belt, would want to show their darkest side. If I were to judge only by what I saw in this film, I’d say he committed career suicide.
Basically this movie leaves you thinking Joaquin Phoenix is very, very, very strange. There is nothing inspiring about his quest. At moments he barely makes an effort in this big dream of his. If he wasn’t really an aspiring rapper and was just trying to be the next Borat, he failed miserably. The awkward that was the foundation of this movie was not an entertaining kind of awkward at all. I felt no emotion at all for the characters…not even embarrassment.
In fact, come to think of it, since truth is what touches people, maybe this movie was an elaborate hoax…because it didn’t touch me at all. Well, actually, I can’t say that because it did touch me enough to no longer call myself a fan.