Underground Film Journal

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Movie Review: Bicentennial Man

(The names of the embarrassed have been changed to protect the guilty)

Kenny was crying. Not sniffling back some tears in a weak effort to hide his feminine side and protect his masculinity. This was take-off-his-glasses-and-wipe-his-eyes kinda cryin’. I don’t know Kenny that well.

I saw BICENTENNIAL MAN at an advanced screening (for free) with an acquaintance. I had seen the commercials on TV for a month. It looked like some piece of shit with Robin Williams as a robot. But I got invited to a free screening and I’m not in the habit of turning those down. Plus, what if I didn’t go this time, but next time Kenny’s invited to see something good and he’ll think, “Oh, I won’t ask mikE to go with me. He doesn’t go to screenings.” I have to make it look like I’m always available for free things. Well, generally I am. You don’t turn down free. Except for maybe free meat. I don’t eat that anymore. But I’d still take it and give it to somebody who does. Cause then what if next time someone’s offering free chocolate chip cookies and that person thinks, “Oh, mikE didn’t want my meat, so he probably won’t want my cookies.” And I’d take some free cookies any day. Unless they had coconut in them. I can’t eat that. Whenever somebody offers free food, I usually state very clearly what I can eat and what I can’t. It’s important to educate people.

Before we went, Kenny explained to me what he knew of the movie and I realized what a horrible job the studio was doing of promoting this film. I mean, it really looked like a worthless piece of shit from the commercials. But I asked Kenny, “Why the Hell is it called BICENTENNIAL MAN?” Well, Robin Williams is a robot who lives 200 years. Don’t know why, but that sounded like it could be somewhat interesting to me. Then, Kenny tells me the movie is based on a story by Isaac Asimov. That I definitely found intriguing. Not that I’m some huge Asimov fan. I’ve only read one of his novels. But the idea of a story by Isaac Asimov about a robot that lives for 200 years sounds like it has possibilities at the very least. The one book I read by him was ROBOTS AND EMPIRE and at the end the Earth blows up and Asimov treats it like it’s a positive event.

So, I didn’t have high hopes for the movie, but I wasn’t totally dreading it either. At the end of the film, as Kenny was wiping his eyes, he says, “Wow.” And I was like, “What?” Kenny waves his arm at the screen and says, “Wow.” Like the one masturbator says to the other-Different strokes for different folks. I didn’t get the movie.

Too many inconsistencies bothered me. I’d go into them, but I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone in case they see it. Kenny admitted the inconsistencies were there, but he was able to overlook them and enjoy the film for what it is: a manipulative tear-jerker. Kenny’s a little bit older than me and has two kids. He was touched by BICENTENNIAL MAN’s theme of having to grow older and watch your children grow old, too, and die. Yeah, I guess, whatever. Oh wait, I may have ruined something about the film by saying that. Whatever. It’s about a guy who lives for 200 years. You figure it out.

All I could think about was that Robin Williams, in real life, left his first wife for his kids’ nanny. And in his career he’s made two movies about being a nanny. First, he was a guy pretending to be an old woman nanny in MRS. DOUBTFIRE. Now he’s a robotic nanny in the future in BICENTENNIAL MAN. I mean, is this guy obsessed with nannies or something? Was he, like, raped by one when he was ten-years-old or something? What kind of guy wants to be a nanny all the time? He’s so obsessed with them he married one and made her his career manager. Think about it. He took his kids’ nanny and made her his nanny! He’s a grown man who wants to be a nanny who married a nanny so that she could be his nanny. There’s something sick about this guy. It’s bizarre, don’t you think?

Wait a minute. How about this: What if Robin Williams married his first wife and forced her to have kids just so that he could hire a nanny that he could run off with? Now there’s a story! I can hear his thoughts, “I have to have a nanny so that I can have an affair with her then hire her to be my nanny.” It could have been his childhood dream to run off with his nanny. But first he’d have to have kids with another woman. What an insidious plot! What an evil, evil man! (Not that I’m saying it’s true, but it’s possible).

So, if a guy who is obsessed with nannies (including being one) doesn’t bother you, then you’ll probably like this movie. Also, be forewarned that weird little chick in those annoying Pepsi commercials is in BICENTENNIAL MAN, too. I feel bad saying that she sucks because she is such a cute little kid, but, man, she blows (and, yes, I am aware of my choice of words in this sentence). She’s good for 30-second spots, but she’s got no emotional depth to carry a film role. You heard it here first. This chick’s washed up at 5-years-old. Get rid of the bum!