"My Own Private Idaho:" A Brief, Sleepy Review

Sometimes I read about things at night when I can't sleep (I have occasional insomnia and I'm seriously scared of my own shadow, so there's that). Typically I read about celebrities, because it's the most non-threatening thing to me. Sometimes it's about other things, like historical events or cities I'd like to visit. 

And lately, I just go to a snarky message board meant for gay men. I know I am not a gay man and I do not like men, so I'm a little bit of an outlier. Nonetheless I love their snark and their theories that all celebrities are gay or sex addicts. It's been QUITE eye-opening for me. Also: I'm too shy to chime in at all. Plus I know nothing so I just keep to myself.

Anyway, like two weeks ago I read this rather long thread about Keanu Reeves' sexuality. And I was like "!!!!" because I always thought of Neo being straight, but in retrospect he is pretty ambiguous  isn't he? Also: DO NOT LOOK AT RECENT PICTURES OF HIM. JUST DON'T. Like the "The Lone Ranger," we will just pretend it NEVER happened.

His best role...ever.
On this thread, or in it or whatever, someone mentioned he may have had a thing with the deceased River Phoenix. And I was like what!!! Shut your dirty whore mouth! But then I was like "I don't know anything about River Phoenix." So I've been reading a lot about the elder Phoenix. I loved "Stand By Me" as a kid, and when my brother told me River was dead, I was in shock because I was like ten and thought HE'S TOO YOUNG TO DIE. 

Let me just get to the point here. I decided to watch "My Own Private Idaho." And today I finished it! (I hate watching movies on my computer by myself). 

I'm not a Gus Van Sant fan. I don't know why; I'm just not. I used to like him when I was in high school but I think I grew out of that. Like a turtleneck. Also: Did you know this is James Franco's favorite film? Barf barf.

It's a very weird, surreal but touching and haunting film. It's something that sticks around in your mind after watching and can affect your mood. The whole feel of it is detached and dreamy. River's performance is a sensitive tour de force. It hurts to watch him at times. He's like a wounded animal- and reminiscent of James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause." Keanu? He does an okay job as River's best friend who is also the object of his unrequited, pre-"Brokeback" love. They would have made a super-cute couple, for the record. Probably better (and maybe more believable?) than Keanu and Sandra in "Speed," three years later.

It's also a loose Shakespeare adaptation- which makes sense in some way. Because it's just a weird arty film. It's good and probably requires more than one viewing to digest completely. Plus, it breaks your heart in a beautiful, terrible way. 

The worst part of this movie, though, is realizing we lost River way too soon. He was such a gifted actor, and it'd probably be a disservice to his legacy to add him to that cult of celebrity he so loathed, but. A lot of actors come across as cardboard and he didn't. 

So, in closing: This was a good movie. It was a little weird and probably NOT for everyone. I am still not a fan of Gus Van Sant or James Franco. And my jury is still out on Keanu Reeves, but whatever man.

The End

Rating: 92/100