You most likely already know the general plot of Be Kind Rewind. No? Ok, here it is real quick: Jack Black’s character gets magnetized, goes to the video store that his friend Mos Def works at and erases all the tapes. Oh shit, son! The two then scramble to record a version of these films to appease the customers. What starts as something done to cover their ass turns into a massive success. The process is dubbed “sweded” due to the fact they tell their customers the tapes are imported from Sweden.
What makes Be Kind Rewind work is its heart. The film depicts adults enjoying themselves and being creative in a childlike manner. It may not be Oscar caliber stuff, but it is extremely endearing. Gondry has spoken in the past about wanting raw emotion and that he doesn’t believe in having 100 takes for one line. After viewing this film, I can say that he accomplished his goal.
Where Juno fails with its contrived dialogue and depiction of teenage characters who talk in a language that apparently only exists in Diablo Cody’s head, Be Kind Rewind does the exact opposite. A scene with Melonie Diaz and Mos Def as she displays her insecurity is simply perfect. Jack Black doesn’t ham it up too much, Mos Def plays a low key and kind guy, while Melonie Diaz steals the show as the glue that holds the group together.
Besides the heart, the movie also has some seriously funny moments. Try not laughing when Jack Black recreates the them to Ghostbusters, or Mos Def is asked to swede Driving Miss Daisy. I truly hope that the DVD release of this film has some 20 minute versions of these sweded films and goes overboard on the special features. If you go into this film understanding what you are going to get, you will walk away satisfied.
Coming soon: 20 Films I Want To Swede