Waiting For Forever (2010)

I told you I’m pretty outdated.

Actually, I wasn’t meaning to write anything about this movie at all. But I met a friend one day, and as we hang out with other friends and exchanged some movies, she told us all that one movie that she didn’t like despite everybody around her (including me) claimed to like it is this one movie: Waiting For Forever.

And I was like, “What?”

I hate myself when I getting biased like this.

But I feel the urge to discuss, if not argue, this with her.

So I thought I’d write a little something-something about the movie–well, about what I think of the movie, to be precise.

Just in case, I’m writing down a summary of the plot below:

Waiting For Forever tells a story of Will Donner who harbor unrequited love for his childhood best friend, Emma Twist. He’d been in love with her for as long as he could remember. To be precise, he’d been in love with her ever since they were kids. Somehow, this unrequited love reached a phase where Will would “go where Emma’d go.” Put it in a simpler way: he was stalking her.

I didn’t remember whether the movie stated precisely when he started to stalk her (I think it was stated), but it’s been going on for quite a while. Will’s profession as a clown (or entertainer?) allowed him to travel to different places often, which at the same time allowed him to “stalk” Emma.

Everybody but Emma, seemed to know about Will’s unrequited love. Everybody in the town where they grew up. Will’s childhood friend, Joe, and his wife supported Will to express his love for Emma, as well as his brother’s wife. Unfortunately, his own older brother, Jim, didn’t really show the same support and love. In fact, he considered his little brother to be mentally disturbed and kind of a loser, since Will indeed, never earn much and he’s practically homeless due to stalking Emma to various places. He considered Will’s love stupid and well as Will himself.

Makes sense, I thought, since apparently, not only homeless and worry for nothing in the world, Will indeed looked like pretty much mentally disturbed to me, from the way he talked to empty spaces, and stalking Emma. It turns out, later in the move, after Emma asked him why he kept talking to empty spaces around him, Will said that Emma made him believe that his dead parents were always be with him wherever he goes, and he really took the words literally. Will’s parents died when he was a little kid, and he was pretty damn sad about it. The way Emma comforted him and stayed by his side during the saddest time of his life was perhaps the source of his obsession for Emma.

Anyway, I won’t give the complete summary since if you hadn’t watched the movie you probably wouldn’t wanna read any spoiler, and if you had watched it, you’d probably knew the ending already.

I knew that despite I know many people who like this movie a lot, the movie itself had received negative reviews. And I admit that the storyline is indeed, very cheesy.

It’s this silly, unrealistic love story of a madman.

Seriously, if I ever met a guy like Will, stalking me like that, I’d call the police and make sure to bring a pepper spray and an army knife with me everywhere I go to make sure he wouldn’t get any closer to me.

But what interest me is the… eeerrrr…, disposition of each character–the main character, to be precise.

Tom Sturridge as Will Donner

First of all, Will is this gentle, if not soft and weak guy, who believed that he’s born to love Emma for eternity. A guy who seems so naive that he believes in true love and that there could be no other one for him but Emma. And that he lives for Emma alone, which is why, being rich and successful hardly jumped to his mind. He chose to be a clown (or entertainer??) so that he could follow Emma wherever she goes, and to show off his skill in juggling and such. Ever since they were kids, Will always shows off in front of Emma, and Emma was always impressed. Then the fact that he believes Emma that his deceased parents would be by his side forever, just prove how naive (if not stupid) he really was. God, that creeps the hell out of me.

Jimbo

And Will has this brother, Jim, a.k.a. Jimbo, who’s the complete opposite of him. He’s bitter and sarcastic at first, and a bit rude, if not cruel, towards his own brother. You’d think he’s a complete jerk for neglecting his brother, but in fact, as the story goes, it’s shown that Jim was only trying to protect his brother by trying to be the mature one. And with someone like Will as a brother, really, someone has to choose to grow up, and if Will’s not the one, Jim’s gotta be. Then when you’ve had too much of Will (he might have had to deal with Will’s foolishness for years and years), it’s no wonder if you’d feel fed up one day. I guess Jim got tired of looking after his brother, and thought it’s time to teach his younger brother some responsibility.

You could already assume that the two brothers were not in a good term.

What really got me was actually this one scene of revelation were Jim bailed Will out of the jail (Will was suspected of a murder, which was not true at all), and on their way to the airport in order to get home, they reconciled inside the taxi. Wow. I wouldn’t wanna be the taxi driver.

But they reconciled, and that’s probably my favorite scene ever.

Apparently, their parents were not this perfect, loving parents that Will used to describe. From Jim we learned that their mother was actually a drunk, and that every Tuesday, their dad would take their mom to some kind of rehab, and telling their kids instead that they were going to see the matinee. Will was holding onto that belief that his parents were really going to the matinee while Jim insisted on holding onto the truth, and believed that his brother never knew the truth–which leads to his action of hiding the truth from Will. This action, I think, came from an elder brother who got the urge of protecting his younger brother from further sorrow and pain, if I could call it so. Surprisingly, Will revealed then in the taxi that he actually knew the truth, as he told Jim, “There aren’t any matinee on Tuesday, Jim,” and that’s where they finally cried and reconciled as Jim kissed his brother’s forehead with teary eyes.

Will always hold on to a belief that the world is peachy, that the world is beautiful and everything in it is wonderful. The way he told Jim inside the taxi that he knew their mother was drunk and that they never went to any matinee, and when he said later that “The world isn’t always peachy” while he sobbed heavily, was really heart-breaking to me. Then it struck me how the two brothers were such a contrast. They knew the bitter truth about their parents, but one chose to deny it and hide within a naive belief that the world is a nice place. The other one, though, chose to face the truth and dealt with it as he become bitter and bitter about reality and the world.

This makes Jim looks more like the normal person who we used to see in everyday life. He deals with bitterness, and he moves on. Meanwhile, Will… well, he’s running away from it, and decided to built a world of his own, made from naiveness and false reality. At some points, I wanna believe that this partially affects Will’s choice of profession. He didn’t seem to care a bit about tomorrow. If he did, I didn’t really got the impression in the movie. All he cared about is following Emma, and that he earned enough to buy some food for the day. Tomorrow’s another day. Which is why he cared little about where he’d live permanently. And this is why Jim considered him homeless and loser (or something similar to that).

Another thing that really struck me is how the actress and actors interpret their characters and expressed them in the acts. I really like it when Tom Sturridge played a nervous Will, who seemed to struggle so hard only to express his love to Emma. He was shown to be struggling to breathe, and he was trembling like he was going to collapse. And then the teary taxi ride scene, how he cried in the taxi–I was kinda wowed with the act. Of course, seeing a handsome guy like Sturridge cried in tears with fungus coming out of his nose was kinda disgusting, and definitely unpleasant to watch. But the fact that he could sob that bad showed that he’s not just some handsome actor without acting skills. And Scott Mechlowicz’s act as a hostile brother at first to a loving one, was also not bad. Well, I think the teary ride scene really got me.

The teary ride scene
Rachel Bilson as Emma Twist

Frankly speaking, Rachel Bilson’s character somehow didn’t really appeal to me. I mean, she’s okay, and she played her part very well. It’s just her character in the movie didn’t really attract me as much as Sturridge’s Will and Mechlowicz’s Jimbo. It was nice at first, when she seemed to be distressed and troubled, first with her dying father, and then with her meddling mother, and finally with her arrogant boyfriend as well as her childhood friend, Willie. Really, it was good. Yet towards the end, it’s getting… lame. I love the ending, really. It was a nice simple not-so-closed-ending. To me it’s an open-ending, but hey, I’m not the expert anyway. I’m simply someone who loves watching movies. So as an amateur, I love the ending. The thing is, I didn’t really see Emma’s growing affection towards Will. I definitely refused to believe that Emma finally return Will’s unrequited love. I just didn’t see it happen. It’s more like Emma trying to accept Will as he is, and that she (perhaps) is willing to try to, if not to love, understand Will better. To me, Emma’s more like someone who harbor a sisterly affection towards Will, while Will’s definitely love Emma as a woman.

Well, you might protest to that, and it’s really up to you to interpret the movie yourself. In fact, I kinda think maybe I’m taking this interpretation of mine a little too far. You know, perhaps even the director and the script-writer didn’t have the slightest idea of my interpretation and might laughed if they ever read this, thinking how silly my interpretation could be. Anyway, it is cheesy (the silly love story and all), but it doesn’t stop me from getting fond of this movie. I do hope you who watched it enjoy it as much as I do.

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Published by

Laksmi

An MA student at Waseda University, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyo, Japan. An avid reader. A language geek as well. And a book hoarder.

4 thoughts on “Waiting For Forever (2010)”

  1. It’s actually a story of how love is the most purest within the most innocent. Emma had grown to be a mature “been-through-the-ringer” type of girl, but Will never lost that childhood innocence. I’ve seen a lot of reviews where they call it stalking, which is sad. It’s sad that this world has lost all sense of innocence that every small detail can be misconstrued in a way that seems “creepy” or “unnatural.”

    1. Ahhh, in the same way that it is sad that people start to forget their childhood beliefs because reality happens? In the same way how a childhood innocence or belief in Santa Claus would probably be considered as crazy in reality? ;) I get your point, though, but at the same time, this is how the world (and reality) work. We cannot stay and keep clinging to that childhood innocence because we got reality ahead. But that might just be my excuse. Thanks for reading and giving feedback, Sabastian! :)

  2. Hey,

    Well, as you invited me to discuss (read: argue) then I’ll deliver my opinion (after a year, yaaa XD)
    Firstly, the movie has a shallow characterization. Will and Emma as the main characters were failed to build chemistry in the movie. Tom’s Will playing as a say nonconformist who had sort of undiagnosed mental illness, merely showed his starry eyes without actually gave a soul to the character. And such pixie act isn’t for a dude, seriously. Rachel’s Emma even worse, she gave this plain look since the beginning of the movie, which she was not supposed to as she was playing a two dimensional character, show some quality, Rach. Well she even acted better in Magnum’s ad.
    Secondly, the plot of the movie is just weird. There were so many details were left unexplained, like why he kept “going where Emma is” without actually showed up in front of her, then refused to be called stalking, then let’s define what stalking is, peop! There were so many other films offering a vague love story, but this one is delivered awkwardly. Scene by scene was somehow not well connected, abandoning details, as supported with poor act and dialogue. Take as example, the scene where Emma was flared up toward her bf, it’s the bf who supposed to be angry, not her! Then just watch again the scene with the territory police, that’s really bizarre way to turn the story up.
    Also, the setting was quite unnatural, dunno, probably the movie sucks me much til every single thing counts to it’s sappiness. But it’s not quite Pennsylvania, it’s like somewhere quiet in a dreamy world, wonderland, maybe
    Being a dreamer is a good thing, but believing in stalking and the miracle of childhood story to bring up your true love is…..ridiculous.

    Haha :D

    1. Hmmm, okay, I kinda agree with you in the last part. That’s why I said, if I were Emma I would totally call the police because Will is definitely stalking, that’s definitely my definition of stalking, but I think the reason why Will “stalked” Emma, yet never actually met her in person is because he’s too shy. Remember when he was completely nervous and freaked out (which I think some people would call it ‘coward’)? Sure you’ve had the times when you fell in love or had a crush on someone so bad that you didn’t have the courage to actually get near to him. Although it was awkward how natural he was when he interacted with Emma afterwards.
      And I kinda have to disagree with you about Sturridge’s act, hahaha. I totally buy it, and I think it’s a great capacity for an actor to be able to act shallow and cheesy, and on other occasion act really cool on other movies.
      I do have some problems with Emma’s character. I don’t know whether it’s Bilson’s act or it is her character in the story, but I think her character is definitely not a convincing one. And I agree, that feels awkward.
      Another thing is that I think Will doesn’t want to call it “stalking” despite actually doing it (at least that what ‘normal’ people would define that act), is because he didn’t intentionally mean to ‘stalk’ her. Judging from Will’s innocent character, he definitely never thought of stalking, at least until Emma pointed out to him.
      And talking about Will’s ‘mental illness’, I probably should refer to Sabastian’s comment up there: that’s how people would judge Will, or people like Will, in reality. Including me.

      Oh well, you can’t believe in fairies and pixie dust forever, can you?

      I think you’re just being realistic (if not logical), and I guess I’m trying to be… well, I don’t know what I’m trying to be, but in terms of being real, I do glad that Will and Emma stays in the movie, and keep being fictional. If not, there will be Cinderellas all around by now ;)

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