The Long and the Tall of It.
by Gerald Saul
discussing Don Cornelius's "Accidental Reunion".
In his new film "Accidental Reunion" Don Cornelius addresses issues concerning his generation (Generation X) through his depictions of two women who have followed different paths since high school. The characters are, as many of us are, ashamed of their past and afraid of their future. They are ill equipped to live solely in the present, which leads them, and us, to make many errors in judgement.
Before the two characters meet, we see them as their grown up, (late
twenties), selves. One seems to be a typical baby boomer, concerned
with 'adult' matters such as work, property and success. The other
could be, based on her lack of confidence and ambition, a teenager.
Though each is at least partially stereotypical, I found that they were
both believable. I know many people who are like them. In fact, I know
almost no people in that age group who do not fit into one of those
Once re-separated but awaiting a second reunion, we are shown
conversations which reveal their expectations of the future. For the
sake of drama, the future is discussed not with each other but with
their companions away from the accident scene.
The film is well constructed and flows along smoothly and quickly. Too quickly perhaps, as I find my greatest problem with the film is its length; it is too short. Given more time, we could find out more about the two supporting characters who both seemed interesting. More importantly, the passing of wisdom from one character to the other is one way, and that is never truly the case. The "success" will drive away a improved, albeit poorer ($) person. Perhaps the "failure" learned that one can still rely on others in times of crisis, but this was weak at best. By expanding the ending, the breaking of behaviour for the successful woman could have come across as seeming more difficult and so the film would not have concluded on such a utopic note.
But I suppose it is time we had a utopia of our own. Only recently through labels such as 'Generation X' has this generation found any unity. Unity might keep us from drowning. We're all in the same boat and word's out that it's the SS Minnow.
© Gerald Saul 2005