‘Thanks for going to a special place with me…’
So, it seems that everyone hates this movie. 32% on Rotten Tomatoes and a truly stinky 4.9/10 on IMDB does not make for pretty reading. Personally, I don’t get the hate. I found this to be the kind of film that Wes Anderson so often thinks that he is making. Quirky, eccentric but also funny and emotionally resonant. It’s not a perfect film by any means but I found a lot here to enjoy…
Carl Nargle (Owen Wilson), a thinly veiled version of legendary public access painter Bob Ross, struggles to adapt to a changing world. At the end of his long television career, Nargle is usurped by Ambrosia (Ciara Renee) – an up-and-coming painter with a more modern and radical worldview than her predecessor. To muddy the waters further, both Carl and Ambrosia love Katherine (Michaela Watkins). Meanwhile, their unscrupulous producer Tony (Stephen Root – playing a character very similar to the one he portrays in Barry) only cares about the ratings.
Essentially, if you like Owen Wilson, then surely you will like Paint. Writer-director Brit McAdams provides Wilson with the canvas to paint perhaps his most Owen Wilson performance yet. The whispered dialogue. The charming naivety. It’s trademark Wilson. While Paint isn’t really laugh-out-loud funny, there are plenty of moments that raise a smile, and it’s an easy watch, especially at just over 90 minutes.
To return to my first point, I am baffled as to why this film has been critically mauled. I found it to be a perfectly serviceable execution of an intriguing idea and concept.