In which George Clooney realizes that being a single man with limitless frequent flier miles isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, so after visiting his estranged sisters in Milwaukee he attempts to convince Vera Farmiga to settle down with him, despite having enjoyed a perfectly marvelous relationship in which they get to play Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman over drinks at the Hilton bar. Oh, and Clooney plays a guy in an airport suit who jets around the country firing people.
A mendacious, offensive, souless film, Up in the Air’s motions towards authenticity include interviews with real unemployed people who have to recite Jason Reitman and co-screenwriter Sheldon Turner ‘s bullshit about Finding A Purpose. The reality is that people work for a paycheck; whether they love their jobs is ancillary. Why do you think so many women (and men, frankly) will give up a job for the sake of their children and spouses? It should tell you where their priorities are. I suppose Reitman thinks it’s a new wrinkle in the formula to cast reliable coot J.K. Simmons as a recently terminated man who’s advised by Clooney to Follow His Dreams and take up cooking again, as he once did before the evil corporate world sucked his soul. The movie doesn’t even have the courage to acknowledge that Clooney’s feeding him a line; Rowling’ s character is too old to start anywhere anyway. Worse, the message this twaddle is hustling — that all single men realize their essential loneliness — is the male menopausal take on what old Hollywood use to warn young women against. Entrenched in the tradition of male stars who win over the audience with their cynicism only to go soft in the final reel, Clooney gives us the umpteenth version of Paul Newman’s Hud.
I wonder how much Hilton and American Airlines paid for all the advertising the film gave them.