Brooklyn: A Non-Review. Plus, Phil Drives Distractedly

I woke up reasonably early in the morning. It wasn’t three or four in the morning. That was the Last Phil, the Nocturnal Phil. The one who couldn’t sleep in past sunrise for fear that he’d missed his work shift. But, this was still early by many people’s standards.

I decided I was in the mood for a modest little indie flick. I’d kept passing over Brooklyn in my recent movie rentals, but I’d been on an indie movie kick since re-watching Little Miss Sunshine, so this felt like the morning for it.

I fired up the movie and sat down to livetweet it.

“This is boring,” I thought.

My problem with Brooklyn is that I’ve seen this movie before. In bits and pieces throughout popular culture. It’s been implied heavily by other movies. It’s what may have happened to one of the characters in Titanic, if they had never met each other and the boat had never sank. It’s all very cute and it strikes me as totally not real.

Nah, that’s not my problem with it.

I think straight-forward romances are never gonna work on me.

I have a spreadsheet to work on.

In my new job, I always have a spreadsheet to work on.

So I got in my car – sorry, Mom’s car. Backup Car. The car that’s been saving my ass ever since Barbara Ann’s untimely death. I got in my car so I could drive to the office and work on the spreadsheet.

I remember thinking the music in Brooklyn was pretty, so I shuffled some songs from the soundtrack by Michael Brook. The “Opening Titles” track is nice and it fits with a sunny suburban drive. It’s got a calm open and then it gets unique with some Irish influence.

But most songs after that were just derivative of those motifs, so I stopped listening.

(Be careful if you explore that whole film score album and want to see the movie, by the way. There are at least two big spoilers in the tracklist. I would not listen to it while looking at the device until seeing the movie.)

Anyway, I was driving along in Fairfax County, on my way to the office to work on that damn spreadsheet and I decided I was bored with Michael Brook’s score to Brooklyn, so I looked down at my phone to change the album.

That’s when Backup Car ran into a person at 50 miles an hour.

Okay, so one of the problems I have with Brooklyn is that it got so many indie accolades for essentially being an immigrant story about the Irish. Meanwhile, I’m still here waiting for like…the quintessential indie movie about being a Latino (or, more importantly, Latina) immigrant to America. Of course there’s movies, there must be. But none about this particular topic by a little arthouse studio ever since I started paying attention to film buzz.

And Brooklyn doesn’t really seem to have a point beyond “America was once a land full of adventure, let’s marvel nostalgically at this myth of immigrant triumph.” But I thought we all collectively came to our senses and realized that immigrant life was never that clean and shiny??

Okay, I didn’t finish the movie. I made it through the second act. I still had 30 minutes to go. Maybe there is a point buried in there beneath all the nostalgia. I’ll finish it tonight.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, I had just run a man over.

“Shit. Shit, shit, shit.”

My car – I mean Mom’s car, because I can’t afford to replace Barbara Ann with my own money – was pulled up to the curb and the body I had just run over was sprawled in the middle of Ox Road, 123 North. I walked out to attend to the body. All the suburbans and Lexuses and BMWs and beat-em-ups were driving around us, just focused on getting to their destination.

I looked down at the face of the man I had just run over and groaned.

It was me. It was a previous Phil.

I was having another god damn hallucination. I was in a metaphictional story again.

Phil – the one I had run over – coughed up a little bit of blood. “Hellllp….Hellllp me.”

I sighed and squatted down on my haunches to look at him more closely. His glasses were cracked in half and shattered, but I could tell that these were similar to the glasses I had on right now.

That meant that this was a recent Phil. In fact, in all likelihood, this was the Phil who had come right before me.

God damn. I’d never killed a Phil that fast before.

Phil – the one bleeding on the asphalt while the suburban cars drove around us – moaned in pain as I unbuttoned my shirt. “You have to…You have to escape the n…the night sh…”

I rolled my eyes and pressed my shirt around his mouth, wiping off the blood. “Already did, bud. No worries. We have escaped the night shift. We,” I said, now wiping some blood from my own ears. “Have escaped the darkness.”

Phil wheezed. “No…No we haven’t.”

And that’s when we both became corporeal again and we got hit by a Lexus SUV.

This particular vignette ends here, I think.


Phil – the real Phil – has been in the office since about 10 am.

He’s been working on his spreadsheet.

Two other coworkers have been in the office today. At least two other coworkers. Ever since the office expansion, there’s a corner of the office that doesn’t even register on my senses.

One of my coworkers is in my department. It’s really just the two of us. That’s part of the reason why we were both in the office on a Sunday.

She’s long gone and it’s just me, typing this blog post, trying to wrap my head around where the story goes from here.

Nocturnal Phil is gone and – in record time – his ideals have been compromised. Which effectively kills what last remained of Bernie Sanders Intern Phil and, possibly, Blacksburg Phil.

So where do I go from here?

I guess I need to finish Brooklyn.


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