Sometimes film genres can be loosely described in the film world. They can blur the lines between what a movie is trying to convey. One of those examples is Paint which is described as a comedy. I would say it’s more of a drama with a few comedic elements thrown in. And a twist of a mockumentary for good measure. Owen Wilson is the perfect actor for this role. He channels this character in a way that resembles only one person.
Carll Nargle (Owen Wilson) Bob Rossesque painter on public access television, on PBS Burlington, in Vermont, his show is called Paint, and his catchphrase is “Thanks for Going to a Special Place With Me” Carl talks in a low whispery voice, and sometimes uses a loudspeaker in his van to talk with people. He paints the same mountain in each episode of his show because of a beef he has with a museum curator. He has a specific demographic he paints for but they are not a big enough audience to keep the ratings high enough.
A midlife crisis happens to the main character which may result in him painting for two hours a day. He doesn’t believe he should though and because this is too much for him. He lives in an old orange van with a mural of the same mountain on the side with “paintr” on the rear plate. His persona is that of a man who lives in his own world and others aren’t willing to keep buying into this personality anymore. I have a hard time believing Bob Ross was like any of this but it was fun to watch Wilson work.
There are some subplots in the film that deals with a romantic interest in Wilson’s character, an intern, and a rival painter who is getting over on him. Painting with Ambrosia. and an old flame has a crisis of her own that ties into the main plot of the movie. The supporting cast all give good performances in their various roles. And their subplots all add good aspects to a main character and story that is very good. The writer/director Brit McAdams mixes all these characters and their stories very nicely.
One part of the movie I enjoyed very much was the soundtrack. There were various songs from the rock n roll genre and songs that would be considered smoking songs. Smooth listening and folk-type songs. These songs added a nice mellow feel to a film that already is full of that kind of stuff. Wilson’s persona is full of all these kinds of things. They all go together to create this character. I was at home with all these various parts of the movie and character traits that formed who he is as a character.
Owen Wilson has had a bit of a resurgence lately. He had a bad incident in his life that derailed his career for a while. In the past Midnight in Paris, Wedding Crashers, all his Wes Anderson times, and Lightning McQueen have defined who he is as an actor. Paint is something different for him but actually falls into his wheelhouse as an actor. This is the perfect character for him and his sensibilities. He eats up the scenery as this character and everybody else are just there for support. Wilson is starting to get back to his old form as an actor.
Paint is an enjoyable film that takes its time getting to the main plot point but along the way, the subplots are equally fun to follow along with it. The performance by Wilson falls perfectly into who he is as an actor and the writer/director Brit McAdams knows this character inside and out. The soundtrack was also pretty good to listen to throughout the film. This isn’t going to blow antibody’s minds but it’s a good palate cleanser for those looking for something different than the normal things film fans have been getting recently.
Dan Skip Allen