Bliss [Grade: D]

Director: Mike Cahill

Cast: Salma Hayek, Owen Wilson, & Nesta Cooper

* * *

I was drawn to this film because the description mentioned being a sci-fi/dystopian-esque the of story. What I watched was something very similar to what I’ve seen some of my middle school students do during the first draft of our fantasy fiction project—write this pretty typical realistic fiction story, and then will add a 1 moment where “magic” was used, or 1 scene where something fantastical happened. Meanwhile, the rest of the story still feels like a realistic fiction story… 

Okay…it was a little more than this, but not by a long shot. Was I entertained? You know, sort of… At one point, I did consider turning it off, but I didn’t because of Salma Hayek a little. Was I satisfied? Absolutely not. 

* * *

Below are my grades for key components in #Bliss that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. I think it is also important for me to add that moving forward, I will not include a plus-rating in my breakdown, but will continue with minus-ratings.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale. 

* * *

Theme: B

Plot: D

Pacing: C-

Character Arc/Development: F

Entertainment Factor: Don’t Rush

* * *

Takeaways: 

1. There are some films that do a good job with addressing necessary background stories through very mundane things, like a phone call, coming across a random picture with these glitchy flashbacks, a short conversation with a side character, etc, and this film is one of those films. I think #Bliss did a pretty decent job dropping nuggets throughout the film to help add more knowledge to the background story for the audience.  👍🏾

2. This story went from 20-100 mph really quickly which left very little opportunity to make sense of anything. 👎🏾

3. So… which is which? Because the scene at the Observatory didn’t fit the understanding as clearly as it could have. I mean, I definitely “realized” what “must’ve” happened… but there was no real explanation to help add some texture to the story and the main character’s development. 🥴🤦🏾‍♂️

4. They were SO childish at that damn skating rink! 🤣🤣

5. Had the story been clearer, the “foundational” issue the story was also getting across to drive the theme, via the main character, would’ve been such a fascinating concept/idea. 😩🤦🏾‍♂️

6. Salma Hayek was actually really fun to watch! 👍🏾

7. However, to piggyback off point #6, there were elements of her character development that also needed to be unpacked a little more. Yes, they give this brief “insight,” but the way she acted, you’d think she “started from the bottom and now she’s [there]…” 🤨🤦🏾‍♂️

8. So is this a crush? Ex? Hubby? Partner? What’s going on? 🤷🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️

9. HEEEEY DeRon Horton! He was a pleasure to see. ❤️❤️

10. Chile… that philosophy she gave… about the good vs the bad… huh? What are you talking about? 🤨

11. Yes, WHY was she giving you that stank look? That was an opportunity in the story that could have also added some much needed texture. 🤨

12. GIRL, and then you pull out this childish ass, Etch-N-Sketch!? GET. OUT. OF. MY. FACE! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤦🏾‍♂️

13. I love me some Ronny Chieng… his role was short, but I just love him. 😜❤️

14. BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! 🙌🏾🙌🏾

15. Also, the son was a snack, too. 😜

16. That ending was TRAAAAAAASH! 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️

17. At times, I felt like Salma Hayek and Owen either didn’t have chemistry, OR both were example of what good actors look like when they’ve realized they are part of some bullshyt and just give their mediocre best. … … maybe it was a mix of both? 🥴

* * *

Overall, #Bliss is a lazy attempt at something that could’ve been quite interesting. Netflix could’ve actually taken this story, and made something remarkable out of it in 13 episodes. There was SO much potential with this story. SO much! What a waste. 

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