Infinitely Polar Bear, Infinite Jest

Hopefully some reader will recognize my title to be both that of the Maya Forbes film starring Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of bi-polar disorder
AS WELL AS
the title of a book by David Foster Wallace known partially for his psychological disturbances, possibly including bi-polar disorder, who is also the subject of a movie that’s out now, just not in rural Rochester.

but I digress…

I love almost everything Mark Ruffalo does, think he stole the show in Foxcatcher, and now, Infinitely Polar Bear included. I’m going out on a limb to say that Mark Ruffalo is so loveable…
here’s where you shout, “HOW LOVEABLE IS HE?”.
Mark Ruffalo
He’s so loveable, he could win a bid for the Democratic candidate for President WITHOUT a Super Pac!

Ruffalo was perfectly cast though. I had a six year relationship with someone with a similar disorder and the maddening thing was rather than scream at him, all I really wanted to do was hug him, bless his erratic behavior heart. The difference with my guy and Ruffalo’s character is that Ruffalo doesn’t cheat, which actually would have added needed film tension. (But is hell in real life.) I know what you’re thinking, ‘thank you Captain Obvious’.

Which leads me to the film and its flaws. Much of the dialogue is about mundane marital power woes like: who works, who gets to advance themselves with an MBA, who takes care of the kids, and who takes care of the kids better. And that’s about it.

Yes, Ruffalo has bipolar, but it’s never scary enough to really get down and dirty. Maya Forbes (writer and director who based the film on her own life story) either wanted to look back through a halcyonic lens, was too afraid of familial repercussions or perhaps her life wasn’t really all that bad…..so, not cinematically compelling, but more ‘Lifetime Channel-blow-part-of-an-afternoon’ worthy.

Once again, however, Ruffalo is what takes it to the ‘worth it’ level in being a nice evening out at the movies.

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