Metropolitan is one of those films where characters mainly talk about nothing much and then the film ends. I’ve seen a few titles like that but in general they tend to be quite awful. Hannah and her Sisters is a classic example of a film like this that I’ve seen. So I can’t say that I had high hopes for this title but it’s actually better than I expected. I’d say in part because the characters are a little more interesting and some of the dialogue is actually decent. The climax is ironically one of the weakest parts of the film but on the whole I was entertained.
So the movie is about a group of teenagers who all hang out at an apartment and try to feel really fancy. They talk about very complex subjects with each other like politics and general warfare of social customs. Anything that sounds very intelligent like that is something they’ll talk about even if they don’t know what they are doing. It’s just what they’ve always done. One day Tom is invited into the clique by chance. This sort of thing isn’t really his idea of a fun time and he’s not quite as wealthy as they are but ultimately he can’t find it within himself to leave. In a way he’s actually having a whole lot of fun right now. Still this means he has entered the world of romantic drama and scandals so his life may be a bit more complicated now.
There is a general plot in that he likes a girl named Serena who is related to the group even though she has long since moved on. Then you have Audrey who likes Tom and Charlie likes Audrey. It’s a full circle thing here and so you can see how it gets complicated. But while that’s the general plot, this isn’t a film that’s super connected to the story or anything like that. For the most part it’s still about the general day to day operations of what’s going on here and the romance is on the back foot.
The climax involves one of the villains who was mentioned during the film and now Tom has to go and save the heroine (I won’t say who this is to keep up the suspense) but it’s really just a way to quickly have some action. It almost feels out of place and some characters really made a bunch of iffy moves in order to get into that scenario. I should mention that while the characters are interesting, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that any of them are likable. They all succumb easily to peer pressure and just don’t seem like good influences to have around.
Starting off with Tom, in general he has some reasonable views. I’m not much of a party person myself so going to these events where you just sit and talk would have me bored to tears. I can do festive parties where you’re running around and eating. Those are a lot of fun while you’re eating at least but parties with no food? Nah not my cup of tea. Now the problem though is that Tom actually does enjoy them and he’s just jealous. Sure he denies this a whole lot but that’s what it comes down to and Nick calls him out on this at one point. Tom is so busy looking down on himself and throwing a pity party that he doesn’t realize nobody really cares.
It’s one of those things that you have to remind yourself of which is that you aren’t the main character of everyone’s story. If you make a mistake or fall down you may think everyone is watching you but really they’re still just continuing along with their lives. Once Tom gets this into perspective he starts to enjoy himself more. He’s the kind of guy who has a lot of strong views on books that he’s never read and still keeps on going after Serena even when it’s clear that she’s not interested in him and just generally enjoys being in a lot of relationships. I don’t think that means he has to rebound with Audrey of course, if he’s not interested in her then he’s not but my issue is with him still going after Serena the whole time.
Then you have Nick who is probably the best of the main characters. Yes he’s a bit more arrogant and dare I say even a bit rude but the guy knows what he likes and doesn’t put up as much of a front as the others. He just has a good time all the way through and lives his life. I would argue that while most of the characters are worried about their image or fitting in, he just actually is that way. The only thing he denies is how he’s jealous of the main antagonist when he is to an extent but the guy also does seem like he is a creep so I can see why Nick wants to take him down.
Audrey is a little too shy which hurts her character for me. Part of the issue here is that she likes Tom but is of course too shy to tell him herself. So she keeps this in but then also gets super upset when he doesn’t notice her or makes a pass on another girl (Serena). I don’t think she really had much reason to be super upset at him. She could be upset at herself for not making a move but it’s not like she and Tom were actually together so it’s too early to be jealous. Not saying it’s easy to have 100% control of your emotions or anything like that but it’s still not a great look. She can be upset at him for just ditching her though, that was really uncalled for. Then she makes a very questionable decision that could have easily ended badly for her later on.
She seems like a decent person but one without a strong will so it’s easy to influence her. Then there is Serena but there isn’t a whole lot to say about her. She’s very outgoing and can be a bit manipulative with how many pen pals she wrote too who all thought that they were together with her. I guess you could just say that they were gullible which is absolutely valid but at the same time she’s just not a very nice person. It’s a shame that Tom couldn’t just move on himself.
Finally there is Charlie who is a fun character. He likes to be a doomer about everything and is always talking about how their entire generation is destined to fall to ruins. He refuses to accept any examples or evidence to the contrary. The guy constantly goes on speeches about everything and it’s why he’s fun. I liked the dialogue in the movie thanks in no small part to his contributions. Charlie always had something to say about everything and they were actual thoughts so I could appreciate that. He had a way of tying things together that worked and even if you didn’t agree with anything that he said, I didn’t mind listening to the speeches.
That’s where this film had an advantage over most which is that the dialogue was actually interesting as it happened. Most of it is still fluff and everyone outbluffing themselves with crazy theories but they didn’t drag on or feel pointless at the time. I could do without the romance and of course the characters are annoying but they’re annoying in a way that’s fun to watch as opposed to shaking your head the whole time.
Overall, This would be a hard film to recommend to anyone because it’s hard to make a sales pitch for it. I’m not really sure how I’d even market this film to people. That said, I did think it was surprisingly a good movie and one that I could see again. It embraces the fact that this film isn’t really about much at all. If you could do a movie like this without the drama, maybe a group of adults who get together then it would probably be very good. Either way, it’s a bit of a strange film in the sense that there isn’t much of a focus but it works. I wouldn’t recommend other filmmakers to try and replicate this title though because it seems hard to pull off.