Marrieds at the Movies: Why 'Oblivion' Isn't a Great Date Movie

Every Friday night, we send cinephiles (and newlyweds) Sarah and Joe Piccirillo to see a film. Afterwards, they answer a few questions about it. Below is their discussion.


Synopsis: While surveying a supposedly uninhabitable Earth, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), an intergalactic repairman, one day finds another human survivor and begins to question everything he knows.


Was This a Good Date Movie?

Sarah: Nope. Although it sets the bar so low in terms of being bland and uninspired you’ve got nowhere to go but up.

Joe: Science fiction movies are like the band Rush. Women don’t like them. And guys find them to be profound until they age out of it at 19.  This movie was too long and too depressing, not because of the subject but because of its execution. A girl is not gonna be happy you brought her to this movie.


Tom Cruise Used to Be Awesome. Can He Still Carry a Movie?

Sarah: Tom Cruise lost the ability to emote years ago. He is the most humanlike being in a world devoid of people, but in a world full of them, he’d be on the lowest rung.

Joe: Everyone likes to kick this guy, but he did carry the movie. The problem is that he possesses this vacant intensity and it takes me out of it. There’s a scene where he throws on a Yankees cap and recites the final plays of an old Super Bowl while chewing gum and talking tough and I didn’t buy any of it. I was embarrassed for him, for the CGI around him, and for our own humanity.

Sarah: Right. Even though he’s 50, he’s still playing characters with a flip, devil-may-care attitude. It makes him seem like the ex-jock jerk who was a high school football star and now still winks at young girls and wears sunglasses inside the grocery store.

Joe: Yeah, but it worked for Clint Eastwood in In the Line of Fire and it worked for Cruise a few years ago. Something happened when he jumped on Oprah’s couch and interviewed with Matt Lauer on The Today Show that made everyone hate him, even me, and I don’t know why. It’s fascinating.


What Drove You Nuts?

Sarah: Instead of Scary Movie, this was Sci-Fi Movie. It was literally just stolen bits from Star Wars, 2001, Predator, Total Recall and The Matrix.

Joe: I think they even stole Morgan Freeman from other, better movies.

Sarah: When you take those references away, there’s no originality.

Joe: Even the love story is a retread. Despite the presence of aliens and Jetsons-like technology, the screenwriters can only imagine a future in which a guy still needs a break from his devoted partner. To blow off steam, Cruise goes “off radar” so he can listen to Led Zeppelin, wear flannel shirts, and sleep in a chair. This is considered paradise. For a while, I thought the entire movie was in the mind of our fat neighbor who dozes off on his lawnmower.


What Will You Be Thinking About Tomorrow?

Sarah: I’ll still be thinking about the ending because I’m still not sure what happened. I feel like they spent two hours telling us that humanity is what matters and the last three minutes telling us that clones are just fine.

Joe: The villain is a giant triangle. I don’t think there’s anything left to say.

Sarah: The woman who played Victoria was a good actress and I almost kind of hate her because she made me feel like I was watching a better movie than I was, until she was replaced by that brunette and then I realized I was watching a piece of crap.



Sarah: Don’t waste your time. Tom Cruise is over and any of the movies this film copies are better than Oblivion.

Joe: Skip it. Send your drone to see it instead.


Sarah and Joe are writers/editors who live in Boston. They met in a bar and married within a year. They love to argue about early Woody Allen films and old romantic comedies. They both agree to hate musicals.


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