One of my few complaints about “Frozen,” the latest animated musical from Disney, is that they played a pretty aggressive game of bait-and-switch with audiences with the film’s marketing. Sure, it paid off in a record-breaking weekend for the company, and in the world of the movie business, that makes them right and me wrong, but I still feel like the campaign they ran was a disservice to both the movie and the audience.
Ultimately, sell the movie you made. When I see a trailer that I find really appealing or intriguing or provocative and then I see the movie, and it’s nothing like that trailer, it is unfair of me to be upset because it’s not the trailer, and yet it’s almost impossible not to have that reaction. From a pragmatic business angle, I understand that a trailer is just a piece of marketing, and its only real purpose is to get someone to pay money to see something. But from the point of view of being a film fan, I consider a great trailer to be a promise, a taste of a meal that someone is going to serve, and when someone tells me they’re serving sushi, I don’t want to eat a hamburger.
All of this is preamble to me saying that the new trailer for “Her” is a case of absolute truth in advertising. If you’re interested in the film, this trailer should tell you very clearly what to expect from the experience, and watching the trailer has convinced me that I’d like to see the film again this week before I make my final top ten list for the year. I’ve reviewed it already, but it is one of those films that lingers, that I find myself thinking about at odd moments, and that feels like something I’ve known for years. It is an enormously confident film from Spike Jonze, as clear an expression of his voice as I can imagine on film.
I’m hoping I’ll have the chance to chat with Spike soon about the movie, and in the meantime, check out the trailer and rest assured that they’re selling you exactly what they made…
… and it’s wonderful.
“Her” opens December 18th in limited release, then rolls out wide on January 10, 2014.