Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a hugely disappointing, meandering movie that I wasn’t planning on writing about because life’s too short and all that (And I know “meandering movie” doesn’t really mean anything, but I’m not here to really talk about that aspect of the film so I’ve decided to just leave it at that.) Plus, the fact Richard Linklater directed this movie – a filmmaker I, and many others, greatly admire – I just kind of wanted to pretend Where’d You Go, Bernadette never happened.
But, here we are, because for the life of me there’s one plot point in this movie I just can’t get out of my head. And the only way to exorcise this demon is to put it into print and send it out into the world to make sure I somehow didn’t just imagine this whole thing. And, look, this is a movie filled with jaw-droppingly outlandish plot points that either go nowhere or make no sense.
So, no, this isn’t about how Bernadette (Cate Blanchett) spends a good portion of the first half of this movie telling all her problems by email to a virtual assistant who lives in India.
No, this isn’t about how she audibly dictates her emails to this virtual assistant, leaving in every little transgression about her life.
No, this isn’t about how the FBI shows up to tell her and her husband, Elgin (Billy Crudup), that the virtual assistant is not a woman in India, but actually someone in the Russian mob. And not only that, the Russian mob is on their way to Bernadette and Elgin’s house. What are the Russian mobsters going to do once they get to Bernadette and Elgin’s house? That’s not clear, but Elgin is under the impression that the mob will just take everything Bernadette and Elgin have because, “they know everything.”
And, no, this isn’t about how all of this about the Russian mob – an entire subplot that runs over half the length of the movie – is resolved in one sentence as the FBI agent tells everyone that, good news, they caught the Russian mobsters at the airport as they changed planes.
Oh, and it’s also not how an intervention is held for Bernadette to discuss her unhappiness and erratic behavior and, for some reason, the FBI agent is invited to the intervention!