After last year’s overly sappy Milk, I was really hoping Gus Van Sant’s sly sense of humor would return in his latest coming of age film, Restless. Billed as a quirky love story between a terminally ill girl (Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right) and a young man (Henry Hopper) obsessed with mortality, Annabel and Enoch (seriously?) meet at a memorial service and promptly fall for each other despite their ridiculous clothing. Watching this maudlin trailer, I had a fleeting thought of the quirk taking root and infecting the whole thing; choking out every last bit of sentiment until we’re left with nothing but the carcasses of two overly-preppy catalog models and a Japanese ghost. But who am I kidding? I think we’re forked.
With a screenplay by newcomer Jason Lew, Restless is being produced by sapmeisters Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, along with Bryce Dallas Howard (a classmate of Lew and the person who got this ball-o-cheese rolling). The film is a shoe-in for those “most heartfelt movie of the year” taglines that will fill theaters with people who like to cry. Grab your tissues and get your popcorn January 28, 2011.