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DaveHoward Written by DaveHoward
Jan. 11, 2010 | 2:01 PM

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Retaking Your “Wonderful World”

image “Wonderful World” is a portrait of one man’s actualization of his own negativity. Josh Goldin’s directorial debut really encompasses a lot of what is probably consuming the American psyche right now. The world sucks and there is very little that one man can do to change it. Or can they?

I was dreading sitting down with Josh. I was expecting a flood of corporate conspiracy theories, a nihilistic world view and/or a critique of the MSM. I was expecting a beret, a Che-shirt and possibly a pack of cloves. So I was boweled over when he sauntered into the junket room, clapped his hands and said, “Okay! Who’s ready for the funny interview?”

Huh.  His main character ‘Ben Singer’ (Matthew Broderick) is a guy who has lost his will to embrace anything good, except for his nightly blunt. His ex-wife is doing great, giving his daughter a huge home and douchey step-father. Ben shares a one bedroom with his roommate.  His once successful career as a children’s song writer has been relegated to occasional jam sessions in the back of a guitar shop. During the day he proofreads copy surrounded by gen-“Z” ers who have yet to be singed by their dreams. What a bunch of suckers.  He has grown to accept his hellhole as home.

“(Ben) is very isolated, kind of a hermit.” says Broderick.  “He has his one roommate who he kind of talks to. Other than that his world has gotten very small and internalized.  I think the fact that he has his daughter is what forces him to get out this rut. He’s beginning to effect her badly. That motivates him to wake up.”

Wait? Matthew Broderick plays this guy?

“I have been friends with Matthew for about twenty years.” adds Goldin “I can actually say for sure that his persona in real life is quite different from his movie personas. Not that he is a curmudgeon but he has a cynical side. I wanted to have a character that had both that curmudgeon quality but when you see Matthew you know that there is something inside that is NOT that. It’s adds a tension because you are waiting for that to come out. “

But ‘Ben’ is in a really dark place. Goldin claims that ‘Ben’ is based on him.

“People will vouch that I am not THAT negative a person. But I think that anyone who lived through the Bush years, anyone who has a brain, has a running commentary of negativity. If you don’t you are not alive. So it was just there in the ether.”

The movie isn’t what you would call a crowd pleaser. At its core, it is about hope and getting back on track. Most flicks show oversimplifies what it takes to do this. The movie is about a journey that takes you from the bottom of the ladder to just one more rung up. This may be painful.. but it can put your life into a better place.

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