Who knew that a sex scene could ruin an entire movie? I guess unless you are a movie like Showgirls which is basically one dumb giant sex scene. But alas, a sex scene and everything that comes after it completely ruins anything THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US gives its audience in the survivalrific (I know that’s not a word) first two thirds of the film. Then the film goes all Lord of the Rings on us with about 10 different endings in a 20 minute epilogue that should’ve been only 5 to 7 minutes long. We all know that Idris Elba and Kate Winslet can act the pants off anything, but not even they can save the absolutely horrific dialogue and character motivation it gives in the last third of the movie. For me, the mountain to climb was the screenplay, and I only got about half way up before I just said, “fuck it” and turned around.
I was about to blame the screenplay writer (which I guess I still can, because technically he/she could’ve changed the material) when I saw that the movie is based on the novel, and doing a tiny bit more research, the exact same stuff that happens in the movie happens in the novel, so it isn’t entirely the screenplay writers fault. The movie is about two people, one on the way to her wedding, and the other on the way to operate on a 10 year old boy’s brain tumor, try to beat the storm and get a private charter plane through a terrible winter storm, end up crashing on top of a mountain, and having to survive.
Good set up and 50% good execution (especially the survival techniques), I just didn’t believe that the emotions that transpired between these two individuals in peril was believable or earned. Their friendship between the two of them is very, very well acted and believable. But when the sex scene occurs, everything, including logic, good dialogue, and common sense, is thrown into the wind.
If the movie went a different route, where they still fell in love through the whole ordeal but didn’t necessarily do the nasty or even kiss, I might’ve believed it more. But the sex scene in question is just very awkward and unearned of my emotions. Sorry if I’m spoiling that there is a sex scene in the film but you could’ve probably spotted that something was going to happen based on the trailers which spoil the entire film. I won’t hint at whether they survive or not or tell you anything else about the film other than the fact that the most believable character development in the film was the dog.
And even the dog surviving as long as it does makes no sense, wouldn’t his paws have been frost bitten by a certain amount of time? Whatever, that logic is thrown to the wind as well. Also, when Kate Winslet goes through the ice (this is shown in the trailers) into the cold water below, I started laughing and thinking about Titanic, and how the tables have turned on Rose, which the filmmakers probably didn’t want you associating with this film like that.
But it isn’t just the sex scene that ruins the movie, the sex scene is just the catalyst. Everything that happens after it is sort of unbelievable and goes on wayyyy too long. There are a ton of scenes the movie could’ve ended on but instead it goes for the really bad dialogue, sappy, oh woe my heart is thee, sappy, anti-climatic ending. The last third of the film completely made me giving the film a worthwhile climb to a worthwhile recommendation. If you are a girl that just got broken up with her boyfriend/girlfriend and you have a pint of ice cream and need to just cry, this film is for you. Otherwise, find another, better summit to scale.