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Movies: 8 Mile
After a week of listening to me rave about Spirited Away, my wife resolved to go see it for herself. She and a friend trekked to the local dollar theater to see the seven o'clock showing, and, after checking the listings, I figured what the heck: I'd tag along and catch 8 Mile, which was playing at roughly the same time. Granted, I'd be seeing it by myself -- my efforts to recruit a companion for The Eminem Show were met with flat refusal by all I asked -- but, even solo, I expected it would be a adequate way to kill two hours while waiting for for The Queen.
As it turned out, 8 Mile was exactly that: nothing great, nothing original, nothing worth even recommending per se. But if you ever find yourself at a $3 Theater with 120 minutes on your hands, it's about as fine a time-killer as you're likely to find.
Eminem stars as, well, Eminem, I guess. I mean, he's called "Rabbit" in the film, but I am led to understand that the character he plays is loosely based on his own life: young, vaguely psychotic kid, living with his single, screwed-up Mom in Detroit, makes good -- or, at the very least, makes less bad. I could go on about the plot, but if you've seen Hoosier or Over the Top or Searching For Bobby Fisher or any movie that revolves around a competition of some sort, you already know how 8 Mile plays out. Suffice to say that the film opens with rap contest, ends with a rap contest, and spends much of the middle getting you from one to the other.
So rather than telling you what's in the movie, let me instead tell you what I was pleasantly surprised to find absent from this film.
Eminem songs: For a movie starring Eminem and telling the story of a thinly-disguised Eminem, there are remarkably few Eminem songs in the flick. Sure, he raps during the competitions, but throughout the rest of the story he breaks into rhyme only a handful of times. There are no moments contrived to feature his new hit single (Rabbit: "Hey, who wants to help me clean out my closet?"), no Eminem songs playing over the car radio as they drive around, etc. Why, you'd almost think they were more interested in making a movie than showcasing a celebrity. Likewise ...8 Mile will be on DVD soon; you should rent it. If it's still playing at your local theater, you might even want to catch it there. It's difficult to endorse because it's so forgettable, but you won't regret having seen it. Posted on February 12, 2003 to Movies