Rated R for brief nudity, language, and obscene product placement imagery
UP IN THE AIR is one of those high-concept films that tend to leave some audience members baffled at whether what they saw was good or not, yet they still leave the theater satisfied that the answer is “yes”… even if they can’t exactly say why that is.
George Clooney is typecast as himself – a charming guy who lives for travel and wearing suits – who is playing a character whose job it is to fly around the country and fire people.
And he’s good at what he does – racking up those frequent flyer miles at an obnoxious pace. His life is the road, his glory is that magic number that will get him a permanent seat at the front of the plane and concierge lounge access at his hotel of choice. During his travels he meets a woman with the same aspirational goals of lofty travel perks, and together they make a nice flirtatious couple.
So far, so good, right? Right.
Until George’s job is put in jeopardy by the young whippersnapper with all the nifty Internet stuff that kids today are always talking about – and that’s when the fun begins in this docu-comedy-drama.
We’ll spare you the plot details as always, but suffice it to say that some didn’t find the ending as satisfying story-wise as it could have been. In other words, UP IN THE AIR doesn’t tie everything together neatly in bite-sized chunks with a pretty bow on top of it. That aside, the film does deserve its accolades, and proves yet again that Clooney is as easy-going an actor as anyone by making it all look too easy.
Web Watch enjoyed the film (it will play well on those long coast-to-coast airplane flights), except that it did seem to be an extended commercial for Hertz, American Airlines, and Hilton. There were quite a few inconsistencies that frequent travellers would scoff at – as if anyone with that much Hertz status would have to flash his Hertz #1 Club Gold Card as he picked up that car from the Hertz #1 Club Gold lot in the manner depicted in the film.