Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Genre Character of the Week: Cleveland Heep

This week’s genre character comes from the 2006 film Lady in the Water. All right, I admit it, I know the film was panned by critics, but you know what, I totally bought it. Yes the film was pretty much a paint-by-numbers story and yes the fact that a film made the unfortunate decision to kill the film critic character within didn’t help, but you know what, for me the film came down to one thing – our genre character of the week, Cleveland Heep (pictured left).

When you first meet Cleveland (played brilliantly by Paul Giamatti) he is just a quiet handyman working for an apartment complex and living a pretty simple life. He also carries a sadness within him that I rarely see in male genre characters. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the no-nonsense action hero who basically has two emotions, rage and awesomeness, but I also think that other emotions can be incredibly moving in characters.

The plot of the film involves Cleveland finding a girl in the apartment complex swimming pool, and doing his best to help her find her way to a chosen one, and then home. What I love about the character is pretty simple, even though things have definitely not gone his way in life (massive understatement), he still has the heart to try, and in the end, that is the reason I own the film and the reason I've forced friends and family to watch it over the years.

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