Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Monday Movie Roundup

We actually went to a theater!

Lady in the Water (M Night Shyamalan, 2006)

Perhaps I’m the only one, but I really liked Lady in the Water, the latest offering from M Night Shyamalan. Reviews of Shyamalan’s films tend to begin with praise for the Sixth Sense and then a comment about how it’s all been downhill from there. Frankly Sixth Sense, while good, is not my favorite of his films. That honor goes to Unbreakable.

Lady in the Water is a bit of a departure for him. It does not have the Big Twist that is the hallmark of his films (especially Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Village) in fact, it’s pretty straightforward as to what is going on.

Cleveland Heep is an apartment manager trying to find out who’s using the pool after hours. He falls in and is rescued by the midnight swimmer: a water nymph straight out of an old bedtime story. She’s here to help save humanity, but she doesn’t know how and so Cleveland must help her before she gets killed by a scrunt. It sounds silly and we know all this before the credits even roll, so where’s the fun?

For me it’s that once Lady gets past a slow start, it’s really very funny. Most of Shyamalan’s films have moments of quirky humor, but Lady in the Water is full of it. It’s a funny movie that is at once beautiful and whimsical, not meant to be taken too seriously, and yet it speaks eloquently to the unseen potential that we all carry around with us and are often too blind or afraid to see.


  1. Yes – “Unbreakable” – genious – it beats out “Sixth Sense” every time. We watch it at least once a month – and again when it was aired on regular television. M. Night is perfect in our eyes – and using the fabulous Paul Giamatti (we are “American Splendor” fans) – did you know Paul’s dad was president of Yale and the commissioner of MLB- along with the BRILLIANT Bryce Dallas Howard – we are totally geeked to see “The Lady in the Water” – Now, if we can just arrange for a babysitter… Oh, have you ever seen M. Night’s first alien movie he made as a teenager – it’s on the DVD for “Signs” – it reminds me of you and your “Old Photo Friday”. Peace.

  2. I haven’t seen the alien movie. I’ve only seen Signs twice. It’s probably my least favorite of his, but it’s the only thing I’ve liked Mel Gibson in since The Road Warrior, a near perfect film.

  3. I’m not a big Shyamalan fan. He strikes me as a horrific Spielberg. Still, glad you found the movie amusing. The world needs more whimsy.

  4. This one wasn’t horrific. I think it was the whimsy that really got me.

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