Trailer Talk: ‘Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench’


With movie trailers constantly giving away major plot points and, in some cases, the movie in its entirety, it’s usually refreshing to come across a minimalist trailer that reveals next to nothing. But this sort of tactic tends to only work for movies with familiar elements to them, so you’ll know what’s coming in that movie without the trailer having to really tell you anything.

If you see, “From the director of ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Inglourious Basterds’” flash across the screen, you already know whether you would pay to see that movie or not. Just like if you see, “Based on the beloved novel by Nicholas Sparks,” you know that unless you are an emotionally unstable teenaged girl, you’ll be skipping that flick. But with a movie like “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” the trailer needs to reveal a bit more if it’s hoping to fill theater seats.

Here’s what I can gather from the trailer for “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench”: It’s a musical, it’s set in a city that may or may not be New York, it’s filmed in black and white, and some of the action takes place in a diner or restaurant of some sort. Oh, and apparently some of the few people who have already seen totally dig it, since the bulk of the trailer is made of quotes pulled from various reviews that sing the movie’s praises.

I’m not saying “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” looks like a bad movie. I really have no feelings about it one way or another since the trailer reveals so little. But I do know that movie musicals are a hard sell to most audiences at any given time, and one that isn’t based on an already established musical, stars people no one’s heard of, and is shot in grainy black and white is going to have a hard time getting viewers to blindly attend a screening.

“Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” has played at several film festivals over the past year and will have a limited release in New York starting Nov. 5.

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