Thirteen is considered, by many cultures, a harbinger of luck—good and bad. Personally, I don't know where I stand on the number, but the recent record-breaking juggernaut Jurassic World has made me re-examine it. The film earned $1 billion in just 13 days, becoming the fastest to do so in film history. While breaking the record for the highest grossing opening weekend with $208,806,270, the dinosaurs simultaneously set the single day IMAX record of $13 million on Friday, June 12, 2015. Now, I know what you're thinking: Friday, June 12th is not significant. But if you look at the history you'd discover that on January 11, 2013, Universal said the film would be shot in 3D and released Friday, June 13, 2014. Interesting. Well, after much plodding, the execs finally relented to destiny and moved the film 13 years after the film's director Colin Trevorrow (born September 13) directed his first film entitled Home Base. Coincidence?
Surprisingly funny despite its sexist overtones and poor production quality, the cleverly-titled short documents the pursuits of a bitter ex-boyfriend as he tries to reach home with his cheating ex's mom. (Is that still a thing people want to do?) Wavering between campy melodrama and funny air sex, Home Base sets the tone for Trevorrow's following films. His second movie, Safety Not Guaranteed, a quirky romance between a journalism intern and a grocery-store clerk who built a time machine, is as gratingly cheesy as that description implies. If examined, a path can be drawn through Trevorrow's filmography from a man done wrong by a woman, to traveling through time and space to fix something with a woman, only to end up in the present with dinosaurs, who are poorly raised and maintained by an uncaring mother figure. The parallels are spooky. Compound that with the knowledge that the only documentary credit to his name is entitled Reality Show, about "an eccentric millionaire who bankrolls his own amateur reality show" and dupes female contestants into fulfilling his sexual fantasy, you start to wonder. Did something happen with his mother or his childhood girlfriend, or both?
I can't quite place my finger on what it is about his brand of offbeat vanilla romance that seems to connect with audiences. Is it his stock male characters who always follow through on what they say, never failing to save the day? Or his women who bring nothing but trouble only to faux-realize their independence by serving as a revenge fuck, falling for the older, awkward loner protagonist? Perhaps it's his most recent narrative innovation, where a woman realizes her maternal instincts while running in high heels from dinosaurs through a jungle. Or could it be something more... supernatural? Whatever it is, you've got to hand it to him. In spite of their cliché conventions and corny lines, Trevorrow's films are destined to succeed.
Jeffrey Bowers is a tall mustached guy from Ohio who's seen too many weird movies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working as a film curator. He's the senior curator for Vimeo's On Demand platform. He has also programmed at Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, and the Hamptons International Film Festival.