The Thing I Like About …
… 247°: the way nobody’s fighting about a bunch of stuff.
Modern stories – even stories based on true events – seem to take great delight in pointing out the weaknesses and foibles of human nature … as though we weren’t aware of them without being beaten over the head with them in a gratuitous manner. Films and TV shows are now often loaded with bickering, psychologically damaged groups of young people, who have no ability to focus on immediate problems but instead must continue to quarrel until no one watching cares whether the characters live or die.
247° is based on a true story. Two girls, two guys, going to a friend’s cabin on the lake. One of the guys accidentally jams closed the door to the sauna before he leaves; the other three are stuck in the sauna, hoping he’ll come back before they die. They’re grouchy and scared; they aren’t exactly sitting around singing campfire songs. But they don’t turn on each other, or bring up a hundred psychological traumas from the past – in fact, one of the girls has significant anxiety from having been in a car accident … and her three friends try to make her feel better (instead of stupid). They work together not to panic, and to find a way out. They become creative instead of shutting down and devolving into chaos. They become stronger instead of weaker. They think more of each other instead of less.
They’re human, instead of … broken. Or annoying. Or dysfunctional. Or … annoying.
It makes it a lot easier to identify with them, to care about them, to want them to survive and to imagine ourselves in their place. It makes it a lot easier to like this movie, and to find yourself on the edge of your seat wondering if anyone is ever going to open that door. It makes it easy to see the true story behind the dramatization, because the people are real and normal … they seem like us, and that’s the best kind of story there is.