Friday, October 21, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #19
starring Claire Danes, Steve Martin, Jason Schwartzman
directed by Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie)
I know, I know. You're thinking: "What? This movie? Pops, why aren't you (non-)reviewing Doom? What are you, some kind of pussy?"
The answer, of course, is yes. Yes, I am. I am "some kind of pussy". I like puppies and flowers and long, slow kisses. I like candelight and cosmopolitans. I like Vogue magazine and the "pulsate" setting on my shower massager.
Mostly what I don't like is spending my time and energy talking about movies I will never see that I also happen to have no interest in. See, in case we'd all forgotten (myself included) this feature isn't supposed to be "Movies That I Think Will Suck, So Therefore I Am Not Bitter About Not Being Able To See Them." In truth it was supposed to be about movies I WANTED to potentially see (to varying degrees) but couldn't because of my overabundance of blessings in the procreation department.
And also to save myself from having to think of something new to say on Fridays. I admit, this is the part that has worked out the best.
I recognize that this is the doldrums between summer movies and holiday movies, but frankly this feature has gotten depressing. It's gotten so bad that I even had to come up with a new way to depict ZERO INTEREST as I did last week. Ask anyone and they'll tell you: when Andrew Shue enters the picture, there's trouble.
I searched and searched this week for something--anything--that didn't immediately make me want to kill myself from boredom. Doom was rejected shortly thereafter. The only other viable option was the Oscar-season kicker-offer North Country starring Charlize Theron, but then I realized that it was directed by a chick, so I immediately knew I didn't want to see it. The scars from The Piano still run that deep, people.
Admittedly, this film, Shopgirl, was directed by a guy who's only recognizable credit is Hilary and Jackie, a total chick-flick complete with bitter sibling rivalry, romantic themes and even a debilitating disease. But as I recall, it also had nudity (female nudity), so it wasn't a total lost cause.
Also Shopgirl is largely the work of Steve Martin, who wrote the original novella as well as the screenplay AND stars in the goddamn thing. He's got a track record I can run with at least. Sure, he was in those crappy Father of the Bride movies, embarrassed himself with that accent in My Blue Heaven and... well, the less said about Sgt. Bilko the better, and there was HouseSitter and Bringing Down the House which I'm pretty sure are exactly the same movie, not to mention the ill-advised Pink Panther remake that has been pushed back twice and is most likely coming to a DVD Discount Bin near you...
But then he was also The Jerk. That's quite a hefty counter-argument to crapitude on anyone's resumé. Let me ask you this, Bucketeers: was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in The Jerk? No? And we move on...
(Besides, I have plenty of time to go after The Rock. According to IMDb, ninja will be in five movies to be released next year. He'll get his.)
So there's something for me to latch on to at least. Some kind of hope. Let's see if it's ill-founded.
The story of Shopgirl is about Claire Danes as Mirabelle (I know, just keep going...), some kind of shopgirl who is torn between young, sweaty, bedraggled bohemian (read: poor) Jason Schwartzman and old, pervy, loaded Steve Martin. One is age-appropriate, broke and probably kind of smelly while the other can offer exposure to life, culture, security and a pasty 60-year-old man's ass.* God help her if he turns around.
I dunno, it all sounds so Mansfield Park, doesn't it? No? Sense and Sensibility? One of those damned things. What's the one with the girl with more than one suitor, one with money and one she loves? Oh, that's right: all of them.
The reviews have been fairly positive. They all use words like "fragile" and "aching" and "searching". All very off-putting, if you ask me. Or at least they would be if I weren't a total pussy.
I can't find Bernadette Peters' name in any of the reviews, but I don't see any of them say specifically that she's NOT in the movie, so I'm going to take that as implicit inclusion. So that's one plus in the movies favor.
Also: nudity. Claire Danes gets naked.
I have no choice then but to give this film:
Two (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter scale.
One Shue for each Danes booby.** And I say: well earned, Claire. Angela Chase is finally dead.
*= Seriously, Steve Martin is sixty. I know.
**= Keep in mind, it's not the size of the booby that counts; it's the willingness to bare them for capture on an easily distributable mass-media that I applaud.