Tuesday, January 1, 2008


(Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh & Jack Black)

This is a creepy movie – but not in a good way; I mean creepy in that the characters make you uncomfortable – You feel like you’re a Peeping Tom looking in at a very dysfunctional group & you really want to turn away, but in this case, you’ve paid for the privilege of feeling like the only normal person at a excruciatingly bland party, so you watch & wait & hope for either A) Something ‘eventful’ to take place or B) these people to completely change their personalities so they are more pleasant to be around. Sorry, to spill the beans, but neither of those options takes place. So what we’re left with is a feeling that we’ve just wasted both our time & money eavesdropping on our quietly weird neighbors & wanting to put our houses up for sale & move away as quickly as possible. Nicole Kidman plays Margot; she & her 15 year old son are on their way to her sister Pauline’s house for Pauline’s second wedding. Margot & Pauline haven’t spoken to one another in years – though Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) admits she still refers to her older sister as her ‘best friend’. Jack Black plays Pauline’s betrothed, Malcolm; out of work with no prospects other than he’s taken to painting with acrylics. ‘Famous’ for having once toured with Ric Ocasek, Malcolm has long since given up on the music scene. One gets the feeling that if the story were true; he was kicked off the tour for being a lackadaisical low-life. & if you’re still thinking of seeing this film someday – he’s a little tidbit of information that may change your mind – Black appears nude – well, he stands in front of a mirror with his underwear pulled down to his knees & you can only imagine what a repulsive sight that is to behold...

There’s absolutely no one to care about in this movie; Margot seems to find fault with everyone & is also cheating on her husband with a fellow writer (They’re collaborating on a book together) Pauline, having inherited their mother’s house just seems to want to loll away her days doing nothing; she wears no make-up, has perpetual bags under her eyes & a personality that matches her un-colorful look. Jack, along with having no ambition in life is also hot tempered. He flies off the handle with curse filled rants at the drop of a hat; a game of crochet leaves you thinking – why would anyone want to be around this jerk? & the way Margot’s son looks at her is exceptionally skin crawling; I wasn’t the only one who felt that he wanted to have sex with his mother – In fact, that’s where I thought this fiasco was heading - & even that, as stomach churning as it may have been, would at least have been something worth talking about afterward. Instead what you get is a movie full of unlikable people who do nothing other than dislike one another - & NOTHING interesting happens to any of them.

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