Monday, May 21, 2012

One out of three

A woman and her bitchy teenage daughter are driving down a lonely eastern European road during a rain storm.  From out of nowhere someone or something appears in the road causing the woman's car to veer off and crash.  When she gets out she's whisked off and the daughter is murdered.  Cut to the lonely house in the country where a sexy young French couple live.  You can guess what happens next...well actually you can't, sure our sexy young couple gets terrorized by some people but when you find out just who is terrorizing them and why, you'll be shocked.

Oooo, la, la, I loved this French horror flick.  It's taut, tight, and terrifying.  It's not your typical horror film and I mean that in a good way.  Olivia Bonamy as the female half of the terrorized couple is superb, and the dude playing her husband isn't bad either but I found it hard to look at anything other than Ms. Bonamy when she was onscreen.

This little French horror gem is highly recommended by me.

 Look, I'm not made of stone.  I find Greta Gerwig super sexy.  And any film that starts with her doing a nude scene and any film that shows her muff can't be all bad can it?  Yes.  Yes, it can. I hated this film and I found it unwatchable.  I loved seeing Ms. Gerwig in the buff but holy shit, if that's all your film has going for it, then pack it in.  I turned this turkey off about 15 minutes in and the main reason I hated it was the guy playing Ms. Gerwig's boyfriend.  I hated his character and I wanted to throttle him six ways to Sunday.

Maybe I'm missing something or maybe my dislike of the sap boyfriend character ruined this one for me, but my advice is to avoid this one all together. 

The best thing I can say about this terribly dated Judi Dench vehicle is that Judi Dench is very good in it.  In fact, she's the only good thing about it.  Everything else, forget it.

The plot of this miniseries is that Dench gets dumped by her husband and he hooks up with a woman who is supposed to be a much young woman, but who actually looks like she's older than him.  So dumped Judi takes a flat on her own and gets lonely.  She tries to endure and fill her days with classes, church, and by being the confidante of her ex mother in law, but eventually Dame Judi gets fed up and she moves in with her ex husband and his wife.  Shocking!

But soon enough she gets fed up with that arrangement and she moves in with her horsey daughter, who I found to be repellent but evidently she was supposed to be the epitome of late Thatcher era sexiness.  The daughter leaves in a huff and she moves in with her dad and his new wife.  Dench's character charms her new flatmates and then...oh fuck it.  If I tell the rest of the plot I'm going to vomit and convulse on the floor for hours.  Trust me, it stinks.

This mini series I suppose was supposed to be shocking in that it was all about what a middle aged woman wants and not about what her philandering husband and ungrateful twat of a daughter wanted.  It also featured a chaste little romance between Dench and one of her daughters male flatmates, in fact they run off to San Diego together at the end of the series.  It must have been shocking because she was 20 years older than him and he was a bisexual guy who liked to cruise for dudes, he makes eyes at one guy on the flight to the USA.  In the light of today's ideas and social mores, this series is eerily tepid and mostly dull.  Dench finds herself eventually and the rest of the annoying cast get more and more annoying until you, or in this case I, can't take it anymore and you actively root for their demise.

This whole series was a primer for everything that was hated about Maggie Thatcher's England in the late 1980's.  The clothes were awful, the self centered characters were two dimensional, the social services sucked, and you can almost feel the desperation and desire to be out from under the oppressive Tory regime of Maggie Thatcher and her handmaiden John Major.

I can't in good conscience recommend this one, not even for die hard Dench fans. 


gmb said...

An appropriate tribute to Margaret Thatcher would have been to pull Meryl Streep out of "Iron Lady" and have the role played by Loni Anderson or a Kardashian sister instead. And hanging the lead at the end.

Anonymous said...

Iiiinteresting... Behaving Badly sounds much like Shirley Valentine in tone. I'm not sure that sort of media did feminism any good.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

'Shirley Valentine' and 'Educating Rita' were both far better than 'Behaving Badly.'