22 October 2003 | sadie_thompson
Do you laugh or cry?
My mother thought this film was hilarious, while my father thought it was a gruesome depiction of how awful people can be. I think it's both. I laughed so hard, but I felt bad about it later.
This movie is warped. The characters are warped. It's a weird trip that makes me think Tennessee Williams meets "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." We have a set number of people, in the same place, and they just rage at each other for the entire duration of the film. (Speaking of "Virginia Woolf"--Elizabeth Taylor could play Mrs. Taggart in a remake...a diamond studded eyepatch. It would be fabulous.)
It's fortunate that this meeting of the monsters was filmed, as you'll never see so many relentlessly horrible people in one place ever again. Front, center, left, right, and diagonal is the massive one-eyed Mrs. Taggart, who lost her eye in an accident involving one of her children. She's a card, you can tell right off. She has different eye patches to match her outfits--I think that's probably a sign of mental illness. She celebrates her anniversary every year so her delightful children can continue to be stuck in her clutches. When the youngest (who gives Mum the "Pissing Boy") tries to alter tradition, Mrs. Taggart crashes into action. She knows everything about everybody, and it's darned hard to outsmart her. Not that she's all that smart, but she's wicked and quite cunning. She has her blackmail schemes planned to the nth degree.
Additionally, there are several moments designed to disturb. They sort of interrupt the story, but who cares? Leaving your glass eye in strategic places is fun! Mrs. Taggart thinks it is, but she'd probably eat babies if given the chance. And while we're at it, let's not forget the girlfriend with the ears! She's a barrel of laughs.
Best moment--Mrs. Taggart makes her big entrance, as a record plays her song, only to trip on the steps. That describes the movie perfectly. It's like falling down stairs. Funny to some people, but not so entertaining to the people involved.