28 November 2005 | carmenjonze-1
Unwatchable, in every possible way
Personally, I find movies about abusive, jealous, mistrusting, vindictive married people to fall under "horror". Every generation has them: Gaslight (1944), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), and of course Possession (1981), all horror flicks, as far as i'm concerned.
There is only one reason to see this film. If you're schooled in Hollywood political history, you'll like the casting of blacklisted director John Berry, as the father of the love-target of the actor playing an Italian communist writer. Nice touch.
OK, make it two. Self-reflexive Hollywood. I found the theme and look to recall Two Weeks in Another Town, Vincente Minelli's 1962 self-reflexive Hollywood followup to his Bad and the Beautiful (1952). My jaw dropped to the ground when I heard the line "bad and beautiful" uttered by Coyote, in response to his giving Affair Girl the new dress. I guess I must really know my classic movies...don't be surprised, either, to find that the entire movie is actually a script by one of the actors in the movie within a movie. Sigh.
Alright, three. This is one of those movies that screams for a widescreen presentation. So if you like getting dizzy, watching between pan-and-scan and subtitles, this is your flick.
Otherwise, be prepared for two hours of angry, embittered, unsympathetic married people thriving on crisis, having affairs, and snapping indignantly at each other. There were a few joke's-on-the-viewer moments, where it's at first unclear whether the affair is "real" or "on-screen". Unfortunately, it's revealed that it's all too "real". Like the unadvised inclusion of that tedious, cardboard "lesbian fantasy", of course as dictated by the impatient voyeur male lover, during some sex scene. Groan.
Blah to all of the above, except John Berry. 2/10.