22 August 2002 | mentalcritic
I wanted to claw my own eyes out within half an hour...
Films like this are one of the many things that give Hollywood its bad reputation among independent creative artists. Being at the advanced age of twenty-four and already having had two girlfriends (okay, one girlfriend and one exceptionally good female friend) die on me, I turned the DVD off feeling insulted. Mr. Cranky's review of the film says it all, but I thought I would offer some of my own personal commentary just to embellish the point.
Ever heard the saying "convert ****holes who, having accepted Jesus into their hearts, remain ****holes"? Well, this film is a living example of it. I had as much sympathy for the characters in this film as I would have for a baked potato, and that did not change one iota by the end. The dead mother plot device might have done it for me - quite frankly, I would be very indifferent if my mother died, especially if she had done so when I was about ten years younger. Plot points follow this paragraph, by the way, but you might save yourself a lot of boredom if you just read them.
The manner in which we are supposed to feel sympathy for Leelee Cantactworthadamn's character is simple. The writers and director decide to give her cancer. Apparently, she has broken her knee playing sports before, and the doctors tell her crying family that the possibility of a tumour growing in her leg as a result was "always a possibility". What the f***? Having had a cancer dug out of my face myself, resulting in similar disfigurement to what Cybill Shepherd is reputedly going through at the moment, I find this plot device even more insulting now than I did when I saw the film. I will not feel sympathy for a cardboard cut-out if she dies of cancer, and I will want to kill her myself if she is afflicted with cancer via such a lousy, insulting, and just plain inconsistent with the facts setup as this. Hell, her family must belong to the HMO from Hades if cancer as the result of a knee injury was "always a possibility", and yet it spreads throughout her body so far it cannot be rectified before anyone even notices!
Of course, another source of eternal amusement is the contribution of music by Tori Amos, a woman who still apparently wishes she was more unusual than the chew-toys in breakfast cereals. I'd love to see the look on her face after being played some of the record collection I've put together after years of living in circumstances that would make the writers of this film shudder in terror. Which brings me to another point - when the hell is Hollywood going to stop insulting us with these pseudo-alternative films and present us with something truly exceptional again? One could could the current Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but that is only exceptional because of good source material and a quirky director. Hell On Earth, by comparison, seems geared to prove that Hollywood is only geared towards a very narrow, rigid demographic.
In case I haven't impressed upon you how bad this trash is, let me close by just saying that this film's entire plot was done a billion times better in about twenty minutes of Groundhog Day.