Water's Edge (2003)

R   |    |  Drama, Thriller

Water's Edge (2003) Poster

A novelist and his wife uncover a vast web of sex, murder and deceit in their quiet hometown.


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16 April 2008 | caa821
| weak even for "Lifetime"
Let's see if I can remember the initial details at the beginning of this "opus." A young couple are going to a cabin owned by his late father. In an opening scene, she is dreaming of being underwater with some sort of plastic barrier preventing her from emerging. This is something like, say, a 10th-grade student might write as a scene in a sophomoric attempt to copy Fellini's "8-1/2." But it's a perfectly appropriate beginning for this flick, which looks like something Ed Wood would have done if he'd had a bit larger and better-looking cast, and enough more in budget to film in British Columbia with better equipment. Other than that, this movie doesn't exceed what he could have achieved, but without the underlying humor and "so-bad-it's-good" quality of Ed's works.

The lead couple are broke. They have fled Gotham to recuperate from a family tragedy. She's contemplating suicide, and to regain their financial status, he's here to complete the great American novel, and thereby they obviously hope to restore themselves both financially and emotionally.

Things get off to a bad start when the lead male/author goes out in a boat to begin writing, but the pages of his text (which are lying in an open box on the boat's seat) blow away into the lake. He returns to the cabin, and finding a loaded shotgun (wife had loaded and aimed at her chin in contemplation of whacking herself), declares they've both had a bad day.

She indicates a need to have something to go with their rice and beans, and he departs with the shotgun, in search of a duck for main course. He almost immediately stumbles upon a policeman who drags a young woman, who is bound and gagged, from the trunk of his vehicle. About to shoot her point-blank, the backwoods gendarme thinks he hears something, so decides to bash her head with a rock instead. The lead then confronts the corrupt lawman, and ignoring the latter's admonition not to interfere with "police business," offs him with his shotgun. Along the way he subsequently discovers another body, 200K in cash, and some racy pictures of the young woman and the mayor (played by the most prominent name in this film, Heaven-Help-Us, Daniel Baldwin).

Soon, we have scenes where the hero is attending a charity auction at the town's library, while his wife chats with the mysterious young woman he had rescued, as the latter cleans-up in the tub. They chat as if they were two sorority sisters getting ready to go to a theme party. At the library, he's introduced as a prominent author and honored guest at the auction. Presumably, the dead lawman is simply still just drawing flies in the woods.

And so it continues, and the remaining plot occurrences and storyline represent time capsule examples of the meaning of the words "banal," "vacuous," and (again) "sophomoric."

All of this is about as gripping as a "Three Stooges" offering. And we all know the "Stooges" writers weren't interested in creating great plots; the main purpose was to create situations where Moe could slap Larry and Curly, hit them on their heads with a mallet, and poke their eyes. The end purpose here is anyone's guess.

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