Kept waiting for something that didn't come (possible spoilers)
When Steve Martin steps out of his trademark niche of comedy into the genre of drama, it never tends to fare all that well. Such is the case with "Shopgirl". There seemed to be such promise in the beginning with the story of the displaced but endearing Mirabelle, but I just kept waiting for something that didn't come. Instead, you get a lot of angsty shots of the three leads, sweeping views of Los Angeles, and great payola stills of Saks. Martin'c cryptic and sporadic narration also does not help, attempting to fill the gaps of what could be quite interesting dialogue. And the promise of Jason Schwartzman's quirky character actually becoming lovable is muted by his alleged transformation via meditation as a newbie roadie.
It seems to summarize itself (with cherry blossoms inexplicably blowing in the wind, no less) by saying that all you need is to buckle down on a few yoga tapes, buy yourself an Armani suit, and you'll get the girl in the end.
Being more a fan of films with fun, feisty storylines and happy endings--since, after all, who needs to pay full admission to feel depressed or frightened--I still like scary movies. They reveal our fears and suspicions, unfurl them before us like a full course buffet.
Or maybe I should say, *good* scary movies achieve that effect.
Broadcast as the Sunday Afternoon Movie on one of the local stations, "Cord" roped me in with its sheer awful-factor. How can you go wrong with a pregnant woman as your victim: Darryl Hannah, hair blond and long as the day. And whoa, doggy! Vile and wily Jennifer Tilly, squeak-vox tweaked to full freak volume.
So, why did I think I was watching a movie made in the '80s? Surely such contrived plot points hobbling along under the crutch of cheap, titillating imagery couldn't be a product of the 2000s, riiight? Maybe it was just meant to be gore for the sake of gore, a portrait of terror like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? Or, was this movie actually "based on real events"?
Alas, such questions ask more than any participant in this tripe cared to posit to themselves. Any traces of gruesome realism in "Cord" are deflated by a natural reaction of nauseous indifference. And to find any entertainment value in a pregnant woman being tortured is to famously suck as a human being.
Why didn't I buy it?
Helpful hint, but potential spoiler...like it matters: If you are in a situation of severe distress and are able to reach a working phone, do not call a loved one with the hopes that they'll pick up. Dial 911, and let logic prevail over plain stupidity.