Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

29 April 2008

Suburban Girl, dir. Marc Klein (2007)

NIKKI says:
I know I say this a lot but ... it started out so well. Associate editor meets big-time publishing magnate and started perhaps an ill-advised romance. He ends up helping her with her work, until she discovers he is rather intensely flawed. She must then question her own wants and needs. In effect, he becomes her editor, fixing her flaws, and, as he says, making her better.

Great premise, and the literary references throughout had me positively shivering with glee. (Why don't we ever meet people who can quote Dante?)

Problems! Oh golly, the problems. Basically, it all begins to unravel when Sarah Michelle says "Who's Jackson Browne?" She not that young. I think it was at this point that we began to pick the movie's large faults. Basically, Sarah Michelle's character is set up as wonderfully smart, and yet she is so blind to her surroundings, and acts, at times, so horribly immature that she becomes hard to take seriously.

Take, for instance, her reluctance to quiz Alec Baldwin (who plays her older man) on his past relationship with her new, feisty boss. Instead of just asking him why he kept such information from her, she opts to get wasted at a society event and make a damned fool out herself, which works only to demonstrate to Alec how young his girlfriend really is. This doesn't seem to faze him all that much, though.

Which begs another question -- how did she not realise that the relationship was not going to be long-lasting? She even peruses a photo album in his home filled with young women he's been in relationships with. It's impossible to think that Sarah Michelle didn't figure herself another notch on a particularly long belt.

But then the movie wants us to think that even for Alec, Sarah Michelle was something special. Only she is so immature, and a little dumb. She criticizes him for being self-involved when he rails at her for her lateness: "Don't blame me for you being a bad father!" she yells. I wanted him to scream back, "Then don't blame me for you being a stupid brat at that party!" The guy is going through massive alcohol-fuelled family-trauma, and she's having a go at him for saying exactly what's within his right to say. To what real end?

Anyway, the movie's got issues. I liked its main point, that people can be edited and shaped, but I don't think the older man/younger woman thing was necessary to make that point. It just brings up too many complications. And we hated that Alec, at 50, was made out to be as old as Moses when visiting Sarah Michelle's family. Fifty is not that old. Even Sarah Michelle does it by calling Alec and his friend "the cast of Cocoon". O ... kay.

So much potential that went so far astray. Still, it was generally entertaining, and it was nice to see Alec doing his gravelly-voiced thing.


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