I watched Don't Say a Word
this weekend, which is an extremely stupid you're fired. It starts off like gang-busters, making me think I was in for another well-crafted, well-produced, smarter-and-more-detailed-than-you'd-think Arnold Kopelson flick. But then it flashed forward ten years and the crap portion of the movie began. Douglas and Murphy are as good as they could be, but there's a ridiculous subplot with Oliver Platt, Famke Janssen's character is written by a monkey, and someone had the bright idea to cast Jennifer Esposito as a homicide detective (she's much better playing the drunken bar floozy Vince Vaughn picks up in Made
I assumed Gary Fleder's ridiculously stupid mess would be the worst film I'd see this weekend, until I watched Lantana
tonight. Jesus, it feels like someone just took a shit on my eyes. What a horrible movie. How did it get so many good reviews? You know you're in trouble when a film manages to mix being pretentious, slow, predictable, pointless, and obvious all in one script. Everyone overacts in roles that are as unlikable as they are shallow. Every scene ends on some disgusting, moronic aphorism weighted down as if it were the gospel. We get lines like "This wasn't supposed to happen," (about the death of Barbara Hershey's daughter,) "but it did." And of course we have to sit through two poorly edited hours dealing with lame-ass morality lessons of infidelity, loyalty, and deceit. Christ almighty. There's nothing to be learned in this creaky, ugly, whiny, contrived story, and nothing to challenge the audience. Characters do idiotic things on whims just to keep the ludicrous plot wheels churning on their rusty tracks. Stylistically, the film is unfathomably safe and cliched. The writing is dreadful in its obvious message-preaching: "Our daughter's death could have brought us closer together!" (This said, of course, while the two spouses are looking in opposite directions in the dark.) Lantana is everything that's wrong when untalented people think they're making art films. There's no integrity in whining about your own psychobabble through screenwriting and forcing smart people to sit through your own personal therapy. Lantana
retroactively goes on my ten worst list for 2001.