Stuck on You
It has been a slow past couple of weeks on the movie front; recently, not much of interest has opened here, which has been somewhat fortuitous since three DVD box sets also came out in the past two weeks (Alias
Season 2, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 5, and Firefly
Season 1). However, I took Friday off from work, and decided to go to the only movie that held any interest for me, the new Farrelly brothers comedy, Stuck on You
. I was intrigued by recent critical comments which pegged Stuck on You
as something of a transitional vehicle for the Farrelly brothers. It's somewhat true as Stuck on You
shows a marked decrease in gross-out and scatological humor, while preserving the brothers focus on "freaks" and "losers," (conjoined twins, the mentally retarded, Hollywood down and outs, Cher) outre narrative movements (a musical version of Bonnie and Clyde
featuring Greg Kinnear and Meryl Streep, who appears in the movie as herself), and their penchant for sentimentality leavened with humor. This creates something that is not as outrageously funny as Kingpin
or There's Something About Mary
, but is compelling in its own weird way. Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear play really convincing brothers, though not exactly conjoined twins, necessary since the movie is one long paean to brotherly love (the brothers are a force when joined together, but completely falter when they are separated). However, the film is stolen by both a heavily botox-ed Cher, who plays a completely self-absorbed version of herself, and Seymour Cassel, who plays a decrepit Hollywood agent (he demands separate dressing rooms for both Damon and Kinnear while negotiating a television deal).
The Flower of Evil
I also saw Claude Chabrol's newest film, The Flower of Evil
, last Sunday. This anti-thriller is something of a kissing cousin to those American films which expose the rot beneath the suburban veneer, though this film is on the whole better crafted, less histrionically acted, and pretty much de-emphasizes the often ridiculous melodramatic flourishes of the plot (incest, murder, accidental deaths, politics, infidelity, guilt, Nazi sympathizers). The first half of the film is kind of confusing, as the viewer is provided no easy signposts which would allow them to untangled the family tree of the Charpin-Vasseur family, though it turns out that the film's plot hinges on repeating the past, transference of guilt, and an incestuous pairing between step-siblings/cousins, though if my cousin/stepsister looked like Melanie Doutey, I would probably give a lot of thought to incest too.