Tuesday, April 18, 2006

much has happened this last few weeks

1. I passed my dissertation defense. That would be DR. Jezebella to you.

2. Threw a wedding shower. It involved cooking for two days but was worth every moment. I think it was the honoree's public debut as bride-to-be and she enjoyed doing the Fun Bride Stuff without having to do any of the planning.

3. Slept for about a day and a half.

now, to much more serious business, I wish to make a few comments regarding the movie "Mystic River." Yes, it is dark and complex and beautifully acted, and tragic. It should've ended about 10 minutes earlier, however. Until the last two scenes, I hadn't really noticed the female characters. They were minor supporting roles, as the story was really about the male leads. Okay, fine. But then, when it comes time for them to step up, it's revolting. First Sean Penn's wife, Laura Linney, tells him that even though he has done a horrible thing - several of them - it's okay with her because, gah, I can hardly even think of it without gagging, "You're the King! You could rule this town!" "you are the king"?? Bog, who says that? "Honey, you just killed an innocent man but it's okay that you did it because you're the king. Let's fuck!" Revolting. As background noise, she was fine, but holy crap, this is not how women talk.

Second, the character played by Marcia Gay Harden. Her husband, a profoundly damaged man, has just been murdered by his childhood friend. First, Laura Linney dismisses her with a put-down about "what kind of woman thinks that about her own husband?" Well, everybody ELSE thought he killed the girl, why not her? And then there's the closing scene: a parade. Happy family one (Sean Penn's) is on the street. Happy Family Two (Kevin Bacon's), freshly reunited, also on the street. Then there's that pathetic widow, weakly Marcia Gay Harden, skulking around, embarrassed to exist, and the Happy Families ignore her, act like SHE is the embarrassment, not the murderer and his family. Not the cop who has chosen to cover up the murder, and his family. No, the widow, she's the one who shouldn't be there. It's revolting, it really is.

I have to wonder how Marcia Gay Harden could tolerate such a shit role - well, Laura Linney, too - how did they have the stomach to be so patently unlike actual women?

And so this is how the movie ends. Happy families, widow who obviously ought to disappear... all on a nice spring day. Because, really, wouldn't the neighborhood be nicer if that widow, who reminds us of, you know, icky things, would have the decency to just disappear? Nobody wants to see a woman without a man.

Then the credits roll, I see "Written by Clint Eastwood" and I figure it out: he's never actually listened to a woman in his life. He knows how men talk - and he's good at writing them - but he only knows how to write what he wants women to say. As in, "You're the king." Who says that shit, for reals? Go figure, a 70 year old guy never heard a woman speak - not really - in all his life. It shows in his writing.

So anyway what these last two scenes do is completely wreck and ruin what had been a really good, powerful, complex movie. Sure, it was about men (what isn't?) but until then the female characters were at least inoffensive.

In conclusion: anyone wishing to rent this movie is advised to TURN IT OFF as soon as Laura Linney starts smarming all over Sean Penn in the bedroom after he confesses to her. No good will come of watching the rest.

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