[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
it's not another movie review...it's a dvd review. totally different.
so this isn’t a movie review in the sense of a movie-that’s-playing-in-theaters review. get off me. the theaters weren’t open. instead, it’s a dvd review. but it’s a newly released dvd, so it’s practically like it’s a real movie.
okay, so today’s pick is possession, starring gwyneth paltrow and aaron eckhart and directed by neil labute. you know neil labute, right? he directed such classic chick-flicks as in the company of men. you know that one. the one where two misogynist pigs think it would be a blast to fuck with the emotions of a blind chick? yeah, that one has romance written all over it. or how about labute’s your friends and neighbors where everybody fucks around on everybody else in some effort to find happiness but it turns out that they don’t get happy they just fuck around and feel miserabler. not that miserabler is a word. but i think it goes a long way in getting the point across.
yeah, so, based on his previous work i bet you’re all on board with the idea of possession being some really romantic movie, right?
right off the bat, let’s just get the issue of the title out of the way. possession is a lame-ass title. it sounds like some b-movie starring natasha henstridge and gil bellows and he’s some bitter divorced cop who lives on a boat and she’s this rich socialite in a loveless marriage who’s getting death threats and they find love in each other’s arms, but, in the end, it turns out that she’s a bad woman and he has to shoot her.
or, maybe it would be a good title for a b-movie starring denise richards as the single mother of some adorable, yet wholly generic, moppet who has suddenly started making very bad things happen and then a hot and brooding occult-junkie whose younger sister [played by dawson creek’s michelle williams in the flashback sequences] was killed by, um…a demon…or something, comes along to unravel the mystery. and stuff. anyway, he’d be played by matt leblanc. of course, there’s the inevitable dénouement where the moppet’s father, played by some baldwin brother, turns out to be the cult leader who’s grooming the kid to take his place.
but, possession is a stupid-ass title for this particular movie.
here’s the skinny:
eckhart plays an ugly american who’s slogging away on some literary research project about some universally adored dead british poet. this dead british poet guy, played by jeremy northam [as though there was any doubt he’d be played by jeremy northam.] is known for writing these beautiful love poems to his wife, to whom he was undyingly devoted.
then there’s gywneth doing her i-can’t-believe-she’s-not-british accent, playing a literary scholar who is an expert in the work of her great-great-something or other, who was some big-deal poet herself. and, also, she was a lesbian [what’s up with the literary flicks and their lesbians these days??].
anyway, the ugly american has reason to believe that the dead british poet guy was writing some fairly steamy – well, steamy in a literary way – letters to the lesbian. and she was writing back in a similarly literarily steamily way. of course, if such a correspondence could be verified, it would rock the literary world! although, let’s be honest, i’m not sure that it really takes a whole lot to rock the literary world. i mean, remember when that guy wrote that primary colors book about the not-clintons and called himself anonymous? that rocked the literary world. and, also, when that asshole jonathan franzen destroyed my one shot at being on the oprah winfrey show because he’s a pompous jackass who ran off at the mouth about how women who watch oprah couldn’t possibly appreciate his highbrow literary work? rocked the literary world. so, i think we’ve established that it’s a world that’s easily rocked.
so, the ugly american and the american-playing-a-brit go off in search of. like the old leonard nimoy show. only without the cool intro music. they retrace the steps of the two star-crossed dead lovers and – oh, here’s a shock – they end up kissing and stuff along the way.
luckily, there are enough one-liners and light moments to keep things from slipping into chick-flick-taking-itself-entirely-seriously territory. and, eckhart plays his ugly american with enough guyness that those of you with penises will not feel suffocated by chickness, despite the presence of period costumes, flashbacks and the occasional longing glance. actually, you might find that the flashback story is much more compelling and fully realized than that of the present-day counterparts. although eckhart is still fun to watch.
it’s a movie set in the lightning-paced world of literary researchers, academic uptights and poets which is entirely populated by dreamy-looking people like paltrow and eckhart. obviously, a fantasy piece. but, a really smart, well-rounded fantasy piece.
honestly, i would say this was one of my favorite movies of last year. seriously. and, you’re gonna like this movie, too. yeah, i’m talking to you…with the penis. yes, it’s schmoopy. but if you just lighten up and get over yourself you might enjoy it…and you might even get laid for bringing home such a schmoopy ,smart, beautiful and genuinely touching movie instead of blue crush. again.
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