August 04, 2003

A Public Service Announceme...

A Public Service Announcement: Some of you may be tempted to pay money to see the new Merchant-Ivory film, Le Divorce, based on some novel that some people are rumored to like. It is even possible that you have read some kind words about it, for example from a reviewer or two.

For those of you who fall under any of the preceding categories, an urgent bit of advice: Do not see this movie, unless your medical condition requires two-hour bouts of slow-burning rage. It is a moral obscenity, clumsily made. There are some funny bits, and plenty of little winks and nods to Franco-American filmgoing couples, but after 120 minutes of this cheerfully destructive narcissism you'll feel like you've swallowed a whole bucket of rat poison.

If you're really pining for an Americans-in-Paris story, complete with expatriate writers, wry bi-cultural observation and healthy amounts of drinking, save the $7.50 and instead rent A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, the excellent and little-known 1998 film starring Kris Kristofferson and Leelee Sobieski (and made, ironically enough, by messers Merchant and Ivory). You'll be glad you did, or I'll give you your money back.

Posted by at August 4, 2003 11:14 PM
Comments

$7.50? Where are you seeing your movies? I mean, apart from free screenings like this one. $10 minimum in my 'hood.

I can tell you that a colleague of mine felt very similarly about the film. I haven't seen it yet, but do concur on Soldier's Daughter.

Posted by: LYT at August 5, 2003 12:22 AM

Thanks for the anti-tip. But what I really want to know is what you thought of Gigli!

Tee hee!

Posted by: Doug Arellanes at August 5, 2003 06:13 AM

My intrepid, light-summer-reading-frenzied fiance, Brill, has actually read the novel "Le Divorce." She was disappointed to find that, despite bearing a cover similar to books in the genre, the "Le Divorce" (the novel) is not chixploitation/chick lit but actually an honsest to goodness attempt at serious fiction. Additionally, however, it sucks about as bad as Matt says the movie does.
I guess if I need my Naomi Watts fix I should go rent Tank Girl. I liked her better as a dorky brunette anyway.

Posted by: Eric Almendral at August 5, 2003 07:47 AM

Dang, and I thought "Paris - When It Sizzles" was the premier "Americans-in-Paris story, complete with expatriate writers, wry bi-cultural observation and healthy amounts of drinking"...I'm behind the times (in more ways than one, apparently)

Posted by: Gil Gilliam at August 5, 2003 07:57 AM

A better way to spend your time is by checking out ihatekate.com or ihatekatehudson.com. both should work. listen to her thoughts on why the French don't and shouldn't like us to begin with.

Posted by: g wiz at August 5, 2003 09:13 AM

For the trivia minded. Saks is having a shopping spree giveaway in connection with "LeDivorce" movie release. I don't know what that says about Saks or the movie.

Posted by: Kathy at August 5, 2003 10:33 AM

I'll rent the movie just because Lelee Sobieski is in it! Dike

Posted by: Mike at August 5, 2003 11:11 AM

I had the same question as LYT. Answers, we need answers.

Posted by: RR Ryan at August 5, 2003 12:49 PM

The Los Feliz 3 & the Vista, I believe, both max out at $7.50. And the latter theater is about the best place to watch a movie in Los Angeles.

Posted by: Matt Welch at August 5, 2003 01:01 PM

The American-in-Paris plotline is friggin' old and lame it needs to be taken out back and shot. The only reason Hollywood keeps cranking out movies using that plotline is that they get weeks/months in Paris with all expenses paid. Not bad work if you can get it but producing an untold number of lame-ass movies.

Last year there was a movie starring Nick Nolte as an American junkie and thief living in Marseille (forgot the name of the movie). Now that was good.

Posted by: David Crawford at August 5, 2003 03:52 PM

I second the Vista shout-out. Particularly because you can also get a sharp $19 haircut at Rudy's beforehand.

Posted by: Mike S. at August 5, 2003 05:59 PM

Rudy's, though I resisted it for years, is where I got my Ben Affleck 'do. You could also walk down the street and visit my house, but this is not the kind of thing I'd actually like to encourage.

Posted by: Matt Welch at August 5, 2003 06:13 PM

David, that Nick Nolte movie would be The Good Thief, itself a remake of the French film Bob le Flambeur.

Posted by: LYT at August 6, 2003 01:36 AM

Friends, I live in Bangkok and know of a wannabe Merchant-Ivory star, a Mr Richard Brown, who yearns to have his life story transferred to film... nascent rock-star of 'The Misunderstood', about to go bigtime but who gets drafted, finds himself gutlessly self-victimizing and without the balls to go for Canada OR actually protect his nation, he slips acidicly into Haight-Ashbury in 1965, meets Guru Jhee Wizz, gets moved to India, gets SERIOUS dysentery, gets robbed, gets lost, gets diarrhea, gets vilified, gets old, gets absolved of desertion, gets help, gets a life, and finds himself designing cosmic rock-silver-gold trinkets to sell at high prices to gullible toorists...

IF -big IF- if you hear any scuttlebutt or inside skinny about Merchant-Ivory moving on this, please email me at my friend's (here-listed) email account.

Much thanks.

Posted by: Eye Opener at August 6, 2003 05:39 AM

Soldier's daughter is a great movie....as is Lone Star, which also stars the underrated KK.

Top price at Vista is $8.

Posted by: Tim DeRoche at August 6, 2003 10:07 AM

"A Soldier's Daughter" has always been one of my fav films, and one I rent often. Remember the little proto-rapist in the tree house? He grew up to be Chirac...

Posted by: Misanthropyst at August 6, 2003 05:33 PM

I can't speak for the film as I haven't seen it yet, but Diane Johnson's novel is very fine and the follow-up, Le Marriage, is even better. I am afraid I won't be able to keep myself from going to the film, once they finally get around to showing it here in dusty Austin; the cast looks amazing. But I now brace myself for tragic disappointment.

Posted by: Shiloh Bucher at August 7, 2003 07:34 AM

Moral obscenity? What are you, Miss Manners? Can you elaborate? BTW, as for Americans in Paris, don't forget the classic The Moderns.

Posted by: Rick Bruner at August 7, 2003 07:04 PM

Rick -- I find the morality of this movie to be obscene. Don't think there's a better way to put it. If you saw Field of Dreams, and found that to be obscene, that's kinda what I'm talking about. I'll take Death Race 2000 any day over this warmed over self-discovery horseshit. Go ahead and see it, and tell me I'm wrong.

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d, gets absolved of desertion, gets help, gets a life, and finds himself designing cosmic rock-silver-gold trinkets to sell at high prices to gullible toorists...

IF -big IF- if you hear any scuttlebutt or inside skinny about Merchant-Ivory moving on this, please email me at my friend's (here-listed) email account.

Much thanks.

Posted by:
Eye Opener at August 6, 2003 05:39 AM

Soldier's daughter is a great movie....as is Lone Star, which also stars the underrated KK.

Top price at Vista is $8.

Posted by: Tim DeRoche at August 6, 2003 10:07 AM

"A Soldier's Daughter" has always been one of my fav films, and one I rent often. Remember the little proto-rapist in the tree house? He grew up to be Chirac...

Posted by: Misanthropyst at August 6, 2003 05:33 PM

I can't speak for the film as I haven't seen it yet, but Diane Johnson's novel is very fine and the follow-up, Le Marriage, is even better. I am afraid I won't be able to keep myself from going to the film, once they finally get around to showing it here in dusty Austin; the cast looks amazing. But I now brace myself for tragic disappointment.

Posted by: Shiloh Bucher at August 7, 2003 07:34 AM

Moral obscenity? What are you, Miss Manners? Can you elaborate? BTW, as for Americans in Paris, don't forget the classic The Moderns.

Posted by: Rick Bruner at August 7, 2003 07:04 PM

Rick -- I find the morality of this movie to be obscene. Don't think there's a better way to put it. If you saw Field of Dreams, and found that to be obscene, that's kinda what I'm talking about. I'll take Death Race 2000 any day over this warmed over self-discovery horseshit. Go ahead and see it, and tell me I'm wrong.

Posted by: Matt Welch at August 8, 2003 01:07 AM
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