She's So Lovely
Reviewed by Brendan McBride
Rating: 8 Beans
et me start by saying that this movie was "critically acclaimed," which, as far as I can tell, means that they paid at least three critics (enough to get good quotes on the front and back of the box) a sufficient amount of money to prostitute themselves in the name of art. Since this is an independent movie (what Mr. Cranky refers to as a "feelm") it's producers doubtfully had the moolah to pay off Siskel and Ebert. So why is this mind numbingly awful picture so "critically acclaimed?" My theory is that everyone is afraid of being beat up by Sean Penn ("Bad Boys", "We're No Angels"). After the kudos given to this movie and Oliver Stone's "U-turn," this is the only explanation that makes sense.
The running time for this "feelm" was 96 minutes, which, depending on whether you could actually bring yourself to care about any of these "characters," was either ninety minutes too long or six hours too short. The plot is thinner Karl Malone's hair. Maureen (Robin Wright Penn, a.k.a. Robin Wright of the much better "Princess Bride") is a heavy duty alcholic in love with psychopath Eddie played by, who-else, hubby Sean Penn. After forty five minutes of showing how screwed up Maureen is, Eddie goes nuts and winds up in an institution. Jump forward ten years where Maureen has a happy family with John Travolta ("Stayin Alive", "Face/Off"). Happy but for the fact that, although Travolta helped her clean up and gave her a good life, she has spent the last ten years telling her husband that she's still in love with Eddie and plans to split with him as soon as he gets out of the hospital. This is not as complicated as it sounds. This part of the "story" is set up in about five minutes then Eddie shows up, Travolta is understandably angry and we're supposed to hate him and admire Maureen for returning to a life of drugs and street crime (and abandoning her children!) all in the name of True Love (aawww).
This raises an interesting question. What is a viewer to do when the director and writer want you to love all the horrible characters and hate the only decent character? Turn of the TV and find a good book (unless of course you live near director Nick Cassavetes, in which case you should go over to his place, set his face on fire, and put it out with a rake).
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