by Old Monkey
I had been in the theatre for about 90 minutes when I realized why my brain hurt. I had been searching for some cohesive plot, or story, or anything. But there was nothing for me to grab ahold of.The story (if you can call it that) revolves around two women. Well, a girl and her mother, played by Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon, respectively. The mother is a age-denying, overbearing, hypercritical type with a complex about dying in her hometown, Bay City, Wisconsin. For our international readers, this is hick country, mid-west, boring, flat, "America's Dairy Land". You probably wouldn't want to die there either. I thought I might die for awhile when I was watching all this.
"It's like going through someone else's family album."
The scenes were flying by. So much back story. Ann (Portman) had a cousin back home who was her best friend. The mother had some issues about her husband leaving her on Christmas Eve. Why they owned this flashy car. The whole movie encapsulated 3 years into about 2 hours. They did it well. Unfortunately, giving structure to these scenes was something that I'm not even sure they tried to do. There was no story, other than that someday, the daughter would leave her mother behind. They follow it up with a montage of scenes ranging from slightly comedic, to all out bored-to-tears, save me from this, I want to shoot myself awful.
It wasn't all bad, though. Both characters were believable. The cinematography was basic, average. And while it probably shouldn't be noted, basic and average cinematography is something that I'd like to see more of. The soundtrack was odd. Not the choices, per sť, just they way some of the songs were presented. It was as if they were trying to make this hit song more noticable than say just some random piece of music that was scored for the film.All in all, I'd have to say that it wasn't God awful. That is, if you like sappy coming of age films, you will like this movie. I, however, am a cynical nineteen year old. So, uh, no.
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originally posted: 11/12/99 22:37:27