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Overall Rating
3.65

Awesome: 29.49%
Worth A Look35.9%
Just Average: 14.74%
Pretty Crappy: 9.62%
Sucks: 10.26%

12 reviews, 84 user ratings



Virgin Suicides, The
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by Erik Childress

"Hardly the Best Suicide Comedy"
2 stars

After an attempted suicide by a young girl her doctor asks her why she is there. She has not possibly lived long enough to experience the tragedies of life. She says he has no idea what it’s like to be a 13-year old girl. Thus starts what hopes to be a promising examination of the pressures revolving around being a teenager. Unfortunately, the directorial debut of Francis Ford’s daughter, Sofia Coppola, underwhelms us by barely scratching the surface.

The film uses one narrator as the collective presence of five boys in the neighborhood (whom we barely meet) who witness the events that transpired during that period in the seventies when a whole family of children took their own lives. Psychological studies for years have told us that girls have more problems thrust upon them in their growing years than boys do, but this film narrows it down to two things – parents and boys. Boy, what a revelation.

James Woods and Kathleen Turner play the parents of the doomed children as a nerdy math teacher and a religiously domineering mother. Kirsten Dunst gets singled out as the more rebellious sister after the youngest sister jumps out a window and impales herself on a fence, leaving her corpse resembling a floating angel. Not much is made of the three other sisters, all anonymous pretty faces, with no real personality or dimension to any of them. To suggest that Dunst’s character is a representation of all the sisters (or all girls, for that matter) is ridiculous since her questionable behavior is the only behavior we’re allowed to witness.

To suggest that any film dealing with suicide, especially by young people, should have a clear-cut explanation like the unmasking of a killer is absurd. But by not giving us any understanding of the people who do, we are forced to ask an even more brutal question – who cares? Is it a tragedy when bad people take themselves out of this world? Probably not – except maybe to that person’s family. So, how do we know when a good person dies unless we know them. The sister’s lives couldn’t have been nearly as bad as the mentally challenged kid who doesn’t know that he’s being made fun of right to his face. If their horrendous lives consisted only of strict, but decent, parents, menstrual cycles, and being treated poorly by boys (My God – The Horror! The Horror!), then the large percentage of women in this country who toughed it out and didn’t kill themselves must be real troopers. How did they ever survive?

If The Virgin Suicides is supposed to be a dark comedy, then it only got the “dark” right. There is almost nothing funny to be found here except for some nice mannerisms in Woods’ well-toned and restrained performance. By the time a late scene shows an upper-class party where asphyxiation is the theme and the guests wear gas masks and thumb their nose at suicidal tendencies, it’s too late and comes out of left field since the first 90 minutes failed to show anything funny or ironic about the tragedy that surrounds its characters.

This is not this century’s version of Heathers, a film which somehow found the humor and ridiculousness of suicide during the teenage years. The Virgin Suicides is another film where symbolism rules over narrative and where the narrator talks to us like the voice of an audiobook telling us everything yet nothing at all.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3859&reviewer=198
originally posted: 04/26/00 21:51:34
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User Comments

10/10/17 Louise Superbly made and nicely understated, although a serious theme. 4 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell bleak but worth a look 3 stars
9/02/15 Brando James Woods as the father is the only compelling act in this movie. 2 stars
5/18/13 PAUL SHORTT COMPELLING, INTENSE DRAMA WITH SOME GOOD PERFORMANCES 3 stars
8/20/11 Rachel undeveloped characters and story. Ridiculous and crude. Not at all like the 70's I lived 1 stars
8/15/11 chris Poetic and kind of empty in some ways though why it got a R-rating is beyond me. 4 stars
3/20/11 Lab Rat Well, I think every woman having kids MUST see this, to know how NOT to raise them. 5 stars
7/16/10 brian Can Ribisi fail even when he's not on screen? No, he cannot. 4 stars
10/23/09 Jeff Wilder Visually poetic. 4 stars
8/27/09 Girl A really good movie 4 stars
5/18/09 Anonymous. anyone who liked this movie should read the book, it's even better. 4 stars
5/15/09 Matt absolutely horrid and detestable in every way. made me want to hang myself 1 stars
7/31/07 ravenmad this is a luv it/hate it pic: I loved it! 5 stars
5/13/07 fools♫gold What would later lead to greats like Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette. 7/10 4 stars
2/21/07 Beau wonderfully made film from 'coppola' and 'dunst and turner' are magnificent, very compellin 5 stars
12/05/06 criticalthinker It is critical to read the book before watching the film. 4 stars
11/27/06 William Goss Intimate, immediate, and haunting. 5 stars
9/22/06 David Pollastrini Sofia coppola directs much better than she acts 5 stars
3/03/06 omar one of the best movies ever. depressing but a good movie altogether 5 stars
8/17/05 ES blah, blah, blah, blah, blah =not worth the time or money 1 stars
4/26/05 movielover this movie is one of the best movies ever! 5 stars
4/24/05 sweetgrrl1972 Boring 1 stars
3/24/05 john h. wallace very depressiing yet lures you into wanting more 5 stars
1/27/05 gtsilver makes you wonder what your daughters are thinking 4 stars
1/15/05 Jeff Anderson A dreamy, perfectly acted, and totally accurate depiction of the 70's. SOFIA COPPOLA ROCKS! 5 stars
12/06/04 Felicia Matthews I really like this movie. It was well directed and had very talented actors 5 stars
7/25/04 Movieguy A great film 5 stars
7/21/04 dropdead beautiful movie, very endearing. 5 stars
6/16/04 Jeanne Beautifully shot, nice mood, but ultimately, no real point 3 stars
5/29/04 R.W. Welch Good cinematography but enigmatic and a bit draggy. 3 stars
3/27/04 lvlisty69 it was good to me is it true? 4 stars
1/29/04 Elena Amazing use of music; great acting; but story has holes in it... doesn't make sense 3 stars
1/26/04 Chloe Brody The title was decieving...the virgin suicides...hmmm 4 stars
1/09/04 your worst goddamn nightmare artsy, humorous, intelligent film... the narration reminded me of Goodfellas, hehe 5 stars
10/28/03 WestcoastPunk wow is all i hvae to say 5 stars
9/08/03 sneaker it's not enough to show sad pretty girls in "danger looming" atmosphere. Cheap. 3 stars
9/04/03 Darlene Groetz The movie in which Kirsten Dunst became a zombie of the tragic wands. 1 stars
4/28/03 Buko This movie has a magical feeling, and Kirsten is just wonderful 5 stars
4/19/03 Dillon Considering its the directors debut, pretty damn good. Great music, great Dunst & Josh too 4 stars
3/24/03 Jack Sommersby Curiously unmoving. 2 stars
3/12/03 kelley jewell its alright 3 stars
2/05/03 Kirsten Dunst fan in mourning I'd rather be sodomized by a gang of porcupines than have to play "Lux"!. 1 stars
1/14/03 dammitall this is the worst. only visuals worth it. 1 stars
11/27/02 Zack W. Young Beautiful and truly disturbing. 5 stars
8/30/02 Natalie Stonecipher Poor Kirsten Dunst - Is she wasted herein? Drawn and quartered is more like it. 1 stars
8/28/02 I Can't Swim Excellent in practically every way. A bit more insight into Mom & Dad would have been nice 4 stars
8/26/02 Phoenix I'm in love with Kirsten Dunst. 5 stars
6/22/02 Frances I love twisted films like this 5 stars
6/01/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi I absolutely loved this film, very depressing, yet very entertaining 5 stars
5/15/02 Darlene Groetz The movie where Kirsten Dunst became a zombie of the tragic wands. 1 stars
4/28/02 Demure33 It has all the flavor of the 70s from a girl's perspective 4 stars
3/31/02 Elizaveta amazingly real 5 stars
3/06/02 Kirsten Dunst fan in mourning I'd rather be sodomized by a gang of porcupines than have to play "Lux". 1 stars
3/01/02 Nomargin Fantastically clautorphobic!! Ms. Coppola has a bright future ahead of her. 5 stars
2/02/02 Natalie Stonecipher Poor Kirsten Dunst - Is she wasted herein? Drawn and quartered is more like it. 1 stars
1/13/02 Tomper Lux was a virgin??? Barely stuck it out to the end. 3 stars
12/02/01 Kate Dull, missing lots o'details, unrealistic, under-dvlpd chrctrs, boring plot. Don't bother. 1 stars
11/30/01 Jeff Wilson Nice "collective" narration idea. Dunst before she made teen crap. nice movie, nice book 4 stars
9/16/01 Bri Yuck, avoid this garbage. 1 stars
9/07/01 country had to watch it for a college english course... i liked it, and the book is worth reading 4 stars
8/18/01 Dakamus "Sucks All Ass" is nowhere near the level of shittiness for this festering bag of poop. 1 stars
5/28/01 Basil I think it w 5 stars
4/01/01 Clarance FanFuckinTastic cinematography combined with a unique and thought provoking plot 4 stars
3/21/01 lickthestar Not as good as the book but few movies are I suppose. Still an excellent film. 5 stars
3/07/01 Mart Dawg GAyest, most boring movie i've seen in a while, IT WOULDNT FUCKING END!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/23/01 Marie completely unbeliavable. Huge plot holes. 3 stars
1/28/01 xy this movie was so awesome. i reccommend u watch it!!! 5 stars
1/06/01 kyle great soundtrack + lovely um, girls? woods very good 4 stars
12/16/00 perverted pixie Shades of "To Die For". Ethereal and enigmatic- who exactly was the narrator? 4 stars
10/17/00 elizabeth dreamy, ethereal, gooey like the lip gloss on kirsten dunst's lips 4 stars
10/05/00 JL Sofia's a lucky bitch. But also a fucking genious. I want a new daddy. Two thumbs way up!!! 5 stars
8/29/00 Viking Not a bad effort 4 stars
8/15/00 MIKE I AM IN SUCH LOVE WITH JOSH HARTNETT! WHAT A HOT GUY!!!!!! 5 stars
8/12/00 Belinda Yawn. 2 stars
6/25/00 skye chapman boring. trite. empty. simpleminded. obvious. stupid. annoying. is it only me? 1 stars
6/11/00 Lisa Odd movie, but kept my interest. Not enough info regarding the reasons for the suicides. 4 stars
5/29/00 Zatoichi Jones Dead sexy and dead creepy. 4 stars
5/19/00 Louis An OK movie. Kirsten Dunst is HOT! 3 stars
5/18/00 syd Coppola has a good eye for set design & costume design, but writing/directing needs work 3 stars
5/09/00 Stefano maybe failing in deeply exploring the teens' world, but it's poetic and touching 4 stars
5/07/00 PJ Great movie, great soundtrack, great acting, original, beautiful, just great 5 stars
4/27/00 Robert I Cruickshank The auto-comment says it all: worth a look. I liked the movie, despite its numerous holes. 4 stars
4/17/00 violetta Incredibly brilliant, touching, never conventional. 5 stars
4/17/00 Mairi Thomas Brilliantly evocative of 70's chilhood and barmy parents. Dreamy ultra-cool soundtrack. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Apr-2000 (R)

UK
  N/A (15)

Australia
  10-Aug-2000 (MA)




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