|When Movies Go Bad: Part Four - Bad Date Edition|
posted by B on 6/13/01Forces of Nature
As much as we've tried to avoid it, people who read our site tend to have some serious relationship woes. I've had my share myself...let's see, a girl I was dating cheated on me twice (once with a guy at her church, once with a guy who had a nicer car), I dated a Mormon who got mad at me for laughing at Beavis and Butthead...OH, and I dated a Wiccan girl who had Sailor Moon posters all over her house and a love for John Waters movies. I'd rather gnaw my own arm out, poop it, and then eat it again than have to sit through another movie about shit-eating transvestites.
Anyway, anybody who reads this site knows about our love for movies. We talk about them all the time, especially when there isn't anything better to talk about *cough cough*. When I was asked to write part four of our big series of "When Movies Go Bad" entries, I asked myself, "self, what was the WORST experience you EVER had going to the movies?"
The answer came to me in a chariot of fire from Heaven.
Or, from the Lord at least. When I was in High school I had a HUGE crush on a blonde named Karla. It took me almost four years to get over my Kevin Arnold syndrome and actually talk to her, and when I did, we found out that we had a lot in common. Being a bit of a horndog but mostly empowered with the best of intentions, I tried to spend as much time with her as possible. I came from a fairly religious family, but Karla was RELIGIOUS. She didn't (and doesn't) even believe in friggin holding hands before getting married. So the best I could do was to see the occasional movie with her, or with her and her friends.
Movies can go bad, but when movies I KNOW are bad are forced upon me by people I like, it's a tough situation. Listed here are the three big bad demons that Karla and I sat through together. Two of them feature Ben Affleck and one of them involves Julia Roberts fanning her hairy armpits out in front of a portable electric fan. What could be worse than trying to procure a meaningful relationship amongst this mess?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Year of Release: 1999
The Pitch: A two-hour attempt to show that tornadoes will ravage the land, floods will destroy the Earth, and Earthquakes will break California off the world map and send it plummeting into Level 1-2 with the blue Goombas before Ben Affleck will accurately portray emotion.
Starring: Sandra Bullock and that ugly chick from NewsRadio. Also, Ben Affleck as "Ben." Joey Lawrence as "Joey" and Tony Danza as "Tony" evidently hit the cutting room floor. And before I continue, I'd like to officially state that I'd like Ben Affleck to hit my cutting room fist.
Reason for Release: Somebody out there...be it the aforementioned females or the bizarre species of mentally deficient bryozoan responsible for green-lighting any movie with "Affleck," "Bullock," "romantic comedy," and "natural disasters" in the description. The basic plot revolves around Ben's plane trip home to marry his ugly girlfriend. Without warning, a FORCE OF NATURE causes his plane to crash. Subsequently, several other FORCES OF NATURE draw him toward fellow TWO TIME PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR Sandra Bullock, who's constant survival severely hurts the theory that a loving, Christian God exists. They have a big stinky teased romance for what seems like hours and hours before a tornado hits and Ben gets married to his ugly girlfriend. Completely confused? Not really completely confused, but you don't really CARE enough to try to figure it out? Now you're getting it.
Where it Went Wrong: As bastardized as the idea of "love" is in modern cinema, Forces of Nature naturally forces it down your throat. In the beginning of the movie we see Ben Affleck making those gay little schmoopie pet-noises with his would-be wife, and a half hour later BANG, he's fantasizing about some chestless chick with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth! I'm sorry, but there is no way in all existence that earth, fire, wind, water, or heart could possibly separate two people who really love each other. Even if those powers COMBINED, and a blue man with a green flattop mullet swooped out to break them apart it wouldn't work. It's one thing for a movie to evoke that titanic ex machina "they just love each other for no reason" theme. It's a whole 'nother ballgame when Hollywood passes off Affleck wanking intellectual about life. I kept expecting him to start ramming Bullock up the ass and ask her who her favorite New Kid was.
Where it REALLY Went Wrong: In "Roman Holiday," Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck fall in love amidst a backdrop of 1950's Italy. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" follows the love of flying Asian people over deserts and through mystical forests. "Forces of Nature" brings the romantic tension to a head in...K-Mart. Yes, fans, in perhaps the most appropriate scene placement in recorded history, the proprietor of Fashionable Males and the "practical magician" get sentimental between the blue light special and the white trash staggering around looking for cheap Batman Beyond underoos. Perhaps the message of the film should be to lower your expectations, and not take your emotions so seriously. That's like saying "Street Fighter: The Movie" is being funny on purpose, though. The real message of this film is "don't let your girlfriend find out that you want to cheat on her. And, if you're on a plane with Sandra Bullock, push her head out the window when you start to crash."
Overall: Lemme put it this way. I watched this movie while sitting awkwardly next to a girl I had a crush on for like six years. Every couple of seconds I'd offer to go get her Milk Duds and end up falling out of my chair like they do in Pokémon when they're exasperated. We were both watching one of the biggest hunks of festering horse crap ever thrown onto a silver screen...and WE had more chemistry than Ben and Sandra. She could've been stabbing me in the eyes with one of those plastic sporks for the nachos and we'd have more chemistry.
In a world of Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, "Forces of Nature" is as bad as it gets. I'll take a moment to "Pay it Forward" and advise everyone reading to avoid this movie like a "Twister." I'm such a good movie critic! Booya!
Year of Release: 1999
The Pitch: Julie Roberts has already completely destroyed the institution of marriage with "My Best Friend's Wedding." Let's see if audiences will pay upwards of nine dollars a head to watch us drop the atomic fucking bomb of lame on it.
Starring: Sweetheart of America Julie Roberts as "Runaway Bride," Richard Gere as "Runaway Groom," B as "Runaway from the Movie." The film also stars Joan Cusack, who I really want to sleep with but have no idea WHY. Do you ever have those celebrities that you find irresistible that you're ashamed to admit to anybody? It's like having a crush on Steve Buscemi. Or a "Gadget" from Rescue Rangers. Not, uh, not that I have either of those.
Reason for Release: This is the true story of a woman who is so caught up in personal identity issues that she continually runs away from every relationship she gets in... Kiefer Sutherland, Lyle Lovett, an...oh, wait, that isn't the movie, that's the star. What can you expect from the little sister of perhaps the greatest Shakespearean talent to ever grace the motion picture industry? Julia Roberts continues her career of being America's sweetheart, despite having distorted facial features and a mouth that can stun and devour other, smaller carnivores in the blink of an eye. Sure, she might be the better actor in the family, but let's look at the list:
Movies I like starring Eric Roberts: 1 (Best of the Best)
Movies I like starring Julia Roberts: 0
So the guy's got a feathered mullet that can crush cars, at least he isn't trying to pass himself off as a quirky twenty-year old all the time. HAHA JULIA IS SO EARNEST OMG. She really MEANS what she's saying! She's SO in character! She's in love, she's fighting for your rights, she's in love AGAIN! She's so "earnest" in her roles that I expect her to don a denim vest and head off to camp.
Besides, why do people keep going to see these movies? In the last decade Julia Roberts has fallen in love with Nick Nolte, Dennis Quaid, Dermot Mulroney, Mel Gibson, Hugh Grant, Andy Griffith, Brad Pitt, and Richard Gere. Do we have some sick fascination with watching Julia Roberts getting it on with a bunch of different men? It's just like your Mom. OOOOH BURRRNNNN
Also, Richard Gere buys a gerbil. That's the joke, right?
Where it Went Wrong: The movie wasn't about me having sex with Joan Cusack. Oh, wait, haha, perhaps it was, because I was banging my head against the seat in front of me to induce hysteria and, ultimately, death.
Where it REALLY Went Wrong: Let me be a good film critic here for a second. The hook of the story is that Julia Roberts is afraid to get married because she adapts to the personality of the men she's with and doesn't want to lose her individuality, right? How is that fixed by her changing her life to marry Richard Gere? Oh, right, it's ROMANTIC this time. Let's put them on a sinking boat next time, we'll make a billion dollars.
Overall: Would a computer generated donkey voiced by Eddie Murphy make this film better? Probably not. Would a computer generated donkey voiced by Eddie Murphy make this film better if he was biting Julia Roberts in the throat? Only if she was on fire.
All kidding aside, this movie is basically interchangeable with any other film in the genre. My favorite movie of all time is (as stated) "Roman Holiday," a romantic comedy about lovers who weren't meant to be starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. It's a beautiful film that tackles the idea of love without ever making it feel sissy. Movies like "Runaway Bride" gives the idea of love a perm and sends it to school wearing Hello Kitty suspenders. Gregory Peck probably buried himself alive just so he could roll around in his own grave.
Shakespeare in Love
Year of Release: 1998
The Pitch: The film takes a real event (the creation of the play, `Romeo and Juliet') and presents a fictional reason why that event occurred. And if the fictional reason is plausible, then the movie can be fascinating for the audience. Watching "Shakespeare in Love," I expected Ben Affleck to swoop by in his fighter plane in an attempt to save Shakespeare from the Japanese.
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, people contracting flesh-eating disease because they are standing next to Gwyneth Paltrow, people impaled on Gwyneth Paltrow's hip bones, and Joseph Fiennes as the SUPER SEXY Shakespeare who would've fallen in love MUCH EARLIER if he didn't spend so much time being SUPER SEXY.
Where it Went Wrong: I know Paul already covered this film in detail, but since I went to see it with a big group of apprehensive Christians I think I've got a right to weigh in on it. Most of Paul's review ripped apart Shakespeare himself, commenting on how he looked more like one of the Goombas from Super Mario Brothers than the SUPER SEXY Shakespeare who is in love. Paul might not be a big fan of the bard but I am, with much thanks to the killer Hamlet one-man show I pulled off to get an A for the semester in AP English senior year. Ever see that cartoon where the dog breaks out of jail but ends up inside the prison warden's television set, and he has to act out the television programs to keep the warden from finding out he tried to escape? That was me reciting lines with a wig in one hand and a plunger in the other, bringing forth the magic of William's timeless classic for bored and pretentious young people. Shakes has a big place in my heart, so watching this movie made me sick to my stomach.
Don't worry, I "got" all the little in-jokes that supposedly won this movie Best Picture of the year. I thought it was pretty funny when the Lord of Wessex thought Shakespeare was a ghost (a SUPER SEXY ghost), but once you tar and feather the audience with in jokes you end up looking like a shitty English Teacher's remake of the Naked Gun. Look! That guy in the graveyard is holding up a skull. Just like in Hamlet! OJ Simpson's dressed like a woman! OH MY! The hits just keep on coming!
I'd like to hit the director, and then I'd like to hit Gwyneth Paltrow. In the spine. She'd shatter like glass. Or papier-mache, which is what I would imagine she's actually made of. Papier-mache and ectoplasm.
Where it REALLY went wrong: This is actually my favorite part. Since the movie is about love, that automatically means that the main characters must begin fucking wildly. As nasty as Gwyneth Paltrow is clothed, she begins to make small children and the elderly stop believing in God when she strips naked. So with the image of a "Sally Struthers Won't Give Me a Sandwich" body frame with tiny little boobies swinging back and forth in your mind, remember who I went to see the movie with...
Lynchburg, Virginia, is full of really God-fearing Christians. These are kids who listen to Christian Ska music. They buy little car decals with giant Jesus fishes devouring the Darwin fish...they have "LVNMYGOD" or "4U GSUS" on their license plates. They would rather drown themselves in Holy water and cut off their genitals in the heat of the moment than do something intentionally sinful. That's where the fun comes in.
Go see a movie with lots of nudity in it with some God-fearing Christian teenagers. When the boobs swing onto screen they all cringe in their seats and cover their eyes, going "AAAAWW MAN GROSS" until the scene is over. This happened at least 4 times during my "Shakespeare in Love" viewing. Tiny boobies, cringe and scream. Tiny boobies, cringe and scream. It was like a bizarre scientific venture into uncharted fields of "wiener" study. Afterwards they all go to the International House of Pancakes and talk about how "sinful" the film was, and how it was "so unnecessary" for the tiny boobs to swing over and make them cringe. Then they whip out their expensive cameras and take humorous pictures of each other.
THEN THEY LISTEN TO SOME ROCKIN TUNES OMG
The only Christian music I like is the music that plays when he's wrestling without Edge. But I DO like that ONE song...that, "Our Goooood, is an awesome GOOOOODD..." That song makes me wanna heal the water and walk on some lepers. "Our Gooood reeks of awesome NESSSSSS!!!! Satan is a barfoid," and so on.
Overall: What's worse - an insulting excuse for high cinema that makes one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) writer of all-time look like he should be making out with Julia Stiles in some slack-jawed dramedy, or a bunch of young people who are SO attractive that you want to hang out with them forever at the risk of losing your integrity and your mind?
According to Jesus, you should see movies like this all the time. But all Jesus ever did was wander around in the Middle East with a bunch of dudes. So what does he know about movies? Jesus could shoot fire out of his eyes and turn handicapped kids into fish or whatever, I'm sure he wouldn't mind if the movie was rated "R" or not.
Our God is an awesome God. Hollywood is just full of reekazoids.
Edge and Christian references: 3