Saturday, April 23, 2011

Let's all go to the lobby

 Remember that dude who makes sexy movies about sexy sex and how all that sexiness can totally ruin your life? You know, Adrian Lyne? Boys, you might know him as the guy who provided you with so much Diane Lane that your un-descended testicle finally dropped (Unfaithful)- Ladies, you'll know him from the film that provided you with revenge porn for every time you were jilted and apparently scared the shit out of Tom Hanks (Fatal Attraction).
Besides those two, he has a handful of other movies: Flashdance, Lolita and.... and...

Anyway; Thanks to netflix, Nine 1/2 Weeks (another film of his) is now streaming online. That's the movie with Kim Basinger/Mickey Rooney, I mean, Rourke and alley sex and some kind of plot built around the other places they decide to get it on. It is one of those movies that I remember I wasn't allowed to rent, which is a sure fire way to make sure your kid sees a film, folks.

Truthfully, I had only ever seen the (famous?) fridge scene before last week. So I decided to expand my Lyne knowledge and watch some soft core movie love with my morning cup of coffee.

And for your benefit, I took notes.

Here they are, chronologically, so you can somewhat experience "watching the movie with me", which I should go ahead and tell you, watching sexy movies with me is similar to watching anything with a sarcastic pre teen. Out of context, they may seem completely confusing at best- but you do have the option of watching the film on netflix first, if you so choose. Obviously, spoilers galore ahead.

Let's begin.

Opening credits. So far no sex. But red font- I know I'm in for trouble. Sexy trouble.

Hey lady, if you want your dog to poop, perhaps you should walk him instead of just standing there with a baggy, rolling your eyes.

Those are a lot of alleys you're walking through, Kim. Is this like Chekhov's gun in the first act?

Hey, it's that guy!

Mercy, Red. That is a heroic gap in your front teeth. Isn't Christine Baranski supposed to be in this? Which artsy fartsy lady is she?

Kim- How is one white collar tool more acceptable than another? Oh right, because it's Mickey Rooney Rourke.

Is everyone always fucking nuts while trying to hail a cab? Take the subway, lazyfeet.

Man, I love dinner parties in movies. It always makes me want to have one myself, but then I remember how I feel after cooking a large meal, and it's really not company compatible. I'm hot, frustrated, tired and I've already downed the bottle of the wine that was supposed to go with dinner and everything is either burned or half done. How do people do it?

Jesus, this music. And who buys a used wind up chicken that poops eggs for thirty bucks? Kim, honey.

That's it, Mickey, reel her in with random, possibly made up, knowledge of restaurants while you stare at the shifty eyed mobster.

Okay, this movie has officially lost me. Rule number one, NEVER follow some guy you just met to his home on the docks, no matter how hot you are for his over-gelled hair.

Ugh, were mics not in the budget for this thing? SPEAK. UP. MICKEY.

Here's what I'm wondering- can any woman with a skirt and glasses get a job at an art gallery? So far Kim isn't wowing me with her smarts.

Fart the theme to Jaws? This movie just got interesting.

A home by the docks and an apartment in the city? Ooh La La, Mickey. Now I see why she is more willing to give you a chance.

Wow, that farting must have really done it for them, because here we are at our first sex scene, which is embracing as many porn cliches as possible. Ice? Check. Blindfold? Check. And... wait- whose hands are those? It is comforting to know that as beautiful as Kim Basinger is, she has still got a case of man hands.

Lyne really has this thing with clothing color. White = pure/ not doing it. Color = scandal! Surely it isn't coincidence that Kim is now in a red (giant) sweater now that she and Mickey have finally done the deed.

Can they at least hire someone willing to talk louder to dub over Mr Rooney Rourke's lines? This is ridiculous.

Let's all agree that Kim should never be employed at a job where she in charge of  decisions- she follows strange men around, masturbates at work, and doesn't have enough sense to avoid alleys whenever possible.

Is it a rule that we had to have at least one scene in every movie with food and some cheesy song from the sixties? This is a lot stupider than I remember. If some guy stuffed me enough food to make me puke and then covered me in honey, I would lock him in the pantry while I divided the next 6 hours between the toilet and the shower. Yeesh.

Oh, I guess there is some kind of subplot involving her ex and her best friend? Alright....

Is that an ET related Pepsi commercial? I told you only aliens like Pepsi. Real Americans drink Coke, thank you very much.

How the HELL did he know that she was snooping- or "being a nosy parker"?

Okay, breathe.... a fucking rape scene? Let's also all agree to the fact that Secretary gets the whole sadomasochistic sexual relationship movie thing right- while this is a huge fucking mess. I mean, I get that this is about some woman getting sucked into an abusive relationship, but this is for the birds.

Pfft. Any montage that isn't Monster Squad's "Rock Until You Drop" or from Real Genius is useless. And seriously, this music. This fucking music.

Well, I guess he does have a job... I was expecting him to be a trust fund baby or something. Although Kim is proving herself to be corporate America's wet dream- she loves Wall Street! And just wants to be one of the guys... because only men work on Wall Street, ladies. Don't forget that. Take your flaky lady bits to an art gallery!

Sooooo... being chased by violent homophobes into an alley (An alley! Chekhov's gun!) is a huge turn on. But let's address the fact that they are both going to need a series of tetanus shots after all that dirty alley sex with sewer water pouring down on them... And here I thought hygiene and health safety was sexy. Silly me.

Now, Adrian will remind you of his other hit, Flashdance, with a magically back lit striptease by Ms Basinger to.... You Can Leave Your Hat On? This song was better used in The Full Monty. And, jesus, again, nudity in the rain- you must be swimming in cold germs, Kim.

Wait- is this his house in the woods? HOW MANY HOMES DOES THIS GUY HAVE???

What is my cat doing in the movie? Maybe it isn't him; Lets see if he starts eating, maliciously peeing on things of value and asking people "What the fuck are you lookin' at?".

The horse whip, the rape, the constant exposure to diseases, being talked down to, being left dangling on a Ferris wheel,  the expectation that you abandon your apartment, your job, your friends- all of that was fine, but crawling across the clean floor was the breaking point? For a woman who has embraced submission and being degraded, I find it hard to buy that this is what sets her off.

I have a confession- I had to take a Simpsons break. This movie was driving me nuts. I watched the Frank Grimes episode and envied his death by electrocution. Back to the movie- only 24 minutes left.

I wonder how many lonely women in bathrobes carrying cans of tuna fish showed up to the casting call when Adrian sent out a request for "cat lady", until they landed this poor man's Rita Moreno look alike.

Girls- don't we all run to the nearest strip club to make out with seedy guys whenever we're mad at our boyfriends? (That poor bearded dude probably hadn't touched a woman for free in years- what a let down)

Oh! She still has a job! Color me shocked. And who is this old dude who keeps popping up in the past 30 minutes?

Hey Mickey, how about you smirk and mumble your way through the final confrontation scene? That's a choice that's been working for you so far.

Seriously,  Mickey. I haven't seen The Wrestler, so I am going to assume that he was MILES better in that movie. Every guy I know was gunning for him to win the big golden statue with that performance- are you sure it wasn't because you had been harboring secret boy crushes on him since Diner? Although, bless his heart, he just is not as easy to look at ever since he decided to try boxing. I had two friends decide to take up boxing at two separate times (one boy, one girl), but after about one fight each, they quickly realized it wasn't for them. I understand there is some kind of physical release, but it never struck me as something you can just jump into on a whim. Mickey, bless your heart and your face. If I were judging you off of this movie alone, I would have advised you to never endanger your looks, as they appear to be your strongest asset.

Oh hey, it's over! More red font! More upscale porn music! Let me go let my disbelief out of the car, because that is where I had to leave it to make it through this ridiculous movie.

Sexy- I guess, but by today's standards, it really is nothing special.
Stupid- Oh god, yes. I mean, I can appreciate what Adrian tries to accomplish with all of these studies of sexual relationships of frustrated yuppies with cold, industrial backdrops- but I have to say that he really didn't get it right until Unfaithful. Fatal Attraction is a close second, based on Glenn Close's performance alone, but it still crosses over into ridiculous at points.

This film, however, was a mess, in my humble opinion. My initial guess was correct. It was like someone came up with three great sex scenes and tried to create an intelligent and deep plot about abusive relationships around them. It just didn't work. I hear this is actually a decent book that takes his dominance of her even further, to extent where he is even inserting and removing her tampons, which, while gross- is more risky and interesting than piling on scenes of sexually appealing abuse. While this film is FAAAAAAAAAR superior, it did remind me a little of The Room. Yes, THE Room. Although I'm sure Adrian wasn't trying to hide drug money in a Hollywood production, it is a film that tries to appear to be smart about sex and just ends up looking foolish and unbelievable.

I'm sure there are some who claim I probably just didn't get the movie, and they may be right. As a woman, I don't get it. I mean- As a woman, who isn't even that assertive or wise, I still didn't get it. Kim's character was a push over. Unbelievably so, without justification. Honestly, I had a similar problem with Punch-Drunk Love up until it gained a special place in my heart for unrelated, sentimental reasons- I enjoyed it more or less, I loved Phillip Seymour Hoffman, but dammit- the main female character (the talented Emily Watson)  was such a push over, but you were supposed to believe she was just "unique", "special" and "totally understood that crazy Adam Sandler". Look, I don't know any other way to say this- Stupid women are not special. Women who will tolerate anything are not unique. They aren't, boys. There are weak women everywhere and if that is what you want, they are, unfortunately, a dime a dozen. I just can't embrace or buy these pathetic ladies who will take a mountain of shit without any rhyme or reason. I don't think this offends my "feminist" sensibilities, it offends my "let's create well rounded characters" sensibilities.

It wasn't a total waste of time. I mean, I am glad I finally saw Nine 1/2 Weeks. Kim had some cute clothes that I admired, and I liked when they had dinner with wine. I like food. I like wine. I just didn't like this movie.
Oh well. I'm gonna have a little Real Genius to cleanse my palate. Care to join me?

Post Script- I totally forgot that Adrian also directed Jacob's Ladder. That is one creepy movie that absolutely works, excels even. Talk about heebie jeebies!

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