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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lovely Bones (The)

From what I remember I once had some Lovely Bones. That was a few decades ago when I could actually see them under my skin. Then I met my perfect husband, who is also the perfect chef, and despite my protestations that if I ate the way he wanted me to I would end up looking like a refugee from “The Biggest Loser,” I finally cracked and gravy became my new best friend. Until then, I subsisted almost entirely on lettuce leaves and balsamic vinaigrette. I also weighed a good hundred pounds less than I do now. Hence, it was goodbye to The Lovely Bones and hello to the Fashion Bug Plus. I’m very fond of the Fashion Bug, but there are no clothes made for “hefty hideaway” gals that will get someone of my size laid. That’s right. I said it (well, typed it). I may be happily married, but that doesn’t mean I want men other than my husband to ignore me. Hell, I want to be seduced (or at least have someone try) just so I’ll feel better about myself. I want my perfect husband to worry that other men are dragging me behind bushes somewhere to steal a kiss now and again. After all these years I hate to admit it but (and, yes, I know this is so un-PC) I even get a tad jealous of teenage girls like Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan; City of Ember), the main character in the new movie The Lovely Bones.

Okay, so Susie is dead from the very beginning of the movie, but you can’t have everything. At least she had her youth and she was skinny enough to wear low-rider jeans, though The Lovely Bones takes place in 1973, so her clothing choices are kind of tragic, like her life (or at least the end of it). Now I’m not implying that being killed by a pedophile is anything other than heinous, but until then Susie had it made. First off, her Dad looked just like Marky Mark (Mark Walhberg; Max Payne), and he was the type of father that plays catch with his kids and devotes every moment to telling them how much he loves them. He’s kind of like Richard Simmons only in long pants.  The unfortunate part is that, like Simmons, he keeps his shirt on all the time and we all know it would nice if he didn’t. After all, he did fill out those Calvin Kleins just fine back in the day.

Susie’s also had a dreamy guy (Reece Ritchie; 10,000 BC) with eyelashes for days and enough moral fiber not to go past first base even though you know he really wanted to.  It’s true that Susie’s mom (Rachel Weisz; Definitely, Maybe) seems a lot less engaging from what we see of her, but that’s probably because her entire role in the film is to be traumatized, if not by her daughter’s death then by her own drunky-poo mother, played by Susan Sarandon (Enchanted).  Apparently Sarandon was under the impression she was acting in a comedy instead of the grim tragedy that The Lovely Bones is supposed to be as most of her role is spent doing battle with kitchen appliances, smoking like a chimney, and scrounging the cupboards for any alcohol short of gasoline. I guess she is still making those brilliant choices like she did when she agreed to star in Speed Racer. I love Susan Sarandon, but it may be time for an intervention, if you ask me, which you didn’t, but I’m just sayin’.

There is no mystery as to who kills Susie. That’s clear from the beginning. It’s the (obviously) pervy neighbor George Harvey (Stanley Tucci; Julie and Julia). His sketchy wig and ‘70s porn moustache screams out for someone to call Chris Hanson and the crew from “To Catch a Predator.” 

It’s already well-known that director Peter Jackson (King Kong) never met a green screen he didn’t like, and it is never more obvious than here. With Susie narrating her tale from “the in-between place” on her way to heaven, Jackson goes overboard concocting a heavenly (and ever-changing) landscape that looks a lot like a Skittles commercial. I kept waiting for rainbows and unicorns to come flying out of Susie’s ass, but those were the only things that didn’t show up.  Oh wait; there was a unicorn now that I remember. Hmmm. And a rainbow. I wonder if Jackson had to pay for product infringement.

Personally, I always thought that “the in-between place” was supposed to be Purgatory, which isn’t exactly Heaven, but it beats the hell out of Hell. I imagine it is a lot like living in a trailer park where everybody has the Comcast™ “triple-play” and you still have NetZero™ dial-up and basic cable. Of course, my favorite “in-between place” has always been Limbo, but thanks to Pope John the XXIII, Limbo got shut down like a way too high-profile crack house and all those un-baptized babies who supposedly got stuck in Limbo because their souls were too dirty to make it through the Pearly Gates were given a last-minute reprieve and were adopted by the saints. Frankly, I think you’d have to be a saint to scoop up a cloud full of dead babies’ souls and make them your own, but I digress.

In the genre of “dead girls speak out” movies, The Lovely Bones isn’t bad, but it’s not exactly uplifting fun either. I suppose if you like watching the parents, siblings and friends of a murdered teenager grieve then you’ll have a great time, but for those of us who have lost someone in their own family The Lovely Bones is an exercise in remembered pain.

1 comment:

Dildos said...

This movie is a very sentimental one! Makes my heart squeeze. An inspiring one too.