I have been on an Alan Rickman kick. My friend Beth and I have a very odd pastime. We rent movies (the very obscure and downright odd movies) that star our favorite actors. We did it with Ewan McGregor, we've seen ALL of his films with the exception of [i]Young Adam[/i], which I am very excited about seeing. However, my favorites have to be [i]Velvet Goldmine, Little Voice [/i]and[i] A Life Less Ordinary. [/i]
We usually do this running-commentary thing only slightly reminiscent of [i]Mystery Science Theater 3000.[/i] The worse the film, the better the commentary. With Ewan McGregor, it had to be [i]Nora[/i], in which he played James Joyce. Nothing says pure enjoyment than hearing Ewan McGregor voice over Joyce's dirty letters to his wife!
For Beth, her favorite is Sean Bean. In America, he tends to be the bad-guy, but in England he is a sex-symbol. Beth finally got her mitts on a region 1 copy of the BBC's series of [i]Lady Chatterley[/i], and four of us watched it and laughed our asses off. I know that D.H. Lawerence did not have that intention when he wrote the book, but boy, was it funny. For a gag gift, I found Beth a bargain DVD for her birthday called [i]Airborne[/i], in which he gets killed (for the umpteenth time) while starring as bad-guy opposite none other than Steve Gutenburg. I refer to this film affectionately as,"The one in which the Beanage gets Gutenburged."
Ah, now to the marrow of this entry. We have begun the cycle of the Rickman. Beth convinced me to go up to the rinky-dink video store that has wierd, out-of-print films on vhs for rent and find some that starred Alan Rickman. We found treasures, that's for sure. That night, we rented [i]Dark Harbor [/i]and [i]Judas Kiss.[/i]
[i]Dark Harbor [/i]is a tale about a husband (Rickman) and his wife who pick up a drifter. This ultimately brings a rift between the couple because the wife becomes attracted to the drifter. There's twists and turns and at the end of the film Alan Rickman goes on his boat, takes off his clothes and swims to shore in the buff.
I thought I was going to die. Beth and I have never laughed so hard. It was the most inexplicable thing I have ever seen. I mean, I love Alan Rickman, but I have now been traumatized by him getting nakie!
I have a few questions regarding this film. A) Why did Alan Rickman do this film? B) Why did he choose to get naked in this film? To me it felt gratuitous. It would've been more suitable in [i]Sense and Sensibillity[/i] or [i]Love, Actually[/i] than in this particular dud. And C) Why did choose to kiss a guy in this film [not that there is anything wrong with that, but at this point in time(1999), Alan Rickman was not exactly hurting for roles. Why did he choose to do it in THIS particular film?]
In [i]Judas Kiss[/i], though a better made film, tries too hard to be [i]Natural Born Killers [/i]and was quite frankly, not as interesting as [i]Dark Harbor.[/i] Alan Rickman plays a Louisiana cop and Emma Thompson is a butch, Louisiana FBI agent on the case of a kidnapping and the death of a congressman's wife. The best scene of the whole film is when Alan Rickman goes after this guy's broken leg with a golf club.
A week later, I watched [i]Truly, Madly Deeply[/i], a far more serious and touching movie directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Juilette Stevenson as a bereaved widow, trying to move on when her husband Jamie (Rickman) comes back as a ghost. I love Juilette Stevenson. She was great in [i]Bend it Like Beckham [/i]as Kiera Knightley's mom and in [i]Emma [/i]as Mrs. Elton. She broke my heart in this movie.
Finally, I watched [i]Mesmer[/i], a biopic aboutdoctor Franz Anton Mesmer who believed in the power of Animal Magnetism and the moon in 18th century Vienna. The costumes were lovely and Rickman gave a crazed preformance as the ousted and controversial doctor. It's an interesting study about a doctor who believed in the healing power of touch during a time when bleeding people was the treatment for any aliment possible.
I'll be back with my review of [i]The Princess Diaries 2[/i] later!