Gray Matters Reviews
good movie? If so, then we're on the same page, and I'll go one step
further to say that this is another point on your Molly Shannon
Antemasque bingo card.
Granted, I didn't expect to tune into The House of Sand and Fog, or a
Kenneth Brannagh Bard adaptation, but I did expect to at least laugh
and smile a bit over a lighthearted romp. It was too lame for
intellectually passive leisure, and still took itself too seriously to
be funny for its failures (i.e. the Room, Ed Wood flicks). All in all,
it's only watchable because of its good production value, cute faces
and the lesbian twist that leads you tepidly to wonder what's afoot.
Now, if you watch the first 15 minutes and think that the acting is
exaggerated (not laugh-out-loud comedic, but simply over the top like a
bad high school play), the dialogue is poorly written, and the
character interactions/personalities are a little contrived (wondering
aloud, "Who actually says stuff like that? Who responds that way?"),
then rest assured: it won't get better. And that vague niggling
curiosity about what's going to come of all this build-up is simply
This is where I, like Jack on the wreckage of the Titanic, try to save
you as I slip into the frigid primordial depths of despair. You don't
have to live like I did. You can stop this movie before it even starts,
and you don't REALLY need to know the ending, because I promise you,
your life is worth more than that.
But as for me, that was not to be my fate. Unfortunately, I saw some
positive reviews online that persuaded me to watch this heap of
cinematic refuse all the way through, made desperate by FOMO. Now I
suspect that everyone was as pissed off as I was about the lost hour of
their lives and joined in on a conspiracy to pay forward the pain as a
practical joke, the film equivalent of Rickrolling someone.
Consequentially, I witnessed the happy-go-lucky 90's grocery store
soundtrack and analogous plot ambling along, painfully forced like
high-fat discount ground beef squeezed out of the plastic wrapper.
Limited nutritional content, and so full of hot air that it contributes
to greenhouse gas emissions in a significant way. I began to think the
writer had no idea where she was going with the story line but damned
if she wasn't going to make a movie! How did she persuade someone to
produce it? How did this get a box-office release? Maybe because of
eye-candy Heather Graham, SNL subnova Molly Shannon and "original
Carrie" Sissy Spacek signed on?
Heather Graham never really acts 'sad' or 'upset' in a human manner -
instead, she jumps up and down, sputters dramatically, paces
frantically, and says, "I'm upset! I'm really upset!" or "I'm so sad!
I'm really sad!" - this is not the way normal humans act, except for
the members of the anime club who perceive all life through a cartoon
But you white-knuckle your arm rests, not because of the story arc, but
because of the fear of that to which you've committed your time. You
linger in grim anticipation that something might finally happen of some
interest or revelation... **********(SPOILER ALERT? but you knew it was
about lesbians BECAUSE IT'S IN THE SUMMARY FOR
CHRISSAKES!!!!!)********** ...and then learn that that character is a
lesbian. Then this boring 2D character wrestles with being a lesbian
for the remaining minutes of the film before finally, nominally,
accepting herself and entering the lesbian community---and
thennnnnnn....... WHAT?! wtf, you mean it's over?! We spent all this
time waiting for one poorly-constructed fictional character to make
poorly-constructed fictional peace with the fairly banal subject of
sexual preference, but never to actually act upon it before the movie
is over?! Yes, that's exactly what happens.
Maybe this movie was well-received because there are tons of lonely
Pacific Heights trophy wives sitting at home in their yoga clothes
relating to these vapid, mindless characters and personally invested in
their triumphs? Maybe they're misty-eyed remembering their bi-curious
OK Cupid fling between troubled marriages and yearn to remember their
gym teacher flame as Heather Graham. Or maybe this film received decent
reviews because it's one of few "coming out" films for women in the
U.S., and moreover one of few comedies. But if you're a smart dyke
looking for quality entertainment that you can strike sexy rapport
with, my advice is to look elsewhere.
also stars Alan Cumming, Molly Shannon, Sissy Spacek, Rachel Shelley and Gloria Gaynor.
directed by Sue Kramer.