Sunday, June 22, 2014

June: Incomprehensible Movie

Warning: there are spoilers in this post. If you are planning on ever watching August: Osage County, you might not want to read this. However, if you do read this, you'll probably never willingly watch August: Osage County unless you have some sort of strong masochistic streak.

Here are my current requirements for a movie:
  1. It has to pass the Bechdel test or at least have a good reason not to.
  2. It can't be animated.
  3. No singing. (I'm still deeply scarred by Mama Mia!.)
It's actually a bit more complicated than that. For instance, I'm not sure there is anything that could get me to watch another Tom Cruise movie. I just can't take him seriously any more. And I won't watch anything that involves a plot that shows the viewer the same day over and over. And I don't know if it's just me, but most of the romantic comedies I've seen in the last fifteen years have left me wondering why I should be happy the couple is together in the end since they are either morons or sociopaths (or both).

All of that is to explain why I watched August: Osage Count over the weekend. It has a lot of actors that I don't hate (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts,  Margo Martindale (of "Justified" fame), and Ewan McGregor among others), and it's listed as a comedy on iTunes.

The IMDb synopsis:
"A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them."

Here is what happens in this two hour movie:
  1. The father commits suicide (which is what brings the three daughters back to Oklahoma)
  2. The mother has mouth cancer and is a drug addict who constantly screams at people.
  3. Daughter #1's marriage finishes falling apart completely.
  4. Daughter #2 admits to sleeping with her first cousin.
  5. Daughter #3 brings her fiance home who then smokes pot with and gropes the 14 year old daughter of Daughter #1.
  6. Daughter #1 finds all of her mother's pills and flushes them.
  7. Daughter #2 finds out she's not sleeping with her first cousin, but her half-brother.
  8. All of the daughters finish screaming at each other and their mother and leave separately.
  9. The mother is left alone in the house with the housekeeper.
Remember, this is a comedy.

In addition, Benedict Cumberbatch appears to have been taken from a Depression Era dustbowl movie and inserted into this one. He's incredibly out of place and every scene he's in is just awful. I can't even figure out what the problem is, but it's really bad.

I stopped the movie with thirty minutes left and went to take a nap. I don't know why I bothered to finish it later, but I did.

At the very end, Daughter #1 has some sort of epiphany, which we know because she pulls her truck over to the side of the road, gets out, and stares at the skyline for a few seconds before getting back in her truck and driving off again. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the epiphany was supposed to be. Possibly it had something to do with making sure she read the script before agreeing to do another movie.

So, yeah. My new rule about movies is that I won't see anything that started out as a play. (Now that I think about it, that would have saved me from Mama Mia! as well.)

I think it will be a good rule.

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