of the great advantages to drinking like a desert mule is that
I always feel sick. I always wake up sort of achy and stiff-limbed,
which makes it hard to tell when I really am sick. It's nice,
you know, to consistently wake up in misery because it gives a
guy a reason to have breakfast with Judge Judy and a tub of ice
cream, before drinking Schlitz in the bathtub until he falls asleep.
When I wake
up from my bath, I feel like getting out there and taking the
rest of the day by the nuts. That is, unless I really am sick;
then the bath doesn't help much, and neither does a box of Swiss
Cake Rolls. I still feel awful, plus fat and unloved.
I rarely get
sick because I take care of myself. I can't even estimate you
many times I've seriously consider dusting off the Bowflex I bought
that time I had a credit card. But last week, I got laid low by
the flu. I was sore and feverish, too tired to get up and too
achy to lay down. So, I sort of just squatted. All week.
I feel better
now, thank you. I'm back in a nut-taking mood. So, I heard this
movie Swimming Pool was sexy and French. The sexy part
is what appeals to normal people, the French part gives pretentious
assholes an excuse to go see it. The thing is, the movie is pretty
fucking sexy, and that's an accomplishment. It's also a dumb did-she-or-didn't-she
mystery, and that ain't nothing special.
You know what
the French think is sexy? A hell of a lot more than Hollywood
does, that's for sure. They don't treat naked ladies like root
beer-flavored Bottle Cap candies, doled out sparingly and surrounded
by grape and orange garbage to fill out the box. They also don't
think showing the boobs is sexy in itself. The boobs gotta be
doing something interesting, and I don't mean like me rummaging
through dumpsters with the Harelip, although I get called a boob
for that. Also, I end up stinking like last year's piss, and that's
not sexy either.
Pool, the fiftysomething Charlotte Rampling is a mystery writer,
much like Angela Lansbury was in "Murder, She Wrote." After finishing
yet another of those tiresome, cheeky British inspector novels,
she is burnt out. Her publisher loans her his French chateau,
where she can go and take a big, healthy dump of bitterness. What
her publisher doesn't tell her is that his young, free-spirited
daughter (Ludivine Sagnier) will be sharing the house. She swims
and suns naked, brings home a different man each night and generally
acts slutty. And thank God for that. A bitter old person in a
house by herself, watching too much television and drowning in
whiskey is a life I've dreamed about for myself, but not one I
want to watch.
the two ladies are fighting like Siamese Bettas. Rampling acts
annoyed by this strumpet disrupting her peace, but really she's
annoyed by the flaunting of youth and indiscretion. She's jealous.
While Rampling races through meals without tasting them, and denies
herself pleasure, Sagnier is up to her ass in excess.
At the same
time, Sagnier envies Rampling's maturity and self-control. The
two begin snooping in each other's stuff and Sagnier discovers
the book Rampling is writing about her. Shortly after, Sagnier
brings home the local village hunk, a man halfway between hers
and Rampling's ages, and whom Rampling has a little thing for.
Did Sagnier bring him home to illustrate how youth (and boobs)
trumps smarts? Rampling is clearly jealous and on edge. Sagnier
tries to seduce him, and he refuses. This pleases Rampling, however,
she discovers that Sagnier's insecurity drove her to kill him.
This is the
exact moment that director Francois Ozon kills the movie. Out
of lack of confidence or fear of being boring, he turns it from
arousing character study to corny-ass murder, pulp mystery thriller
crap. It's the sort of mystery we've seen before, and while it
happens, we don't get to watch these two good actresses do what
they do best.
"was-it-all-a-dream" ending to the movie that is a bigger load
of horseshit than you'll find in the Santa Anita paddocks. Was
the story all Rampling's latest novel idea, all acted out in her
head? If so, then she's a fucking lousy hack writer and I like
her less than I did before I knew the kind of cliched dreck she
fantastic. She's wound as tight as a modern baseball, all coiled
energy, uptight like she's got one of Barry Bonds's maple bats
up her ass. And she manages to be sympathetic at the same time.
She's aware that her problem is not Sagnier's noise, but her youth.
Sagnier is not gorgeous, but she's sexy, like she's dripping sex
the way some folks sweat. Her breasts are unbelievably appealing.
I mean, really god damn nice. (I'm sure I'll get e-mail from one
of my resident critics who thinks she's being a feminist by talking
down to me for liking breasts. They'll tell me we aren't allowed
to appreciate beauty. Too fucking bad; they're nice breasts.)
She's as convincing as a petulant rich kid as any of the punks
at Littleton High, and her character becomes more interesting
as the story goes, unlike the high schoolers. It's all fascinating
until the cheesy plot twist, that is.
twist ending is cheaper and tougher to swallow than a Salisbury
steak from the Family Dollar. Even if you know that some jackass
jerked off all over the can. These kinds of endings gives directors
an excuse to be lazy and wrap a lousy plot around great characters.
If people don't like it, they can just say, "Don't you get it?
It's not my lousy idea, but the lousy idea of the character in
my story!" I don't give a fuck whose lousy idea it is, I don't
like it. I would have rather had no murder and a lot more conflict
between young and old than yet another murder to be covered up.
When you have
great characters, the least you can do is respect them. Put them
in a story as great as them. One that is about them and deepens
them, not one that cheapens them with this sort of arbitrary twist.
After all, great characters are only half the job. At least this
one got half right. Three Fingers for Swimming Pool.
Man, I feel
to tell Filthy Something