Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Savages

As a Jewess I offer very few concessions to Jebus Christ, though I do allow holiday movies to school me in the ways of seasonal morality. During my December 2006 theater rounds I learned the sad lessons that no matter how talented you are your boyf will still want to fuck your hawt friends, Will Smith is annoying, and movies about funny amoralistic Jews battling evolutionary beasts brought to life by some sort of godless trickery don't do well in the box office during the time of year when the entire Midwest is focused on Jebus-pleasing and knitting reindeer sweaters. My first sober (I was drunk during Juno) December movie-going experience was The Savages this evening. The Savages revolves around characters, namely Laura Linney and PSH (he can get his own universally understood acronym by now right?), playing a well-educated, strictly middle class pair of depressed writerish siblings. Linney gets a call from their elderly father's caretaker saying that their father has been writing insults on the bathroom wall with his feces. She immediately phones her brother screaming frantically, "We have to go down there! We have to go down there and do something--he's gone mad!" to which he replies, "Calm down Wendy, this isn't a Sam Shepard play." But then they do go down to Arizona, and the movie is essentially a Sam Shepard play.

Dealing with their father's feces problem ends up forcing them both to confront their own shit (Believe me when I say that part of me is shamed by this sentence). PSH has a Polish girlfriend who leaves because he can't commit, and then he cries way too much over it, even for a drama professor. Linney is dating a married man and struggling to be a playwright. She is also so jealous of her brother's success that she lies to him about winning a Guggenheim grant for playwriting. He calls her out on it later and it is maybe one of the most uncomfortable scenes in movie history. Every second Linney tries to extend her lie, even as PSH is shouting, "I called the Guggemheim. I called the fucking Guggenheim! You're not on the list!" is absolutely excruciating. The camera pans to the father during this scene and for a split-second you wonder who the senile one is after all. Seriously in the bathroom afterward I discovered I had pushed my tampon way up on in me just from grimacing my vag muscles so hard in discomfort.

Their father is diagnosed with Parkinsons and dementia. The movie is filled with scenes where his vulnerability is so intense, it becomes emotionally exhausting. It's kind of like the smart unromantic person's version of The Notebook.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey Dad. Do you remember us?

I know this does not need to be said, but Laura Linney is the greatest woman in the world. I think it demonstrates my great taste in men to divulge that all of the men I've dated seriously have put Linney at the top of their Celebrity Cheat Lists.

Of course being a "holiday" movie, the ending of The Savages is wrapped up pretty nicely. PSH goes to Poland to see his girlf, Linney gets one of her plays produced in New York. Dad dies. Life changes, lessons are learned. It was a bit too neat when you take into account how fucked up their lives were just months prior, but I suppose if the movie ended with them hopeless and depressed I would have entered a profound funk out of which not even Enchanted could pull me out. Happy endings are for the best this time of year.

(LAST concession to Christ fervor: Tis the season to have a foursome with Pete Wentz and film it.)


WendyB said...

I saw The Savages too this weekend. I wanted to stab Laura Linney's character to death. But that's not why I'm commenting here. I'm commenting here to share this:

Perfect Ratio said...

Really? I kind of loved her. Especially when she held hands with the dog during sex. I was like, "why haven't I thought of doing that before? Seems precious."

Have you ordered yours yet? I just sent them an angry emailing stating that I ordered my Vulva juice 4 months ago. Perhaps the vagsies of Germany are all dried up? Global Warming?

WendyB said...

I got mine and it's done wonders for my skin! Look, no wrinkles!