To paraphrase Chandler Bing, "could this movie BE any worse?"
Well, frankly, yes. It could be the exact same movie without Jennifer
Connolly's topless scene. It could be the same DVD without the additional
deleted topless scene.
Jennifer's chest, one of the best in the world, is a good reason to
look at any movie. But I sure can't think of many more reasons to look at
Here's the set-up. Jennifer Connolly and Billy Crudup are a typical
conflicted couple in the early 70's. Although they agree on the world they
want, they don't agree on how to get there. Crudup wants to be a U.S.
Senator, maybe president, and change the system from within. Connolly is
an outspoken left-wing activist who wants to tear the system down, with
revolution if necessary.
They can see that their lives are coming into conflict. Crudup, a
politician, needs to avoid making enemies, but when Connolly attends
parties with him, she expresses her outspoken views, and tells people what
she really thinks of them. They love each other, but it's obvious that
Connolly is never going to be the ideal politician's wife. The situation
seems to be resolved when Connolly is killed in Chile while on a mercy
mission with some priests, except that eight years later Crudup seems to be
seeing her again, and hearing her voice. Then she calls on the phone. Then
she's actually there.
Or is she?
- Connolly faked her death because she needed to go underground and
she loved Crudup enough to make sure that he had a politically correct
wife/partner to realize his ambitions.
- Crudup is seeing things. He's going crazy because their relationship
ended with no closure and he can't let go.
I saw the movie, and I still don't know which it was.
(WARNING: SPOILER COMING)
Let me revise that. I do know, but the Crudup character did not.
She had to be real in the way the script was written, because the
vision he followed one night led him to the church where the same priests
who were involved with Connolly's death were now assigned. If he was
following a mirage, how could he get to the exact church were the priests
were now working? Crudup did not know they had been relocated to a new
church, or where that Church might be. Therefore, he could not have been
following his own imagination. Therefore, he must have been following
somebody who knew where the priests were, and that had to be Connolly
taking refuge provided by the priests.
In addition, of course, I saw her footprints in the snow as she was
running from him, and so should he have. As far as I know, mirages don't
leave footprints. He, however, could not figure this out, presumably
because the author simply didn't think of it.
Man, this movie is so-o-o-o dull. I don't know how people stayed awake
during its theatrical run, Well, I guess not that many people gave it the
opportunity. The direction is clichéd, repetitive and irritating. He
relies on two "tics".
First, he whites out for every scene transition, so the entire film
seems about as sophisticated as an old episode of Electra Woman and
Dynagirl. Maybe he also made a "whooshing" sound when he did that, or
maybe I just imagined it. I don't know, Babs, but I do know this - I
ain't watchin' it again to find out.
Second, he does those stop-start things constantly, where the
character says the first sentence of something, then the director cuts
back and repeats the first sentence again before continuing, and you get
that "jump" effect in the character's head movements. I guess this was
designed to show Crudup's agitation and disorientation, but it's really
Most of the film seems to consist of Crudup and Connolly looking into
each other's eyes and feeling the heat or the pain, except for the part
that consists of Crudup whining and sniveling because he misses her so
much. How much of that can you take?
In addition to the pacing, there is no character to latch on to. Crudup
often seems cruelly single-minded in his ambition. Connolly often seems
moronic in her simplistic world-view. They often say cruel things to each
other in cruel ways, not in the respectful ways that people who care for
each other find to express dissenting opinions. Crudup and Connolly are
both beautiful and can easily play sympathetic lovers, but they didn't
have the tools to build that kind of connection in this script.
Ultimately, that means that you don't care if they split up or get
together or live or die. You just want them to do it fast so you can do
The director cut a full 30 minutes of footage to try to make the pacing
peppier, but it's still not peppy, and with the cuts they dropped several
sub-plots with no explanation to the viewer. Because of the edits, it is
not clear to us why they had a former congressman (Ed Harris, a pretty big
star reduced to a cameo by the cuts) in the plot, or why they belabored a
sub-plot with the brother's girlfriend. Certain references make no sense
as is, although they would if the deleted scenes were still in the film.
But I sure as hell support the cuts. Personally, I would have cut 105 of
the remaining 106 minutes, and just released it as a naked Connolly .mpeg.