Friday, January 15, 2010

Three Men and a Videotape

sex, lies, and videotape - 1989 - Dir: Steven Soderbergh
Location: The Comfort of My Living Room

The one that changed it all. Well, for independent cinema at least. Soderbergh's film really transcended indie/art house lines to crossover into the mainstream and open new doors for the non-Hollywood, low budget films. It was nominated for tons of awards and won many of them, including the illustrious Palme d'Or at Cannes. For years I wondered what the film was actually about. I knew something to do with voyeurism but that was about the extent of my knowledge. Now I can tell you it involves sexual repression, adulterous relationships with a sister-in-law and strange fetishes involving interviewing women on video about their sexual history/practices. Basically there is a bunch of sex, lies AND videotape.

This turned out to be VERY different than what I expected to see. Though the entire film revolves heavily around sex, there is very little shown in the film and no nudity. You catch up with the sweaty party post-coitus and they talk in-depth about orgasms but none of this is actually shown. The closest it gets to nudity is Peter Gallagher in bed stripped with a house plant over his crotch. Everything this film has to say about relationships and being honest, to both yourself and towards those with whom you have a relationships. What really sells the film is the highly realistic script and spot-on acting. Each of the four main characters are exceptional, but particularly Andie MacDowell and James Spader capture you each time they are on screen. You feel they really are these characters and get pulled into their world.

Fans of independent film who are as late to the party as I was should see this right away. This is why Soderbergh is considered to be so great, don't let the Ocean's Eleven type of flicks trick you. Pick up the beautifully restored Blu-Ray here,or the DVD here.

Now I need to see more of Soderbergh's work, like Traffic. Yeah, I know.

Three Men and a Little Lady - 1990 - Dir: Emile Ardolino
Location: The Comfort of My House

One of the bad things about this blog is that you will all see the crap I watch that I'm embarrassed about. Some movies I can justify by having to write a review of it, but then there are times where there is no excuse. This is one of those times.

A couple months ago I was flipping channels and Three Men and a Baby was on. I had seen it before but for some reason I got sucked into it and ended up watching the whole thing. It's a decent film with some good laughs, but nothing spectacular. Then my sick brain was torturing me into watching the sequel again. As much as I tried to resist it just wasn't happening and I had to watch. The story picks up about five years later when little baby Mary now six and living in a bigger place in NYC with her mom and the three guys. The mom, Sylvia, wants to get married and her boyfriend, and director of the play she's in, asks so off she goes to London with the kid in tow. The men don't like the guy and must stop the wedding and Peter must admit his feelings of love for Sylvia.

There are so many weird things in this film, their living arrangement being the top dog. If three adult, over 35, men living together weren't bad enough throw in a woman and her child. I would say the men's obsession with the young girl was weird, but it's understandable how they can want to take care of Mary and love her like their own. A part of me is jealous of that child. I want Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg to be my dads! Sylvia's rush to get married is also pretty ridiculous. She makes a couple of different statements in the film about saying yes because she was asked. She claims to love this guy but she alludes to saying yes to pretty much anyone. I can't understand people who want to be married so bad that they would do something like this, but I know they exist. And you wonder why there are so many divorces.

The film has a few laughs, but they are very few and very far between. If you feel the same sickness, or just want to see Selleck in a bow tie then get the two movie collection here!


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