Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 30 March 2012 00:00
“Three and a half stars, are you kidding me?” She repeated it three times. She was almost screaming. She was standing in the theater lobby and professing her animosity at the film we all had just seen. According to the movie review in the local newspaper, it was not the movie we had just viewed.
We sat through over two hours of an English love story and divorce drama that made almost no sense to practical suburbanites. Even the Engish accents were off kilter by the heroine, who spoke with an American emphasis.
The screaming lady in the theater lobby crystallized our bewildered thoughts as we left the theater.
I have always had great confidence in “stars.” A one-star movie was to be avoided like the plague. A three and a half star show was to be praised after seeing, to all your friends and acquaintances.
I usually truly enjoy British cinema and I love a drawing room drama or comedy. The intelligent conversation between actors is what I count on. The British accent just accentuates the drama and comedy lines. It was billed as a melancholic romance in the ad, whatever that means. It was definitely not visually sumptuous as the movie critics had promised. The emotional punch was not delivered. It was just a confused English woman (with an American speaking voice) pondering over which love to choose. Either the stodgy British judge nobleman, who happened to be her husband, or dashing former RAF flyer who she met in a pub. Her suicide attempts in the movie all failed, gas and pills both.
And now for the positives! The film takes place in post-war London in the 1950s. There is still rubble in the streets and food stamps and rationing remain. The fun songs sung in the pubs were Anytime by Eddie Fisher and You Belong to Me by Jo Staford, plus How Are You Gonna Keep Them Down on The Farm, After They’ve Seen Paree.
Okay, here’s the name. The Deep Blue Sea with Rachel Weisz, who is gorgeous. I expected a nautical experience on the seas but it did not happen.
I wish I could find that lady in the lobby and let her read my review.