Monday, June 21, 2010

Netflix: Grey Gardens (1975)

When I read the synopsis for Grey Gardens, I was pumped. I’m a fan of documentaries and this seemed right up my alley. 2 crazy old ladies (mother and daughter) live in a dilapidated mansion and spend their time tending to multitudes of cats and raccoons. Certainly, they MUST be interesting. Right?

Well, no. They are eccentric. I'll give them that, but they are not interesting and I found the movie barely watchable. As a matter of fact, you can just phone in the eccentric thing. There are actually some rules. Allow me to illuminate:

1. Be interesting.
2. Don’t fucking sing all the time.
3. Speak in turn. They were incessantly talking over each other and squealing at the camera.
4. Lose the creepy painter kid. (Eccentrics always have a creepy painter kid hanging around.)
5. Put some clothes on for god-sakes.

Ok, that list didn't apply so much to all eccentrics, just these two in particular. If you go to the Netflix page and read the reviews (or read professional reviews) they'll shovel a load of BS about "This is a fascinating study of family relationships, of interdependency and the effects of social isolation, even if that isolation is incomplete and voluntary." (Jill in Idaho). Blah blah. Basically, lovers of the film are telling you, "They didn’t used to be old! They were younger – and betterer looking! It's crazy! Look at them now! They are older and nostalgic."

I suspect you could go to your local watering hole and hear more of the same, except more interesting and you'd more likely be drunk. And trust me. After 15 minutes you'll want to be drunk - really, really drunk.

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Blogger Alan said...

I'd argue that Grey Gardens could stand to be a bit shorter (a little of Little Edie goes a long way), but I find the freakish codependency and hothouse environment fairly compelling. It's almost like a Beckett play come to life, as the Edies become stranded in an endlessly repeating narrative.

Also, it's worth looking into what Little Edie did post-Grey Gardens. Wikipedia that shit.

8:17 PM


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