Thursday, February 18, 2010

DVDebut: WOMEN IN TROUBLE -- an encore recommendation

Having seen this movie twice now, loving it even more the second time around, I'm tub-
thumping for it once again. Forget The New York Times' review -- which may have predisposed you against WOMEN IN TROUBLE -- for it is one of the year's funniest and sweet-
est comedies (for nasty comedy, see The Hangover), so full of love for women of all kinds (though these are mostly of the non-standard-family variety) that it bubbles over with effervescent charm.

My original review appeared here last fall, so I'll try not to repeat myself. Watching the film again, made me even more appreciative of Josh Brolin's wonderful turn as a British rock star and Cameron Richardson's dear rendition of a Canadian masseuse, who is told by her patient (the great Adrianne Palicki, shown right at bottom, doing a modern-day Judy Holiday/Gracie Allen combo) that, although she's never been to Canada, she loves -- no: I cannot spoil this delightfully screwy line.

There is so very much to admire and laugh at/with in Sebastian Gutierrez's lovely film (the writer/director is shown at left) that you owe yourself the chance to see this one. I am wondering if it does not possess an especially gay sensibility -- the kind of cultural slant that sees women as objects of great beauty and charm, even when they are at their silliest or most vulnerable. I don't know how else to account for the unusual sweetness at the core of the movie. Even though it deals with porn stars, call girls, clueless therapists and control freaks -- and deals with them in a manner that is definitely not gritty/realistic -- you end up adoring all these women who exist in some alternate universe of sexual shenanigans and often same-sex love, even though the film provides almost nothing in the way of sexual excitement or stimulation. Instead, all of this is all used in the service of comedy. My companion notes that, while a sexual motor seems to be guiding everything, the result is charm and amusement rather than arousal.

Whatever: The movie works quite wonderfully for all of its 90-odd minutes. And don't miss the end of the end credits -- in which an "interview" takes place between two of the stars and what looks like a public-access station host (played by an well-known actor who get star credit but whose actual time in the film is but a five-minute interview). This is a final, delicious treat.

Women in Trouble debuts this week on DVD and is available from all the usual sources.

Photo of Mr. Gutierrez by Jeff Vespa, courtesy

No comments: