Lovely and Amazing
This film should have been titled "Neurotic and Annoying" since the only urge I got while convalescing with these characters was to strangle each and every one of them.
I think we can conclude from watching "Wacky and Insane" that female empowerment has gone too far. If the history of female empowerment is a see-saw, it's not off playing on the bobbing horsies. I fully support the idea that a woman doing the same job as a man should make the same amount of money. Hell, I even support women getting stipends if they're forced to wear pantyhose. However, what I won't tolerate, whether it's woman or man, is the idea that perpetuated, treatable neuroses are somehow the cause for celebration. Now the euphemism for neurotic is "lovely" or "amazing." What's next? Referring to sex criminals as "romantics"?
You know, if I'm the owner of a magazine shop and a kleptomaniac comes in and steals half my stock, I don't say to him, "Hey, that's okay. You're obviously a kleptomaniac, but you're beautiful and interesting." I hit the guy with a taser shot so powerful he flies backwards out the door and spot-welds to a lamppost where he can serve as a warning to other kleptomaniacs.
I cannot fathom the positive results a couple of good taser shots would have done for the Marks clan. Mother Jane Marks (Brenda Blethyn) is getting liposuction and it's clear that her neurotic behavior is rubbing off on everybody around her. Her oldest daughter Michelle's (Catherine Keener) best days were in high school. Now she's a cynical, annoying woman in a loveless marriage who hasn't had a job in twenty years and starts sleeping with a 17-year-old (Jake Gyllenhaal) out of sheer boredom. Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer) seems to have a lot of the same self-esteem issues as her mom, yet she's chosen the life-affirming occupation of actress. Finally there's adopted daughter Annie (Raven Goodwin), who's only twelve or so, wants to be more like her mother, and seems to be living proof of nurture over nature.
There are actually a few men in Nicole Holofcener's film, but they're emotionless shlubs who could pass for wax dummies if they didn't talk. This is simply one of those slice-of-life films that ends about 30 minutes after we've already had way too much of these characters.
To spread the word about this Lovely and Amazing review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.