The Shipping News

Bomb Rating: 

Annie Proulx's novel, upon which the film is based, is yet more proof that modern literature has gone right down the toilet.

Quoyle (Kevin Spacey) is such a doormat it hurts. He's slow and simple and bland and amounts to nothing. For whatever reason, the slutty Petal Bear (Cate Blanchett) sleeps with Quoyle, they have a kid (whom they name Bunny), and because Petal Bear is slutty, she runs off and gets herself killed in a car accident while seeing another guy.

This leaves Quoyle in a quandary because he doesn't realize he never should have loved Petal Bear nor, for that matter, even dated somebody named "Petal Bear." Fortunately for him, his aunt, Agnis (Judi Dench), shows up and convinces him that he needs to get back to his roots and move to the Quoyle family's homeland, Newfoundland. Thus, he and Bunny move and naturally discover themselves there and live happily ever after.

You can bet your bonnet that Newfoundland is full of eccentrics, and that each of them can in some way help Quoyle in his journey of self-discovery. Despite having no journalism background at all, Quoyle is hired by Jack Buggit (Scott Glenn) to write for the local newspaper. Jack would rather fish than work at his paper. The paper houses yet more characters, including Tert X. Card (Pete Postlethwait), who thinks he runs the paper, and Nutbeem (Rhys Ifans), who knows Tert doesn't run anything. Quoyle meets Wavey (Julianne Moore) a single parent of a "slow" child who got bonked on the head or something. They fall in love, which is fortunate for Quoyle because no one should ever date somebody named "Wavey" either.

Annie Proulx's novel, upon which the film is based, is yet more proof that modern literature has gone right down the toilet. Where the hell did she get all these names? Wavey? A chick named Wavey? A slut named Petal Bear? Are you supposed to read this book to your kids as a bedtime story? "Mommy, why did Petal Bear sleep with all the scuzzy men?" "Because Petal Bear is a whore, honey".

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