The Straight Story

Bomb Rating: 

This is a G-rated David Lynch movie, a concept that inspires as much confidence as "the Jesse Helms Homosexual Jamboree." It's based on the true story of 73-year-old Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) who hopped on his John Deere lawnmower and drove for six weeks at five miles an hour across Iowa and Wisconsin to see his brother (Harry Dean Stanton).

I bet if you looked hard enough in Kansas or Nebraska or South Dakota or any of those other states where drinking milk directly from the cow is considered an act of sophistication, you could find people doing all manner of stupid things. Message to future filmmakers: THEY ARE NOT ALL METAPHORS FOR LIFE! David Lynch could probably make a thousand movies if he were so inclined. Why he chose to make one about a guy who was too stupid to buy a bus ticket is a tribute to Lynch's laziness for not doing a bit more research and finding some old coot who moved to Florida by pulling his mobile home with a tricycle.

So Alvin gets on his lawnmower, leaving his "slow" daughter (Sissy Spacek) behind to tend to the house and the critters and the vittles and whatever else they have in Iowa. As he goes driving across the heartland, he meets different people and inflicts his wisdom upon them. I don't remember what Alvin had to say, but it was probably something along the lines of the pace of life or takin' things as they come or learnin' to drive a car.

What Alvin could have used was a couple of hits from that canister Dennis Hopper had in "Blue Velvet." Then he could have run to Wisconsin and made better time.

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