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April 29, 2005

Rosie's Magical Retard Epic: "Profoundly Embarassing"

Allah (who actually tipped me to the Hitchhiker's review below, but I didn't hat-tip him, because I don't like him) tips to something even better: a NYT drubbing of Rosie's Emmy-bait droolfest.

This isn't going to be easy. ... I might ultimately tell you that your first impression [about this film] is right and that this is a profoundly embarrassing movie.

Ready? ... As Beth, Ms. O'Donnell dresses in wacky childish clothes and talks in a volume-inappropriate way and wears mismatched shoes and rides a hilarious bus around and around with her motley bus family. She annoys and enlightens the people she meets. And at times she shouts, in a voice you can probably imagine, "I am a person!"

... "Riding the Bus With My Sister," ... also shouts "first-class production" and "Emmy bid."

I just said that, of course. They ought to hire me.

And yet. As usual in movies about the mentally handicapped, the character of Beth is never given a coherent pathology; we can't tell whether she has physical problems, exactly, or cognitive ones or behavioral ones or all of these, or Down syndrome.

... Beth is mostly a constellation of misfit affectations - funny clothes, bipolar outbursts, a forced, garbled voice - and goofy physicality. Beth seems to be wrapped in a loose, superfluous layer of flesh, a symptom of some kind of metabolic disorder (she also gobbles sweets).

Rosie was quoted as saying it was this part of the script that "really spoke to her."

As a character, she doesn't make sense: she's socially awkward, but not consistently disabled. She's less poignant or tragic than merely clamorous and bothersome.


The viewer, meanwhile, is sure to cringe - and often. This is another inexplicable effort by an actor to overplay a slow, strange character and teach everybody lessons. The sanctimonious old stunt is not fair to viewers. This is a deeply - even thrillingly - embarrassing movie.

Set your TiVo's.

I seriously may live-blog this abortion.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:54 PM

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