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Often described as the stereotypical Indie film. 1989

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Starring Andie McDowell Peter Gallagher and James Spader.

Set in Baton Rogue, Louisiana. Notice how good guy/bad guy Spader goes from wearing all black to wearing all white.

What's that mean?

Also, famous for these lines : Andie: to her therapist, "Im kinda depressed all the time."

Therapist: "Have you ever been not depressed?"

Andie: "yes, it sucked, I gained weight. It was awful."

It was a well made movie, quite unsettling. What I remember most about Sex, Lies and Videotape is how deftly Andie McDowell's character depicts exactly the sort of person everyone should be warned to stay the hell away from. The kind of person I call a 'walking vortex of unnecessary suffering'. They inflict suffering on themselves, on innocent bystanders, but especially on anybody close to them. Andie's husband might be a pig, but she is the sort of bloodless lamer who drains every last bit of joy from life by overanalyzing everything until it turns to shit. Lady, shut up, sit down, and enjoy the fucking scenery. You only live once.

I recommend that you go see SL&VT. If Andie's character reminds of a significant other, stop struggling and start making plans to dump that moody asshole immediately. My mom was married to one for like thirty years, and believe her and me: it never gets any better. If Andie's character reminds you of someone you think you'd like to be involved with, reconsider.

Did I miss the point of the movie? Perhaps, but it sure was cathartic to be able to point at the screen and say to my friends (as they tried in vain to shush me): "that is what I've been talking about all along." It was also cathartic cheering for Andie's vastly cooler sister.
Soderbergh's movie might be considered the stereotypical Indie film since it set a few precedents as far as Indies were concerned. The popularity of someone in a movie videotaping while another is talking, and us seeing the view from the videotape perspective is one of these. Many films followed suit after Sex, Lies and Videotape did such a great job with it. It was also the first big winner at the freshly founded Sundance Film Festival, and James Spader won the Best Actor prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival for his understated, but terrific performance as Graham.

The sensuality riding underneath the conversations of MacDowell's character, Ann, and Graham is quite powerful and brilliantly played. Ann's neurosis is not evil. She is a product of her environment and it is something that has built over an unfortunate period of time. She does not wish to throw her problems onto other people- she kindly devotes this to her therapist. A rather disgusting husband, over years, could prove more than unsettling. She also could have used a job. Ann's saucy sister, well played by Laura San Giacomo ("Pretty Woman"), carries a coolness but severely lacks in flavor since she heartlessly has an affair with Ann's husband.

There is a script with Soderbergh's notes published, and it is a rather interesting read. He discusses daily shooting schedules and new camera tricks. The unique angle placed on San Giacomo's character as she orgasms in one scene is pretty neat.

Also the line from the movie, when Ann is speaking to her therapist about happiness, actually went more like this: "Being happy isn't all that great. I mean the last time I was really happy, I got so fat. I must have gained 25 pounds. I thought John was going to have a stroke."

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