I saw this movie this afternoon, finally, and I just knew you were waiting to hear what this stodgy old fart thought of it. Well, I've got to say, it wasn't as bad as these conservative rags had been telling me. It wasn't Brazil, Eraserhead or The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, but it was pretty well put together.

However, there are a couple of things that I found absolutely bizarre in the whole concept.

First of all, the Spacey character: He doesn't have one friend in the whole movie? There's not a relative or a friend anywhere that he can talk to about this insanity of bedding his daughter's friend? No one who will tell him that, "Hey, you know, this is just fucking stupid!"

When he leaves his job, he doesn’t say "bye" to anyone? Who is that big of a goof? Of course, since he's become one of Richard Gephardt's big campaign buddies, who can say how deep he really goes. Had it been me playing that part, I think I would have asked the writers, "Hey, don't I have a buddy anywhere? Am I that big of a loser?"

Second, this idea of Hollywood doing, as the Los Angeles Times put it, "a dark essaying of suburban desperation in full, bitter bloom." Man, it's been at least, what, two weeks, since we saw something with that theme, eh? Sinclair Lewis must be really happy that Hollywood has finally come around!

I was really impressed with the kids in the movie. I know the radical right wants to play up the idea that the kid next door is a drug dealer, but he is pretty cool, and it's very believable that the disgruntled daughter would fall for him. And he is just selling pot, not crack or heroin. Who hasn't?

The biggest political problems I have with the "film" is the portrayal of the two gay guys as the perfect couple and the idea that any ex-marine is a psycho.

There was a little kid named Jessie Dirkshank who was murdered recently in Arkansas by a couple of gay guys. He was hog tied to a bed (thirteen years old) and had his underwear stuffed in his mouth for hours, until he suffocated. During that time, the two guys had their ways with him. Do you think we'll see a movie about that? Hell, it's got all the elements, doesn't it? Gay people. Murder. Romance. But I guess Hollywood will pass on that one*.

As for the ex-marine (a homophobe, of course), all I can say is that you wouldn't be playing games on the internet right now if it weren't for the US Marines. But Hollywood hates the military, and it's really ironic, since there are so many of our Jewish friends out there. But I guess irony and Hollywood go hand in hand.

Finally, all I can say is, if you do not talk to your kids, and talk to them as if they have something to say, you are going to be very unhappy as life winds its way down that road.

*Addendum: It has been brought to my attention that Alfred Hitchcock's Rope is a film which was made in Hollywood which belies my theory above. However, in my defense, I must say that when I saw this film many years ago, it did not occur to me that the two characters were, in fact, gay. I realize now that this was due to the fact that I wasn't able to pick up on the subtext at the time. But I do recant that remark, somewhat, and thank user zoeb for pointing this out to me, many years after this writeup was posted.