any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
not so long ago, Bill had the perfect life. A job as a real-estate agent
that he was good at and that he liked, a nice apartment, a drop-dead
gorgeous wife named Rose who adored him as much as he adored her.
Everything was peachy – until the day he came home to find his
wife’s closet empty, and Rose on the phone, informing him that she’d
left him for his good buddy Ray. Now Bill’s a mess, living all alone
in a pig-sty, and screwing up big-time at work. One day, his sister
shows up at his door with a self-help book and a good kick-in-the-pants.
She gives Bill a pep talk, gets him cleaned up, then informs him that
she’s set him up on a blind date with her good pal Bernice. Bill
reluctantly meets up with Bernice at a bar, looking morose and acting
sullen as he listens to her blather on and on about her life. Bernice is
peppy, enthusiastic, and unfailingly optimistic – the complete
antithesis of Bill in his current state. Which is why he can’t resist,
finally, from cutting her down. The date ends with Bernice shocked and
crushed; Bill goes home, too full of self-pity to feel any guilt over
the terrible way he’s behaved. A few days later and Bill comes to the
momentous decision that he’ll go to his estranged wife, and plead with
her in person to come home. He’s all set to make a small trip out to
the countryside – Rose and Ray have shacked up in a little cottage
that Ray had actually found through Bill – when he runs into Bernice.
Disheveled and disgruntled, Bernice is acting like she’s quite
possibly crazy, and most definitely pissed off at Bill. So when she
demands that he drive her to visit her ailing grandmother en route to
seeing Rose, Bill finds himself unable to say no. Which is how Bill and
Bernice find themselves sharing a big purple car on a strange little
I shouldn’t tell you too much about this movie. Because, see, part of
the reason I liked it so much was that it really took me by surprise. My
boy had picked it off the shelf one night at the video store, on one of
those frustrating evenings when it feels like every single good
movie at the store is something you’ve already seen, and nothing else
looks terribly enticing. I’ll Take You There seemed like the
sort of innocuous, not too grossly sappy, indie comedy that would let us
kick up our feet, relax after a long day of work, and happily veg out,
without being so bored that we’d fall asleep. So with no expectations
beyond the hope that Ally Sheedy had improved her acting skills since
her Short Circuit years, I hadn’t planned to actually like this
movie; I think I would have been content as long as I hadn’t hated it.
Which is why it was especially nice to find myself rather charmed by
writer-director Adrienne Shelley’s unconventional, offbeat, darkly
funny little romantic comedy. I’ll Take You There isn’t a
Great Film – it’s not likely to change anyone’s life – but
it’s a much, much more interesting movie than you’d expect from
reading the little blurb on the back of the video box. And here’s the
big surprise: it’s largely because of, not in spite of, Ally Sheedy.
Sheedy’s Bernice starts off as a dippy nouveau-hippie-type chick,
complete with a ridiculous smile and even more ridiculous hair, and
turns into a borderline psycho, raving kook. She’s so utterly
convincing – and not a small amount freaky – as someone who’s come
completely unhinged that you don’t quite realize that you’ve kind of
started to like her until you find yourself thinking Bill’s a schmuck
for mooning over Rose when Bernice is sitting right there, looking oddly
beautiful despite the terrible and inexplicable prom dress she’s
wearing. Like Bernice herself, I’ll Take You There is one of
those oddball hidden gems whose appeal slowly sneaks up on you.—reviewed
by Yee-Fan Sun
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