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any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
Janey’s spending the summer with her mom Kate, her dad Ed and her
little brother Jim, at a little beach cottage in New Zealand. Though the
whole family’s together on this vacation, the beach house is really
for Kate; Ed’s brought her here with the hopes that the water and sand
and waves might cure his wife of her frequent bouts of depression.
Sadly, the salty sea air doesn’t seem to be doing Janey’s mom much
good, and it’s clear that her parents’ marriage is on the rocks.
Janey and her little brother Jim spend most of their days fishing,
swimming, and exploring the long stretches of beach, with their dad
occasionally joining in on their little excursions. Kate, on the other
hand, pretty much stays home alone. Janey watches her mom sleep till
noon each day, drink herself into oblivion each afternoon, and come
alive only in the evenings, during those wild cocktail parties where she
drinks some more and flirts madly with Cady, a handsome young
photographer who lives alone on a boat. Beyond the fact she doesn’t
like to see her mom with a man other than her dad, things are further
complicated by the fact that Janey’s hormones have kicked into full
gear, and she’s just beginning to feel less like a girl and more like
a woman. Sadly, the boys her own age mostly just annoy her – as is
generally the case at that age, they just seem so far behind in
maturity-- so when Janey
begins to feel the first pangs of love and longing, it’s with Cady as
the primary object of her desire.
weird thing about Christine Jeff’s Rain is how it’s both
silkily seductive and coolly repellent, all at the same time. Everything
about the way the movie looks and sounds— from the beautiful New
Zealand beach scenery, to the golden-green-tinged hues, to the deep 70s
nostalgia, to the (occasionally too-obviously sentimental) music—
invites you to sink in, revel in your senses, let the movie’s lush
dreamy languor take over. At the same time, it’s hard to get over the
rather disturbing ick factor of watching a very young girl interacting
in an overtly sexual way with a man who should be old enough to know
better. You want to distance yourself; it feels uncomfortable.
As Janey, Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki is an unsettling mixture of
naive little girl and knowingly sexy young woman, her dark eyes looking
way more worldly and mature than her body indicates she has any right to
be. Toss in two parents who are oftentimes painfully irresponsible in
the way they act in front of their children, and Rain frequently
makes for difficult watching, despite the sensual beauty of what you see
onscreen. It’s this tension between finding yourself sucked in by the
things that look lovely and wanting to remain detached from the things
that feel gross that makes Rain feel like more than just another
hackneyed, nostalgia-laden female coming-of-age story, despite the fact
that there’s nothing in Janey’s experience that we haven’t seen in
movies, television and books a gazillion times before.
In the end, what stays with you after watching Rain
isn’t anything specific about the characters – though they’re
nicely portrayed by an all-around excellent cast -- or the plot –
which is largely nonexistent. Mostly, Rain leaves you enveloped
with the memory of a mood – misty, delicate, sad, and beautiful.
by Yee-Fan Sun
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