Town & Country Recap

Jamie

Porter and Ellie are extremely successful and extremely wealthy and seemingly have a perfect marriage… other than the fact that Porter is having multiple affairs for reasons unknown. Can he stop having affairs, stop lying to everyone, and stop being a giant asshole before it’s too late? Find out in… Town & Country.

How?! Porter is a very very very very very very rich architect married to an equally successful interior designer, Ellie. Unfortunately Porter has a problem: he can’t seem to stop having affairs. Even when the marriage of their best friends falls apart as a result of an affair he can’t see just how disastrous a choice he is making and almost immediately falls back in bed with his cellist mistress. To make matters worse Ellie is so concerned for her soon-to-be-divorced friend that she asks Porter to accompany her down to Mississippi to check in on her property where they totally bang (seems like a mistake). Returning to NYC dead set on ending the affair, Porter and her end up banging again and almost get caught by Ellie. Upon their return to the city it’s revealed that Ellie has discovered Porter’s affair with the cellist (who is apparently also pregnant) and at last Porter admits everything. Porter and his friend, now both set to be divorced, decide to take a trip to Idaho to a secluded cabin. There Porter proceed to almost have affairs with two more crazy women (at this point he literally seems like the worst person in the world) only to be discovered by his children who have come to talk sense into him. Disgusted they storm off and Porter realizes everything he has lost. Returning to NYC he attempts to reconcile with Ellie only to have all the women he’s had affairs with show up at the same time. Coming to grips with his own foibles, Porter admits all the terrible mistakes that he’s made and bears his soul to Ellie. Realizing that they still love each other they decide to attempt to work through their issues in their own time. THE END.

Why?! Porter seems to indicate at the beginning of the film that the affairs are out of the ordinary and yet through the next two hours they all seem quite routine. It got to the point where I started to assume he was an unreliable narrator and in fact he was always a lying scumbag. Only at the end of the film does he reveal that he started having affairs because in his old age he feet like he lost something. He thought some youthful indiscretions may recapture the magic (he is of course wrong and instead he loses everything he cares about). Well that sounds like an OK film… why do none of those motivations show up on screen and instead we have to watch a rich asshole act like a rich asshole for two hours?

Who?! Vera Wang has had two major motion picture credits in her career, both of which we have now watched for BMT. The first was for Bride Wars, which makes sense as I assume she provided the wedding dresses used in that one. The credit she got here was also for “Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn’s wedding dresses,” which is interesting since I don’t remember them in wedding dresses in the film… maybe in a picture or something?

What?! Do you think the magazine Town & Country was cool with this being named after them? Doesn’t seem like much of a product placement as it’s more or less making fun of what is considered the stereotypical audience of the magazine.

Where?! This is ridiculously NYC. The entire concept is built around the highest of the highfalutin Manhattanite (with a beach hour in The Hamptons, obvs). To nice effect they travel to the rare BMT locales of Mississippi and Idaho under the guise that these types of people just randomly own property around the country that they never visit, don’t give a shit about, and let fall into disrepair until their lives are such a disaster that they are forced to go out there. I gotta give this an A because I don’t think the film makes any sense other than set in NYC.

When?! For a while I didn’t think we’d get an exact time for the film, but then out of nowhere popped up a Secret Holiday Film Alert. In the midst of his marital troubles our boy Porter attends a Halloween party dressed as a polar bear and gets into all types of farcical hijinks which results in the final dissolution of his marriage. Hilarious! A-

This is a BMT mystery for the ages right here. While this was not a good movie on either an artistic or BMT level, Patrick and spent more time discussing it than 95% of BMT films. Why? Because we truly couldn’t wrap our heads around how it could seemingly misfire on almost everything up until the very end of the film. It’s tough to watch such an unlikeable guy do a series of relatively mundane things for two hours. Not to mention the fact that everyone is like cartoon NYC rich. The only redeeming thing about it is that Gary Shandling is pretty funny here and there and Andie MacDowell is so convincing as an absolute crazy person that it made me momentarily forget that she is beautiful. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Town & Country? More like Boring & Unfunny. Amirite? I am. I am right, this movie is boring and unfunny. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This isn’t quite at the point of a “forgotten film”. I should try and quantify this at some point, but a forgotten film is basically a film that just … no one watches? Like Hex … I’ve never heard of this film, it looks like a kind of parody of the erotic thrillers we all know and love from the early 90s, and it was released to 2000 theaters. Anyways, Town & Country is probably still known for being Beatty’s last big release, but it was still a film I had personally never really heard of beyond whispers of its financial shortcomings. I was a tabula rasa.

The Good – Some of the acting was solid. Andie MacDowell comes to mind. I like Gary Shandling. And for what they needed to do Keaton and Hartnett and Vessey also did a fine job. If you like looking at rich people (like … REALLY rich people) live their rich (like REALLY rich) lives, then this has a few moments of like “hey you are flippantly flying to Paris on a private jet for a birthday weekend … that’s cool”. I think I laughed once which is actually probably above average.

The Bad – The entire film is a disaster. An unmitigated disaster. You can even tell points in which they tried to massage the story into something more palatable. Like, hmmmm it seems weird that Beatty decides to cheat on his wife a whole bunch right after seeing his best friend’s life get ruined by doing the same thing … uh, let’s add a little beginning part explaining that no, he’s been cheating all along! Wait … is that better? It seems worse. He tries to cheat with four women, but only succeeds with two of them, but the movie would have been more fun if he succeeded with all of them and realized that it didn’t help his midlife crisis, or if he tried but just couldn’t manage it like what happened in Curb Your Enthusiasm. The movie feels about, oh, four hours too long? It really is a marvel, I’m still chewing this movie over in my mind days later.

The BMT – You know, this isn’t a traditional BMT favorite, but maybe it should be. We discussed the ins and outs of how this could possibly be made for like an hour. We fixed it, debated it, raged over it. It was a really fun discussion about a really really not-fun film. Which is amazing. We’d probably have to seek out more dramas to get the same feeling. This was a “comedy”, but the most interesting part was how it tried to straddle the line between drama and comedy and managed to be a bad version of both.

Roast-radamus – There probably were product placements, but I’m too poor to notice them. There wasn’t a Planchet, but there was an interesting Odd-Ensemble thing going on, with like forty different caricatures all floating around Beatty at any given time, but that isn’t a category (yet). Setting as a Character (Where) is definitely in play for New York City. Also Secret Holiday Film (When) in that the climax of the film takes place at and after a big Halloween bash, which is actually quite excellent. I don’t think it’ll make Good/Bad/BMT, but it is closest to Bad.

StreetCreditReport.com – Amazingly this Empire article from 2010 lists this as 48th worst film ever … which is insane. But really I’m just here for the juice goss (that’s short for gossip). And this article dishes like whoa. That’s some cred.

You Just Got Schooled – I really couldn’t find anything specifically about the film, so let’s go with a bit of data analysis for fun. Jamie and I have been exploring an idea of notability in film. And how do you know something is notable? That’s right, the thing in question has a wikipedia page. So how many people involved with Town & Country are notable? Well there are 218 people in the fill cast on IMDb. Of those an impressive 51 have wikipedia pages. And sure, Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton, but there are surprising ones as well. And Jamie mentioned, Vera Wang gets a special thanks on Town & Country. And yes, this would count towards your notability. After all, just being able to put that in your film is a level of notability I could only dream of. Stay tuned, “notability” is the next big Bad Movie Twins metric.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Town & Country Quiz

Because this film lulled me into a weeks long coma, I nearly forgot to make a quiz. I would never fail our loyal fan(s) (I’m sure there is more than one, but you never know).

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) During the film we see Warren Beatty try to have an affair with four different women. Describe them.

2) There are, in the beginning of the film, seven people living in Warren Beatty’s house including himself. Name the other six.

3) What are Beatty and Keaton’s jobs? What is Shandling’s job?

4) This film is a-jet-setting, and Beatty ends up in four different locations during the film. Name them.

5) As Beatty and Keaton are proceeding through their divorce what item (I don’t need specifics) makes Keaton rethink her decision to go through with it immediately?

Answers

Town & Country Preview

“Just be careful in there,” Sergeant Godzilla says and he shakes his head and zooms away. Jamie and Patrick enter the troll’s apartment and the aroma is overwhelming. Never have they smelled something quite like it. They hesitantly ask, “Is that… banana bread?” The troll laughs. Of course it is and of course they can have some. The pleasantries continue and Jamie and Patrick find themselves thinking that perhaps this troll isn’t as bad as Godzilla thought. He almost seems like… a friend. And friends don’t trick friends. Those are the rules. “Gerald,” Patrick asks, “Have you ever heard of a couple of gritty cops named Rich and Poe?” For a moment it looks like Gerald’s smile has turned to a snarl, but then it’s gone. “Oh, why yes. Nasty fellows. Always after treasures and antiquities. Gets them tied up in nasty plots. Why?” Patrick hesitates, but Gerald seems fine now. Same old Gerald they know and love. “Oh no reason,” he says, “they… are our uncles.” Gerald eyes them. “Is that right? Well there is a way to find them but… nevermind, you wouldn’t be interested.” They prod him forward and Gerald smiles, “It’s called the Medallion of Wisdom. With it you can find whatever you desire. Some think it’s legend, but I know where it is,” the troll leans in hungrily, “Make a promise and I’ll tell you. Promise you’ll help me in the future.” Patrick has seen Gerald’s true face and is horrified. No. No, never. They’ll never agree with this monster.  “Yeah, sure,” Jamie mumbles over a mouthful of banana bread as Patrick looks on in horror. Gerald smiles wickedly, “It’s in a ski chalet of a man I know. A real rich guy with lots of treasures but sadness in his heart.” That’s right! We’re watching Town & Country. A story of two cops Johnny Town and Fred Country. Town is a small town sheriff with a southern twang and smarts to boot, while Country is a big city cop ready to crack some skulls if it means solving the big case… oh wait, that’s just what I wish it was. It’s actually a Warren Beatty film about a rich asshole or something. Huge bomb, but not big enough to be the on the worst ever list because it was rejected. Let’s go!

Town & Country (2001) – BMeTric: 45.6

TownCountryIMDb_BMeT

TownCountryIMDb_RV

(Wow, extremely impressive hold on the rating. Presumably that’s because not very many people just stumble upon the film, but rather they know it is going to be garbage going in. Regardless, there is potential there. A good ratings hold is usually a good sign.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Two couples celebrate their long-term marriages – just as both relationships start to come apart. A train wreck of a movie that starts out as romantic comedy, lurches into French farce, then lumbers along to a point beyond comprehension. The cast tries its best. Cowritten by Buck Henry, who appears as a divorce lawyer. Filmed mostly in 1998.  

(I honestly had a hard time parsing this review initially, much like this film it went on just long enough that I kind of lost the thread. Having now watched this film Maltin nails it, it really is like three different movies stuck together.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPX_1XQtmB4/

(What a strange looking film … Like really, I can’t even really place the sensibility. I guess maybe it goes back to the comedies of the 60s and 70s? This flippant observational humor about cheating on your spouse. With a oddly goofy twist.)

Directors – Peter Chelsom – (Known For: Serendipity; Hannah Montana: The Movie; Shall We Dance; The Mighty; Funny Bones; Hear My Song; BMT: Town & Country; The Space Between Us; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Town & Country in 2002; Notes: A very accomplished British director. Considers surviving this shoot an achievement in itself.)

Writers – Michael Laughlin (written by) – (Known For: Strange Invaders; Strange Behavior; BMT: Town & Country; Notes: He seems like he had a crazy life. He’s 80, he produced films in the US and the UK, he lived in Paris, he seems to have been all up in Hollywood for his entire life, and yet his filmography is still rather svelte.)

Buck Henry (written by) – (Known For: The Graduate; Get Smart; To Die For; Catch-22; The Last Act; Candy; What’s Up, Doc?; The Owl and the Pussycat; The Day of the Dolphin; Future BMT: The Nude Bomb; Protocol; First Family; BMT: Town & Country; Notes: Directed Heaven Can Wait with Beatty. Is the founding member of the Five Timer’s Club on SNL.)

Actors – Warren Beatty – (Known For: Heaven Can Wait; Dick Tracy; Bonnie and Clyde; Shampoo; Rules Don’t Apply; Splendour in the Grass; Bugsy; Reds; McCabe & Mrs. Miller; The Parallax View; Bulworth; Lilith; The Heist; Future BMT: Love Affair; The Fortune; BMT: Ishtar; Town & Country; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Town & Country in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Remake or Sequel for Love Affair in 1995; Notes: Nominated four times for Best Actor (embarrassingly lost to In the Heat of the Night in the same year he was in Bonnie and Clyde. Embarrassing because he wasn’t up against Portier, he was up against Steiger which is ridiculous). Won Best Director of Reds.)

Diane Keaton – (Known For: The Godfather; The Godfather: Part II; Book Club; The Godfather: Part III; Annie Hall; Something’s Gotta Give; Finding Dory; Baby Boom; The First Wives Club; Father of the Bride; Manhattan; Morning Glory; The Family Stone; Reds; Looking for Mr. Goodbar; Marvin’s Room; Father of the Bride Part II; Radio Days; Sleeper; Love and Death; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Now; Hanging Up; Mama’s Boy; Mad Money; Christmas with the Coopers; Smother; And So It Goes; Darling Companion; The Other Sister; The Lemon Sisters; Mrs. Soffel; BMT: Town & Country; The Big Wedding; Because I Said So; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Because I Said So in 2008; Notes: Y’all know BMT super star Diane Keaton! Amazingly still a fashion icon into her seventies, literally all of the news stories about her is about what she’s wearing.)

Nastassja Kinski – (Known For: Paris, Texas; The Hotel New Hampshire; Inland Empire; Cat People; Tess; Playing by Heart; One from the Heart; In weiter Ferne, so nah!; To the Devil a Daughter; The Wrong Move; An American Rhapsody; The Claim; Savior; Your Friends & Neighbors; The Intruder; Future BMT: Fathers’ Day; Terminal Velocity; Revolution; One Night Stand; Unfaithfully Yours; BMT: Town & Country; Notes: Klaus Kinski’s daughter. Apparently has a form of Narcolepsy.)

Budget/Gross – $90 million / Domestic: $6,719,973 (Worldwide: $10,372,291)

(Actually considered one of the greatest financial disasters in the history of film, up with The Adventures of Pluto Nash. I would say it likely destroyed Beatty in terms of getting films done as the on-set reports kind of make it sound like it was his fault they went so far over budget.)

#282 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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(Almost the worst we’ve ever seen. Say It Isn’t So narrowly edges it out. It looks like rom-coms are coming back into style a bit. Especially if things follow Crazy Rich Asian’s lead.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (12/93): Afflicted with extensive re-editing and re-writing, this sex comedy feels confusingly choppy. Also, the main characters are so wealthy and privileged that it’s difficult to feel sympathy for their problems.

(Yeah based on the trailer alone the people seem totally despicable. There was a trend in comedies wasn’t there? Where, in order to facilitate all of the wacky adventures the characters were going to go on, they needed to be fabulously wealthy. And probably a misguided idea that people want to gawk at rich people’s houses or something.)

Poster – Sklog & Country (C-)

town_and_country_ver1

(I don’t like it but I appreciate it. The framing, the font, it’s all good… but just doesn’t work for me without a color scheme. My eyes tell me ‘No.’)

Tagline(s) – There’s no such thing as a small affair. (B+)

(I don’t see this on the poster, but I’ll allow it because it’s solid. It’s short-ish and clever and tells me a little something. Good stuff.)

Keyword(s) – infidelity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.7 The Room (2003); 84.5 Movie 43 (2013); 82.2 Skyline (2010); 79.0 The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994); 78.9 Pledge This! (2006); 70.0 The Boy Next Door (2015); 69.0 Knock Knock (I) (2015); 65.7 Baise-moi (2000); 65.3 The Canyons (2013); 64.6 Dr. T & the Women (2000);

(Dr. T & the Women, my old friend. Probably the highest BMeTric of any film that doesn’t actually qualify. I’ve seen the Canyons. It is terrible.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Josh Hartnett is No. 9 billed in Town & Country and No. 3 billed in Here on Earth => 9 + 3 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Considered to be one of the biggest box-office disasters of all time. Pluto Nash (2002) is the largest in terms of financial loss with a budget of 100 million dollars, and a domestic gross of 4.41 million dollars. Town & Country cost around 90 million dollars to make, and it pulled in only 6.7 million dollars at the U.S. box-office.

Buck Henry was hired for what was originally only going to be a few weeks of script polishing work. Eventually, he stayed on for several months and ended up earning (by some accounts) three million dollars for rewriting roughly half of the script. Henry has stated that he bought a new house with the money he made on this “quick rewrite assignment”.

Following the film’s failure, Warren Beatty wasn’t involved with another film until Rules Don’t Apply (2016). (Yeah, he didn’t have a particularly good record from the 90s onward I don’t think)

Over forty million dollars had been spent on actor and writer salaries even before the cameras began rolling. (Oof)

The film was released three years after filming initially began in 1998.

Charlton Heston’s 75th film.

Filming was originally supposed to wrap by the fall of 1998 for a summer or fall 1999 release. Various problems occurred during filming, however, including Warren Beatty’s meticulous demand for many takes.

Filming had to be shut down after five months so that Diane Keaton, Garry Shandling, and Jenna Elfman could honor prior commitments. Shandling was in What Planet Are You From? (2000), while Keaton was in Hanging Up (2000), which she also directed. It would take a full year before they could gather the cast back together to film the new pages written by Buck Henry.

Reshoots were scheduled to begin on April 10, 2000, and expected to last just a couple of weeks. However, filming continued through June 2000, when it finally wrapped two years after principal photography originally began.

The winter mountain scenes (filmed in Sun Valley, Idaho) started filming in the early winter. Unfortunately, there was no snow on the ground at the time. Several scenes were filmed with man-made snow. After filming these scenes, over a foot of natural snow feel the next day. Some of the scenes were re-shot in the “natural” background.

Gérard Depardieu was cast but had to be replaced by Garry Shandling because of a road accident.

Peter Chelsom and Warren Beatty clashed frequently over various details in the script and the visuals.

Such was the protracted nature of the film’s production, it burned through 13 release dates.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Charlton Heston, 2002)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Goldie Hawn, 2002)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Peter Chelsom, Warren Beatty, 2002)

Here on Earth Recap

NOTE: This was an original recap from 2012 for the film Here on Earth. In a way it started the modern BMT recap, although it would still be another year before our email recap was more than a few notes. It originally included a good number of self-hosted video bits, but I’ve removed them to avoid any possibility of legal issues, and tried my best to get across the intent of each of them. But … just look at how long it is! Yeah, I had a job back then and everything. I think I wrote this in an hour long manic state of ecstasy. Enjoy!

Recap

Well boys and girls, it is with sadness that I have to report that Bad Movie Thursday has ended. What you all didn’t know was that BMT was just a pretense for me and Jamie’s search for the perfect movie, the one movie to unite the world in peace. That search ended last Thursday when we watched Here on Earth, nay! When it allowed us to view its beauty, its majesty … its message. Guided by LudaChris Klein himself we walked the shores of heaven and laughed in childlike wonder as he gently explained how the world can be, how it will be, once we pass along his message to the unconverted. Robert Frost said it best when …

Now that that is over, BMT has not ended, but it might as well have because all others can only hope to be a shadow of its greatness. It had everything, a soundtrack that reads like Best of the 90s: Vol 12, constant unnecessary slo-mo, a rich versus poor dynamic that never quits, and some of the absolute worst (read: best) performances put forth by Chris Klein and Leelee Sobieski. Meanwhile, Josh Harnett acts circles around everyone involved and they close by (spoiler alert!) Notebooking us with a surprise cancer diagnosis and death. Holy shit, needless to say it’s all I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of days. Buckle your seatbelts, and if you didn’t watch it they you should pencil in some time.

“Story”line

So we open with a little acoustic guitar riff and shots of a sweet car getting driven through the quaint town of Putnam, Massachusetts. You immediately know the dynamic of the town because as it passes through poorville Sobieski’s says: “somebody’s lost” because none of us Poory McPoors are buying a car like that. Rolston is a prep school that is, on the other hand, extremely wealthy as one can see from the fact that people row there.

The car arrives are Rolston and whoooooweeee is the principal mad. He tries to relate to Chris Klein because his father isn’t coming to graduation, but Chris goes all screw-you-old-man-you-don’t-know-me and pretends he doesn’t care because his father is making mad stacks of cash for him. He also puts down his whole class by calling them whining children. They conclude with Klein strutting about and riffing with his friends about how many ladies they’d all get with his car. With a flourish he reveals that he stole his car keys from the principal and they are going to take a little joy ride that night.

This is where things get interesting. Klein decides they’re all going to Mable’s Table where all the townies are hanging out. For some reason all the Rolston kids are terrified of going into this diner. Reminds me of my home town where all of the tourists are afraid to come to the local bar because the townies will beat the shit out of them. You know what I’m talking about Jamie. Leelee’s there with Hartnett and his friend (dubbed Mathew Lillard Jr. for his sweet bleach blonde hair and extreme sidekickness). Leelee basically tells Hartnett that it’s ovah babyyyyyy by not writing their name on the Lover’s Wall and instead takes over for her sister waiting tables. Her fear of commitment is disconcerting to Hartnett, but he’s in high school so he rolls with it.

Klein and his friends enter and Klein proceeds to verbally accost poor Leelee. Like no joke he pretty much sexually assaults her. She immediately falls in love with him (natch). We are later led to believe that Leelee falls in love with his heart, in reality we can read between the lines and I think she just kind of likes assholes and Hartnett was just too nice for her. Plus just hear these smoove lines by Klein: “What’s good here besides the help?” “Do you really make your own ice cream” “How does one make you own ice cream” Note the accent on cream in those last two. I thought Klein was just saying it weird … now I’m wondering whether it is sexual innuendo. If it is that is supremely creepy. Harnett conducts his first acting lesson of the night and Chris Klein responds by calling all the townies poor. It is quite a speech. But hey guys …. He has a good heart.

A scuffle ensues and Klein basically tells Hartnett his girlfriend is probably going to dream of him tonight. The actual word is “fantasy file” which isn’t a real phrase. Klein speeds off and Hartnett, on principle, decides to race him. This inevitably results in a huge explosion that destroys Mabel’s (no one is hurt). It would have been a much different movie if someone had died, like Sleepers style. Klein and Hartnett go to prison. They are enemies, but for survival they become reluctant allies and then friends. I’m going to call it Shawshank Redemption 2: Rich and Poe. In this version of the script Klein’s character is ironically called Poe and Harnett’s is ironically called Rich. This may also be a Fox Family series in which Poe is forced to move in with Rich and comedy ensues, they’re such an odd couple!

Anyways. Now we get to see how justice is really served in small town USA … the same way as everywhere else, in a courtroom. Klein has Nerd Alert McGee as his lawyer (complete with bow tie) who’s all like: “excuse me, but can’t my client just pay everyone a ton of money and we can lay this matter to rest?” And the judge basically responds “what world do you live in where what you said makes any sense?” Regardless, the judge decides that they’re going to have to do something different with these boys and makes them rebuild Mabel’s Table and thus Klein must live in Hartnett’s house! Everyone seems satisfied although it does seem to dawn on them that Mabel’s Table is one of the dumbest restaurant names they’ve ever heard in their life.

As an aside: the movie would have been better if Hartnett put his and Leelee’s name on the Love Wall. In the movie Leelee just kind of gets all grumpy and starts cheating on Hartnett with Klein and generally acts pretty terribly towards him. In my version Hartnett tries to make up with her and when he claims they’re on the Love Wall she can say “you burned the Love Wall down.” I never got the sense she drifted from Hartnett because of that incident (which would have made more sense), but rather out of boredom making her intentions, while perhaps more real, a bit muddied. Whatevs.

Klein moves into Hartnett’s house and his disgust with the poor accommodations is palpable. He sees a rat and everything and we feel for him because of the sheer poorness of the house. Hartnett tries to make Klein milk some cows but Klein doesn’t do peasant work and walks out. Good call by Klein, if his servants every found out he milked a cow they would probably demand wages and whatnot. Meanwhile, Leelee has inexplicably made up with Hartnett because he fails adorably at making noises with a blade of grass and then a mysterious knee injury is revealed. Afterward we get some sermon from a priest and Matthew Lillard Jr. grosses everyone out by making out with his girlfriend who runs her hands through his frosted tips never realizing how much she will regret her high school choices in the future.

And then we get it. Chris Klein monologue #1. I think it is in his contract that he gets at least 2.5 monologues a movie, so the director made up a valedictorian speech he had to miss because he’s a dipshit. It is … well it’s just Birches by Robert Frost basically. Are you kidding me? How did I not know about this when I graduated high school, this would have definitely been my speech, and no one would have been the wiser (although I would have been booed off stage …. Worth it). Leelee sees the whole thing and is intrigued to say the least.

Leelee macks the mack by bringing Klein a sandwich, everyone enjoys some solid 90s Yo Mother jokes, and then Hartnett and Klein get into a scuffle. You know it is a movie because Hartnett, who sports some sweet bird arms and is built like a scarecrow, defeats Klein, who appears to have just finished up a really worthwhile cycle of anabolic steroids. Hartnett has a heart to heart with his mother who points out that Klein might as well be an orphan so cut him some slack. In this scene Hartnett “plays” the piano. In reality piano noises just play during a close up shot of his face. It’s pretty funny how little they tried here, but if Hartnett can actually play the piano they did him a disservice.

And then we get two amazing scenes in a row. First, Leelee pretty much jumps Klein. This flirty banter is amazing. Two notes. One, Klein is shirtless which was inevitable. Two, the beginning of that scene was ridiculous. Leelee stares lustily at Klein’s bod and says “I’m hot … … … … … I’m going to get something to drink.” It sounds like she’s drunk. It actually reminds me of that video of the Brady Bunch where the one kid was stoned for a scene. The scene is similar to how me and my wife met. I was working hard during college orientation (shirtless, natch). She came over to get a drink and that was all the opening I needed. Hook-line-and-sinker. I call that move the Charlie Nash Interpol because it makes the girls go crazy.

The second scene is then their date, which is also amazing. It’s in a ballpark and they pretend to play baseball and stuff. Sobieski is the worst and also cannot even fake throw a baseball which is hilarious. They talk about life and love and then make out. Klein’s clinching line is the inexplicable: “I was just wondering if there was mustard or …” referring to the sandwich she gave him hours ago. Oscar snub that year for sure. Since my wife doesn’t read these recaps she doesn’t know that this is happening, this is going to be a date we have. And I’ll force her to read lines with me and reenact the whole thing. We’ll break up for a bit, but she’ll forgive me. I’ve trapped her.

We move quickly from here. Leelee’s family is super concerned Klein is a hit-it-and-quit it guy from Rolston. Ironically, after they do have sex, it is Leelee who ends up dying almost immediately after. Sobieski breaks it to Harnett that … well nothing really. Not great life choices here for m’girl Leelee. Poor Hartnett is just getting dragged along. This is followed by a revolting scene in which Klein kisses a bunch of Leelee’s body parts (a creepy focus is on the feet) and calls them states. Florida is her feet, North and South Carolina the knees. The belly button is Maryland. And, because he’s a classy guy, he skips over New York and New Jersey, her breasts, for New England, her face. The closing line “Massachusetts welcomes you” by Leelee completed the amazing performance.

The following scene gives us our first glimpse of Sobieski running which she is somehow worse at than throwing fake baseballs. Upon seeing this Klein’s response should have been “Are you sure you were a track athlete? Didn’t focus on the ‘field’ aspect of those sports?” Sobieski then explains to Klein that she’s going to the dance with Hartnett. Klein naturally doesn’t understand, and neither do we. There is a very confusing schedule outlined here as well: The dance has fireworks. Klein wants to meet up after but Sobieski is going to Cape Cod. So let me get this straight. The fireworks, which probably start around 9pm, will end and then Sobieski will immediately drive to the Cape from Western Massachusetts …. Yeah that isn’t happening. Lucky for everyone this plan is never mentioned ever again. Regardless, it is assumed by everyone that Leelee is attracted to Hartnett’s superior acting skills because anyone could see that Klein is objectively more attractive.

Klein is upset about this development, but accepts his fate gracefully … Oh wait … nevermind. Instead he gets shitfaced and dances with a bunch of cows. The dance sequence could only be trumped by Sobieski trying to dance, but they wouldn’t let that happen would they? Klein goes to the dance drunk and gets wrecked by Hartnett. Classic. This time the fight is a bit more fair since Klein is absolutely falling-down drunk at this point. Klein instantaneously sobers up and decides to pack it in and leave. He asks Leelee to go with him. She practically burst out laughing, but he saves it by tacking “for the weekend” onto the end. Sobieski is mulling it over when Hartnett shows up. She makes the unfortunate decision to break the news in this fashion “I can’t go … *Hartnett looks happy, 3 more beats* … With you [Hartnett]” Hartnett then bursts into tears. After this particular scene everyone should have stopped filming because Hartnett is too good. He is a legit actor. Leelee and Klein should have felt embarrassed and just called off the rest of the shoot while they recast the leads. Sobieski then hops on the bus and drives off to Boston.

At the Klein Estate Sobieski pokes fun at Klein by asking about the Butler. Klein nonchalantly explains that it is Fourth of July so he’s not here. No joke, just kind of says Jeeves got the night off. Klein wants to see if there is food in the house (there obviously is … you live in a mansion), but Sobieski runs off to embarrass herself by lying in Klein’s mother’s suicide tub. Lucky for the world that action results in this monologue which I call “Mi Mama”. It is a heartfelt display by a very alone and all but abandoned young man. I’m all in now, you’ve hooked me finally. There is only one thing you could do to screw this up, but you wouldn’t do that, right? WRONG. Sobieski dance sequence to bumping 90s tunes. They have a nice fake rain going in the monologue scene. You can always tell a good fake rain, it comes in weird sheets. Must have only had the mansion for the night.

And now for the conclusion, Klein’s absentee father returns and tells him to get his act together before he heads off to Princeton. Princeton alums shake their head in shame. MIT gets Buschemi from Armageddon and Nic Cage from National Treasure, Princeton gets ………. Chris Klein in Here on Earth. Leelee arrives home and they find out she’s been hiding doctor appointments. Leelee meets up with Klein and challenges him to a race. In the real world Klein would defeat her easily, in this movie she takes a substantial lead (there is evidently something magically efficient about swinging her arms wildly from side to side). All of a sudden the movie goes into slo mo and she falls. Klein carries her back and she gets the surprise cancer diagnosis. Klein accuses her of quitting when she can’t get treatment. “You’re just going to die?” Her response of “I’m going to live …. Just not as long as you” doesn’t help.

Hartnett tells Klein to get it together (I agree). We get a sweet montage with Sobieski dying, and Klein looking forlornly at some roses and a picture of Sobieski. We finally conclude at the grand opening of Mable’s Table where Klein shows up, sweeps Sobieski off her feet, and carves their name on the new Lover’s Wall. As Jamie pointed out, it would have been much better if he instead carved in “Fuck Cancer”, but it dawned on me later that I don’t think the movie was intended to be a comedy. Klein gets to give the eulogy. I think he just ended up giving his graduation speech, but it was hard to tell.

Conclusion

What is there left to say. This goes into the pantheon for sure. Chris Klein once again showed himself to be worthy of the Nic Cage Jr. crown. All he needs is an Oscar so that he’ll be able to get jobs for the rest of his life. Sobieski plays a character who is most notable for making poor life choices and getting cancer … they could have given her a bit more to work with in my opinion. Josh Hartnett was amazingly good, didn’t really falter despite having Chris Klein chewing the scenery during every take. There really isn’t anything else to say. Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, Battlefield Earth, Here on Earth. Those are now my top three of BMT history. ‘Nuff said.

Here on Earth Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews before 2013ish we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the last in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A very special OG recap will follow, which represents somewhat the beginning of the modern BMT recap. A new recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediately after that to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Here on Earth (2000) – BMeTric: 43.4

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(I find it pretty astonishing that the rating is just so low. There aren’t very many votes (which certainly plays into it), but it still is pretty amazing for what is at its core a fairly innocuous teen drama film … that is outside of the fact that we are obsessed with this film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Spoiled preppy Klein falls for small-town girl Sobieski while rooming with her boyfriend’s family for the summer. Fateful teen romantic triangle is strictly by-the-numbers. Sobieski gets points for radiantly dangling two hunky guys along; if she were any more angelic she’d explode.

(Ha! Leonard identified one of the main sticking points of the entire film (Leelee’s character is kind of a dick for stringing Hartnett along when it was clear their relationship was done at the beginning of the film), and then dismisses it as a positive for Leelee. Go for it Leonard. Yeah, why shouldn’t Leelee get hers?!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t8WI3bW8NA

(“Hey rich boy, come and get it!” Oh snap, that is some real sidekickness. And Klein looks jacked, I almost forgot just how jacked he was in this film. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TRAILER IS AMAZING. I’m having reverse Vietnam flashbacks here … does that make sense? Like I’m flashing back to the ecstasy of watching this film for the first time. Phew, I cannot wait.)

Directors – Mark Piznarski – (BMT: Here on Earth; Notes: Primarily a television director. Directed the first two episodes of Veronica Mars. The character of Stosh “Piz” Piznarski was named after him.)

Writers – Michael Seitzman (written by) – (Known For: North Country; BMT: Here on Earth; Notes: Basically immediately transitioned to television. Ultimately created Code Black which just ended this year.)

Actors – Chris Klein – (Known For: American Pie; American Reunion; We Were Soldiers; Just Friends; American Pie 2; Election; American Dreamz; Future BMT: Authors Anonymous; Day Zero; BMT: Rollerball; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Say It Isn’t So; Here on Earth; Notes: He had a pretty public substance abuse issue which, it seems, he has kicked (good for him). Just had his second child.)

Leelee Sobieski – (Known For: Eyes Wide Shut; Never Been Kissed; Public Enemies; Deep Impact; Joy Ride; Walk All Over Me; Max; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; My First Mister; Future BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Branded; The Glass House; Finding Bliss; BMT: The Wicker Man; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Here on Earth; 88 Minutes; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 2009 for 88 Minutes, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Wow, all BMT films we’ve seen her in are now in the Hall of Fame. Her mother was a film producer and then became her manager when Leelee went into acting.)

Josh Hartnett – (Known For: Black Hawk Down; Sin City; The Virgin Suicides; The Faculty; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; 30 Days of Night; Lucky Number Slevin; O; Oh Lucy!; Resurrecting the Champ; Stuck Between Stations; Future BMT: The Black Dahlia; 40 Days and 40 Nights; Town & Country; Time Traveller; Wild Horses; Pearl Harbor; August; 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain; Bunraku; Blow Dry; The Ottoman Lieutenant; BMT: Hollywood Homicide; Here on Earth; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Pearl Harbor in 2002; Notes: Effectively retired ten years ago when he moved back to his native Minnesota, but broke back onto the scene with Penny Dreadful.)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $10,522,168 (Worldwide: $10,873,148)

(Unfortunately a disaster. So unlikely we’ll see a Here on Earth Expanded Universe (HoEEU). Which is too bad. I want to see what happened to … like, Leelee’s ancestors in the same town? I’m actually somehow selling myself on this idea … Netflix? Call me.)

#102 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(This is like a teen version of Nicholas Sparks film, which obviously the most enticing three words in Hollywood: teen Nicholas Sparks. Why would this genre die in the 2000? I don’t know, I think this comes up every time we do this plot. Maybe they got pushed out by some other genre or big budget fare?

#47 for the Teen Romance genre

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(Oooooooooh Endless Loooooooove is my second favorite of this genre. Was a late 80s genres, which surged again in the 2000s and is now sitting pretty these days. What happened in 2007ish? Twilight.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (12/69): Critics say Here on Earth’s weakness comes from its script. The story may appeal to young teenage girls, but it suffers from being overly sentimental and formulaic. The cinematography, however, is lovely in how it captures its Minnesota setting.

(It is impossible to be overly sentimental. Also … Oh I’m stewing now. It is obviously not set in Minnesota! It is set in Massachusetts. Ridiculous oversight. Reviewer Highlight – Makes the similarly themed Love Story seem positively sophisticated by comparison. – Lou Lumenick, New York Post)

Poster – Here on Sklog (A+)

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(I have this poster hanging in my house. It is like a beautiful watercolor, a dream. Zero complaints.)

Tagline(s) – NONE! (FFFFF)

(I’ll make one! Uh … “Earth’s the right place for love” there I did it! Phew, that was … much harder than I thought it would be. The logic is that that is a line from Birches by Robert Frost which plays a big role in the film. The film is a love story and thus illustrates a main plot, while sounding somewhat okay. It also takes place on the planet Earth.)

Keyword(s) – diner; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 84.8 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 78.0 Grease 2 (1982); 76.2 AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem (2007); 76.0 Ouija (2014); 73.7 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 73.1 Howard the Duck (1986); 72.2 Cell (I) (2016); 71.5 Bewitched (2005); 69.2 Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011);

(Grease 2 has somehow completely avoided our scrutiny despite, obviously, being one of the worst of an entire decade. Diner is also a nonsense keyword, but whatever.)

Notes – Melissa Joan Hart was considered for the role of Samantha.

This movie is mentioned in the song “Wonder (If She’ll Get It)” by the band Superchick.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Recap

Jamie

Bridget Jones is back, Jack! And boy howdy is she getting into some kooky situations. Last we saw she had gotten the guy and was set to live happily ever after and now… uh… I guess she’s gonna screw it up? Can she not screw it up, get the guy, and get out of Thai prison (what, what?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

How?! Bridget Jones is on top of the world. She got a great career, a great boyfriend, and a great diary that she writes in. This will be the best year ever. That is until she totally starts to fret about her lawyer Mark Darcy’s hot, young lawyer colleague. He’s definitely having an affair. How do we know: because this is a film and Bridget needs a reason to screw up her nascent relationship for the fun (?) of the viewers. Anyway, after a disastrous lawyer party, lunch with her parents, and ski vacation Bridget seems to have totally messed things up with Mark. They’ve broken up, gotten back together, and broken up again leaving Bridget in the lurch just as she gets a new assignment reporting on exotic locales with her *gulp* ex-dirtbag boyfriend Daniel Cleaver. On assignment in Thailand, she almost hooks up with him, but at the last moment Daniel again demonstrates why he’s just a garbage person and she gets out of there. You’d think everything would go pretty smoothly from here but remember, it’s that kooky Bridget Jones we know and love so she ends up accidentally getting nabbed for drug smuggling. She ends up in a Thai prison for a surprisingly large chuck of the film, eventually being freed by lawyer extraordinaire (and not garbage person) Mark. Back in the UK, Bridget realizes that she loves him, runs to his office, and they totally smooch a whole bunch and they get engaged… which doesn’t seem like the best idea considering the tumultuous year they had. But you do you Bridget. THE END.

Why?! Everything that happens in the film is for love I guess. Bridget self-sabotages pretty hard and you would think it was because of mistrust or anxiety or feelings of inadequacy. But if that were the case it would be odd that they would be so dead set on getting engaged after like three months of dating. The only logical thing is that they are both screwing up their relationship so badly because they are scared of how much they love each other. Yeah… that’s the ticket.

Who?! Looking around I thought we would be totally bereft of something to talk about for this section. Nothing of interest was really popping out. That is until I saw that Jacinda Barrett, who played Rebecca, the woman Bridget feared Mark was having an affair with, made her television debut on The Real World. Kinda makes me think there might be a cycle in there somewhere. Reality TV stars in film. Woof.

What?! There are a couple very prominent advertisements for Coca-Cola at the beginning and end of the film. A large billboard seems to give Bridget encouragement to go get her man (and also encourages us to drink a delicious and refreshing Coca-Cola at the same time).

Where?! Much more of a road trip film in this case. Yes, we’re still primarily set in the UK, but this time we get some exotic excursions into Austria and Thailand. Classic sequel right there. Let’s take a character we love (e.g. Deuce Bigalow) and take him somewhere new (Amsterdam). In this case, the UK is important to the plot and the other locations are fun. I’m bumping it to an A-.

When?! The Bridget Jones films are as close to a road trip through time as you can get. They start immediately following New Years (first film is the year 2000 and the second has to be 2001 then) and proceed through the year ending between Xmas and New Years. In some ways you can lock them in as Secret Holiday Films as the most important bits of the story take place then. It is also important to the plot to as a New Year’s resolution is pretty much why she starts the diary in the first place. A-.

The best way to describe this film is as the equivalent to a television show. Season 1 (Bridget Jones’s Diary) was the smash hit, will-they-won’t-they, Ross-and-Rachel season that captured the heart of America. I thought it was fantastic. She was kooky and it was surprisingly raunchy and just generally a fun time. Then season two rolls along and they are like “shit, how do we recapture the magic?” Break them up, obvs. American will love seeing us make these people neurotic crazies and then get them back together. Magic recaptured, right? Not really. It’s the problem with the will-they-won’t-they model as it generally proceeds directly into relationship strife, and I don’t love watching that. Add on top that it’s just generally sillier, crazier (she ends up in a Thai prison), and more cliched and it is certainly a lackluster return for our girl Bridget… although I wouldn’t say the worst thing we’ve ever watched or anything. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Bridget Jones films, the first two at least, were an interesting time capsule of early 2000s British comedies. We watched the bad one. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I knew very little about the series going in, but realizing that the director of the first skipped the second and ended up directing the third I know there was going to be something off about it. I do kind of wish I had read the books, because what I will very likely blame greedy studio execs for maybe could more accurately be blamed on a greedy author, I wouldn’t know. Such is life I guess.

The Good – The three leads are as charming as ever. If you wanted a bigger badder Bridget Jones, well they delivered. They took the character on the road, gave her big stories to explore, and even more awkward moments to create. What they didn’t do was introduce a bunch of new characters for the sake of it and base everything around that. There are things to like in the film.

The Bad – The film feels exactly like what any bad rom com is. Almost quintessentially so. It is kind of a carbon copy of the original with all of the same characters and story beats. Bridget is arguably flanderized into her most audience-pleasing traits. It takes the main character from the charming original setting of London and then relies on fish-out-of-water stories in foreign countries for dramatic moments. And it resets all of the advancements from the original in order to reset everything to be done again. Literally … both movies are just Bridget Jones getting into relationships with the same two guys. In that sense the film in honestly horrible.

You Just Got Schooled – Aha, well in order to watch the sequel I had to watch the original acclaimed Bridget Jones. It was solid, but highly dependent on how much one can tolerate the classic British awkward humor (it shouldn’t be a surprise that both Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Office came out in 2001). Zellweger, Grant, and Firth are all fantastic. And it is a veritable who’s who of British comedic talent, even in the minor roles (two of her friends are Baltar from Battlestar Galactica, and Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter!). It is quite the trick to see a genuinely good film create a genuinely bad sequel, and all wrapped up in a very rare romantic comedy franchise.

The BMT – So here’s the thing: For all of the reasons described in The Bad section this is kind of a perfect example of a bad rom com sequel. But I don’t think that is why we’ll remember it. We are far more likely to remember the weird ones like Here on Earth than the quintessentially bad ones, of which there are multiple that do what this does at least part way. No, this is a rare romantic comedy franchise, which is interesting. Kind of makes me hope they make a Sex and the City 3.

Welcome to Earf – Alright well I could remember one other film we’ve seen with Zellweger, New in Town, which also stars J.K. Simmons. But then I had to look up the connection via the Snowman, which also stars Val Kilmer, who was in Batman Forever with Jim Carrey, who was in The Number 23 with Virginia Madsen, who was in Firewall with Harrison Ford, who was in Hollywood Homicide with Josh Hartnett, who was in Here on Earth! Rare Harnett path, welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – So here’s the thing you have to remember: 2004 was absolutely horrible for movies. The other thing you have to remember: romantic comedies are traditionally not that great. Combine those two and I literally can’t find a list with this film on it. Rest assured, it isn’t great, but it also isn’t going to beat out White Chicks, Catwoman, and The Whole Ten Yards!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Preview

The Predator uses the puzzle box to open a portal to Hell as Jamie and Patrick look on in horror. He gives a bodacious war cry and immediately runs through to begin the hunt. Shaking in their Uggs, Jamie and Patrick await what monstrous creation will emerge from the portal. They stare in awe as two ladies step through. One is a sultry minx in a red dress, her smokey eyes turn Jamie’s legs to jelly. The other has a book under her arm and is wearing glasses. She’s a total nerd, but suddenly she takes off her glasses and she’s also super sexy! But she was wearing those glasses! Who could have guessed? “Woah, I’m in love, bro,” says Jamie and Patrick is shocked. “Uh, those are obviously demons. We should just close the portal,” he says, but Jamie isn’t ready to go. “Hi there ladies… is there anything a couple of hunky muscle-bound guys like us could help you with?” They giggle and Patrick shakes his head is despair. “Oh yes,” says the sexy lady, “I am a sultry minx who has trouble with the truth, but you still love me because I’m bad for you.” The nerdy sexy lady steps forward, “And I’m a lawyer that you could grow old with, but you just can’t decide between us.” Jamie turns to Patrick “I just can’t decide between them. What do I do?” Patrick is stunned, “What?! They are clearly demons trying to trick you.” Jamie sits on the floor and puts his head in his heads. He pulls out a small book. “Give me a moment, ladies. I have to work out my feelings. And there is only one person that can help me with that… and that’s myself.” And with that he writes Dear Diary… That’s right! This week we continue our franchise-Zzzzzzz cycle with a very rare romantic comedy franchise. The original Bridget Jones’s Diary was a well-received British smash hit. Bridget Jones’s Baby was also a critical and box office darling. Uh … what happened dudes? Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason … seems like replacing the superfluous “‘s” with a colon was the mistake? I guess we’ll see. Let’s go!

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) – BMeTric: 33.3

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(An extremely interesting comeback. I … can’t imagine why? The comeback came long before the third film came out. Maybe that is why the third film came out though? Because the producers knew the film was gaining new life on VOD or something? Very confusing. But the BMeTric is still solid, so whatevs.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Pointless sequel to the hit romantic comedy, centering on the title character’s involvement with boyfriend Firth and ex-suitor Grant and her endless mishaps. Appeal of the original has largely evaporated, with likable, pleasingly chunky Bridget transformed into a charmless dunce. Only comes alive when Grant is on-screen, which isn’t often enough. Co-scripted by Helen Fielding, based on her published sequel to Bridget Jones’s Diary.

(Too bad. I’ve seen the first one and she really is likeable. Although … she is also super dumb in the first one? One of the main points is that she doesn’t follow the news and is kind of a clumsy idiot. Perhaps times will have changed … because Hugh Grant’s character is certainly much more of a garbage person when viewed from 2019.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS0zrDOsy98

(Oh … yeah that does seem like it is kind of just a rehash of the first. And in order to rehash the first Bridget Jones has to necessarily regress a bit in her character … classic blunder to be honest.)

Directors – Beeban Kidron – (Known For: To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Used People; BMT: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Notes: British, and married to Lee Hall who is a famous British writer.)

Writers – Helen Fielding (novel & screenplay) – (Known For: Bridget Jones’s Baby; Bridget Jones’s Diary; BMT: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Notes: Author of the Bridget Jones series. She was married to a long-time Fox Producer Kevin Curran.)

Andrew Davies (screenplay) – (Known For: Bridget Jones’s Diary; Brideshead Revisited; The Tailor of Panama; Circle of Friends; B. Monkey; BMT: The Three Musketeers; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Notes: )

Richard Curtis (screenplay) – (Known For: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; Love Actually; About Time; Notting Hill; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Bridget Jones’s Diary; The Boat That Rocked; War Horse; Bean; Mr. Bean’s Holiday; Trash; The Tall Guy; BMT: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Notes: Very famous in British television circles for his adaptations of novels into mini-series.)

Adam Brooks (screenplay) – (Known For: Definitely, Maybe; Nappily Ever After; French Kiss; Wimbledon; Beloved; Future BMT: Practical Magic; The Invisible Circus; BMT: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Notes: Canadian, more recently has written the television series Imposters.)

Actors – Renée Zellweger – (Known For: Dazed and Confused; Jerry Maguire; Chicago; Cold Mountain; Bridget Jones’s Baby; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Me, Myself & Irene; Bee Movie; Cinderella Man; Monsters vs. Aliens; Miss Potter; Reality Bites; Appaloosa; White Oleander; Leatherheads; Down with Love; Nurse Betty; Liar; Love and a .45; One True Thing; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Bachelor; Shark Tale; Case 39; The Whole Truth; Empire Records; 8 Seconds; BMT: New in Town; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Notes: Notable early in her career for having a kind of baby / squinty face, and unfairly criticized more recently for apparent plastic surgery (when I literally think she has just aged). Bridget Jones’ Baby has lead to somewhat of a resurgence which is nice.)

Colin Firth – (Known For: Mary Poppins Returns; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; Love Actually; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Mamma Mia!; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; The King’s Speech; Kursk; Nanny McPhee; The English Patient; Bridget Jones’s Baby; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Shakespeare in Love; A Single Man; The Mercy; The Happy Prince; A Christmas Carol; Genius; Dorian Gray; Future BMT: The Last Legion; The Accidental Husband; Gambit; St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold; What a Girl Wants; Trauma; St. Trinian’s; Hope Springs; Main Street; Arthur and Mike; Before I Go to Sleep; BMT: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Devil’s Knot; A Thousand Acres; Notes: Y’all know Darcy. Actually probably most famous for that Pride & Prejudice role. Won an Oscar for The King’s Speech.)

Hugh Grant – (Known For: Love Actually; Cloud Atlas; The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; Paddington 2; Notting Hill; About a Boy; Sense and Sensibility; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Two Weeks Notice; Florence Foster Jenkins; Bitter Moon; The Remains of the Day; Music and Lyrics; I’m Still Here; Sirens; Maurice; Mickey Blue Eyes; The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!; The Lair of the White Worm; Future BMT: Nine Months; An Awfully Big Adventure; BMT: Did You Hear About the Morgans?; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Notes: Extremely British. Somewhat notable for being caught with a prostitute in the 90s and the subsequent PR tour.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $40,226,215 (Worldwide: $262,520,724)

(Huge international success, but the domestic take probably did make them hesitate on the third. They shouldn’t have, the third I think was a huge success as well.)

#72 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

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(Below Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous which is pretty rough. Came right at the mid-00s peak for sequels. We just exited the most recent peak which was more short lived. And I’m sure we’ll be entering the next big boom soon enough.)

#111 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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(Around Something Borrowed which is interesting. Right in the middle of the very long Romantic Comedy heyday. The genre looked to be sequestered to VOD more recently, but I think Crazy Rich Asians might lead to a bit of a resurgence.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (42/155): Edge of Reason is a predictable continuation to the Bridget Jones story, with too much slapstick and silliness.

(Yeah, predictable sounds about right. Reviewer Highlight: The humiliation of Bridget Jones is done so many times that it’s not funny and it’s not clever and it’s not interesting. – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper)

Poster – Bridget Jones: Annihilation (C+)

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(This has got a lot of things working against it: predominantly white background, lazy font, and large pictures of people front and center. However, I do like the balance and it’s clever in how it uses the tagline.)

Tagline(s) – Same Bridget. Brand new diary. (B)

Big Lawyer. Big Liar. Big Problem (A+)

(Both of these are pretty good. The first is to the point and really more of a “from the makers of…” taglines where they just want to assure everyone that they are getting what they paid for. But at least done in a clever way. The second is near perfect. Short and sweet, uses repetition and a set of three, and gives an idea of the dilemma at the heart of the film.)

Keyword(s) – thailand; Top Ten by BMeTric: 64.5 Stealth (2005); 52.1 Bangkok Dangerous (2008); 51.4 Ong-bak 3 (2010); 46.8 Elephant White (2011); 43.6 Only God Forgives (2013); 43.5 The Meg (2018); 42.6 Mechanic: Resurrection (2016); 42.5 Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988); 42.1 The King and I (1999); 41.2 The Hangover Part III (2013);

(That is kind of a great list even though a few don’t qualify. The animated King and I is probably the most interesting as it is the weirdest. I guess you don’t really see when animated films go awry.)

Notes – In the book, Bridget Jones is obsessed by the actor Colin Firth from the BBC TV series Pride and Prejudice (1995), and even gets to meet him for an interview. This plot-line is omitted from the film, where Firth actually plays her love interest Mark Darcy. They did, however, film the interview scene with Colin dressed in his street clothes, and Renée Zellweger in character. The scene is included in the DVD extras. (That is mildly amusing. I wonder if they cast Firth in the first place in part because this character trait would have been known. Edge of Reason, the book, was written prior to the original film’s release.)

During an appearance on Oprah, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth revealed the scene of them fighting each other was not choreographed.

The role of Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) only had a very small appearance in the book. The character was so memorable and popular that his part was extended specifically for the movie.

Hugh Grant is just a day older than Colin Firth.

During the filming in Thailand, the cast stayed on Nai Yang Beach, close to the airport in Phuket. They often drank at the little shack bars down on the beach, especially ‘Mama Mia’s’. In 2004, all of those bars and restaurants were destroyed in the Tsunami. The pianist at the JW Marriott in Phuket, Stuart Hopkins, who was also a regular at the bar made extensive attempts to contact the cast. In June 2005, a large package arrived for his attention. It was from Renée Zellweger containing many things such as T-shirts, caps, and a big movie poster signed by herself and other cast members. Over the years the bars on the beach were re-built, and the poster still hangs proudly in Mama Mia’s bar as of August 2009. (Cool I guess)

Bridget makes a comment about Mark wearing a wet shirt. Colin Firth made a famous scene playing Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995) where he appeared to Elizabeth Bennet in a wet shirt after swimming in a lake.

Drug smuggling is a very serious offense in Thailand, even more serious than murder. The rationale is that a murder might result in one death where drugs kill hundreds. (Yeah, don’t get yourself into a broken kingdom situation)

The poem Daniel quotes to Bridget on the boat while in Thailand is a translation of the famous “Phra Aphai Manee”, a famous epic poem about a hero/ prince who, among other things, wooes and marries many princesses. The part he quotes is when Phra Aphai Manee wooes his head wife, Suwan Malee.

Sally Phillips was pregnant with her second child during filming.

With a budget of $40 million, this is the most expensive film in the ‘Bridget Jones’ trilogy.

Earned $8.7 million in its 530-theater opening weekend, setting the record of the highest-grossing limited release opening weekend. This record was broken seven years later by Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), which earned $12.8 million in its 425-theater debut.

The book that Jed and Shazzer read on the plane is “The Beach” by Alex Garland that also partially takes place in Thailand. (Starring Leonardo DiCaprio)

The producers originally asked Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) director Sharon Maguire to return for this film, but she told them that she had no interest whatsoever in directing it. Renée Zellweger’s personal choice for director was Nigel Cole, but the producers agreed that a woman should direct, and hired Beeban Kidron instead. Maguire would return as director for the second sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016), though. (Hmmmmmmmm, and the second sequel was good ….)

Plans to have George Clooney appear in a cameo as himself were dropped. (Good)

BBC newscaster and presenter of University Challenge Jeremy Paxman makes a short cameo appearance (greeting Hugh Grant’s character Daniel Cleaver in passing and complimenting him on his show) in a scene that was filmed in one continuous shot, which required numerous retakes and took a long time to do. He commented that he usually covered the entire world news in the time it took to film this short sequence for a film.

Janey Osbourne is played in this film by Lucy Robinson, who, as Louisa Hurst, one of Charles Bingley’s sisters, co-starred with Colin Firth (as Fitzwilliam Darcy) in the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice, based on the book of the same name by Jane Austen. The Bridget Jones books and films are modernized versions of the same book by Austen. (Well … surely only the first one is. Still, it explains the bold move to make Firth play both characters and name them both Darcy.)