2 In 1: The Dead Girl and 11:14.

For this 2 In 1, I’m concentrating on two movies that have a large ensemble cast of decently-known actors and actresses, that have 5 inter-connected stories, and that have at least one dead body at the center of its plot. Also, both movies end with the last story being the one of the actual dead person. The first one I will discuss, The Dead Girl, is a movie I just saw on television for the first time, and it reminded me somewhat of another movie I actually own that is entitled 11:14.

The Dead Girl.

This movie’s cast is just full of ‘wow, I wasn’t expecting them to be in this movie’ moments. The more well-known names on the list include: Toni Collette, Giovanni Rabisi, Rose Byrne, James Franco, Marcia Gay Harden, Britney Murphy, and Josh Brolin. Each story is broken down into a title segment, and each segment is connected in some form or fashion to this particular dead girl. The basic stories are as follows:

The Stranger focuses on the very timid and quiet Arden (Toni Collette) who lives at home with her verbally abusive mother (Piper Laurie). One day, she stumbles across the dead body of a young woman (Britney Murphy) and calls it into the police. Unfortunately, this gets her some attention that she doesn’t want, nor that she can really handle, especially when a very frank grocery bagger, Rudy (Giovanni Rabisi) grows attracted to her and asks her out.

The Sister focuses on Leah (Rose Byrne), a young mortician whose sister disappeared 15 years prior, and whose mother (Mary Steenburgen) is overly obsessed with continuing to find her, which just drives Leah into a deeper and deeper depression. But when Leah stumbles across a Jane Doe of the young dead girl, she believes it might be her sister. With hopes of closure ensuing, Leah is able to finally free her emotions and become attached to long-time crush, Derek (James Franco).

The Wife focuses on Ruth (Mary Beth Hurt), a religious woman whose husband, Carl (Nick Searcy), owns a storage facility. He often leaves her, sometimes for long periods of time, which drives Ruth into an angry depression. However, when Ruth accidentally stumbles upon a storage unit that has stuff in it, mostly a dresser full of women’s clothes, when it’s supposed to be empty, Ruth starts wondering if her husband is behind these recent disappearances and murders.

The Mother focuses on Melora (Marcia Gay Harden), the mother of the dead girl after her identity is found. Her daughter had run away from home to Los Angeles and became a hooker. Melora goes to where her daughter had lived and learns as much about her daughter as she can from her old roommate and friend, Rosetta (Kerry Washington), including the fact that her daughter has a daughter of her own.

The Dead Girl focuses on Krista (Britney Murphy), the actual dead girl before she dies. This is the shortest of the stories and basically focuses on Krista trying to get a birthday present to her daughter by the next day, including trying to bum a ride off her friend and occasional lover, Tarlow (Josh Brolin).

Overall, the acting is really good, but there was just something that felt lacking, and I can't put my finger on it. The movie starts off awkwardly with The Stranger, as Toni Collette’s performance is very quiet, subtle, and awkward in and of itself. The scenes between Giovanni’s character and hers can best be described as a tense awkwardness. But this is in a good way, considering that’s the character’s point. This first segment is also the most beautifully shot. The Sister is decent, but it underused James Franco, who really brought the Charisma to the segment. When The Wife begins, I felt immediately annoyed with Ruth and her mannerisms, but it actually became one of the most interesting segments of the movie as it focused on the possible killer. The Mother, though, was the best segment, I have to say. It was the most informative, the best acted, and the most heartfelt. You can really feel Marcia Gay Harden’s sadness over her daughter, as well as the subtle pain from Kerry Washington. The movie ends with The Dead Girl, and it felt like a pretty weak ending. There wasn’t much special or surprising about what happened. You don’t see her get killed, but you know it’s coming. Though, the sole voice singing over the ending credits is very haunting. I had a hard time scoring this movie, because it did have a huge emotional impact... but like I said, something just felt missing.

I Am McLovin!


I’ve discussed this movie before in my Top 10 Twists article. Therefore, I won’t spoil the ending here. If you want to know what happens, you can see it there. However, here is the list of the biggest names in the movie: Henry Thomas, Hilary Swank, Shawn Hatosy, Colin Hanks, Ben Foster, Patrick Swayze, Jason Segel, and Rachel Leigh Cook. This review will be pretty short to make up for The Dead Girl’s being rather long. To make it easy, I can just copy and paste my plot synopsis from my Top 10 Twists article, as it basically says it all:

A story is told from five different perspectives that revolves around the events that occur at 11:14 PM. 1) Jack (Henry Thomas) is driving down the road talking on a phone. The next thing he knows, a human body lands on his windshield from out of nowhere. 2) A group of misfits (Stark Strands, Colin Hanks, Ben Foster) is driving down the road when they accidentally hit a girl. 3) Duffy (Shawn Hatosy) wants to rob the convenient store that he and his friend Buzzy (Hilary Swank) work at so he can give his girlfriend Cheri (Rachel Leigh Cook) money for an abortion. 4) Frank (Patrick Swayze) is Cheri's dad, and goes out to try and protect her when he stumbles upon the dead body of Aaron (Blake Heron), the guy Cheri went out with that night. 5) Cheri's story.

I really love this movie. It’s similar to the movie Go, in which you see one story, and the movie rewinds and you see the whole thing again from a different point of view. By the time the movie is over, you know everything that lead up to 11:14 PM and why. I actually like this movie better than Go, and I think it was just done really well. The only bad thing is that Ben Foster really got the short end of the stick in this role (…that’s a really bad joke for those who have seen the movie). The acting might not be the best in the world, but the story makes up for it. Plus, dark comedies are awesome.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.