GUTTER PUNKS at Movie Pitchers to play 2 more weeks!!!
Back by Popular Demand!!!!!! Begins Sept. 29
|By Ted Baldwin
|Saving Grace "
It is Addiction and the harmlessness of doing whatever you damn please whenever you damn please?
This is full of spoilers, so read only if you want to know everything beforehand.
Sure. Why not. Icons are cheap, and there is nothing wrong with
having a good time at the movies...
]I found myself spending way too much time creating cute, appropriate little icons for the pages - two to three hours to get one just right sometimes. This seriously cuts back on my writing time, for some gratuitous arting around. So I am going to cool it for a while and just use the same icon over and over..
This British Comedy is funny, to be sure, but it has the unfortunate onus of being saddled with the marketing angle used by Cider House Rules - meaning precisely that the Majority-of-the-American-Public-won't-support-the-film-if-they-know-what-it-is-about-before-they-go, so you have to hide-the-details-of-the-story by showing how good the film is without ever revealing the subject matter.
Ignorant old me, I did not know that Cider was a love-fest for the pro-abortion set. (See my review on that in detail to know what I think about all that...) Ignorant old me, I did not know that Saving Grace was all about how a wacky housewife has to turn to harmelss old drug cultivation to save herself from harmless old destitution.
Be that as it may, Grace is all about a ditzy orchid-growing housewife that decides to embark on a life of hydroponic crime to make up for the financial shortfall her husband strands her in.
Unlike Cider, which is about as one-sided as a film can be without the official stamp of the Red Chinese, Grace does taint the proceedings with the ominous threat of real jail time and life-danger for its concomitants... but in the end it really says that Maryjane is OK, wink wink, and all of the proscriptions against it are silly notions of old fuddy duddies.
Aside from that dubious message, the film falls down in the lack of creativeness in dealing with her situation, and how she can only find work in crime - without trying anything else. It clings precariously to the notion that it has to be somewhat realistic, and I fault it for that. There was never a moment when the story unhinged and departed for places unknown. It more or less foundered around in a half-DIVA, half - LOCAL HERO modality, both enjoyable films, like this one, but neither fish nor fowl.
I wanted her to either be ditzier, or go to more desperation before going Capone on us. I wanted her to flaunt the law totally, or suffer its consequences totally. But she wiggles out of stuff left and right, and in retrospect, which is what all reviews are, she really was perfect for the cult of Thai Stick, as she took no responsibility for her own life before her husband's death and had not an inkling of how to be responsible after. Unopened mail, unmet obligations, obsessed with pretty flowers - it was as if she had been smoking for years.
And the film made no use of her ability to raise exotic orchids as a money maker at all. Why not invent a mariujuana-orchid hybrid not subject to current laws? No, that would be toooooo unrealistic. And that would involve inventing something, but that takes a whole lot of effort and I really need to take a moment to sit back and relax and look at all of the nice dandelions here. Say! Did you ever notice how really fuzzy these little yellow friends are? And if you tickle someone under the chin they get a yellow beard. Whoa! Look at the time! Etc.
For all of that, the people are pleasant enough to spend time with, and it has its moments of fantasy as when they empower the greenhouse lights and start a cult following. Oooooooooooooh...
It's funny enough, e.g., when the housewife goes into town to find a buyer for her "weed", and the film actually has some respect for the various characters in its small fishing town in England, but the overriding message is that ganja is harmless, and something that can be trifled with. Bzzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong answer.
Watching the devastation of addiction in my college friends of the 70's who were "social" users (meaning being social morning, noon and especially night) I am willing to report that marijuana may not lead to heroin or crack, and that it certainly has a different social affect than alcohol, but by and large those using lost their ambition and did less in their lives than those not using, except where the motivation to obtain more of the rope was involved. Then they sprang into action!
And that is OK until you turn 40 and wonder what the hell happened to your idealism, ability and dreams. Up in smoke.