Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 01/08/03 16:32:37

"Make a cup of tea and watch a movie with granny. If she doesn't fall asleep"
2 stars (Pretty Bad)

I was looking through the list of films I’ve watched lately, getting my reviews done as promptly as I can, when I came to this little number – Strapless. Oh bugger me, not another Shannon Tweed softcore wankfest, surely. Thankfully, no. Strapless is a silly movie, no question of that, but there’s no question that anybody in this flick looks as good as Shannon Tweed. Or acts as good as Shannon Tweed. And that’s a pretty damning start to any review.

Feh. So this middle aged female doctor (Blair Brown) is all bitched out because nobody loves her and she’s always doing things for other people but everyone else is like, yeah thanks, but doesn’t hug her… or something. So this rich guy (Bruno Ganz) starts trying to mack on her, which I can understand because she’s clearly vulnerable and not too bad looking for an old boiler and she has a daughter so you just know she puts out, but Doctor No-Love isn’t buying into this whole perfect romance thing so she treats Richie Rich like “yeah right, whatever.”

Meanwhile she yells at her daughter (Bridget Fonda) because she’s a pregnant fuck-up, then apologizes because she should have been proud that her single, unemployed daughter took a load at the wrong time of the month from who knows who. Give me strength, you wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but this isn’t even a Lifetime movie!

Directed by David Hare, who kind of disappeared from the scene after writing the 1992 Jeremy Irons/Juliette Binoche misfire Damage, there’s not a lot unique about this effort at all. It’s painfully TV movie standard, not at all memorable (I only watched it two days ago and I’d already started confusing with the aforementioned Tweed film), and not at all worth applauding. Bridget Fonda is rolled in to try to give the thing some US box office cred, even though she was still three years from appearing in anything that anyone would remotely care about, and Blair Brown is certainly not charismatic enough (either in character or out) to prove herself a romantic lead.

On the upside, Bruno Ganz is never a tough sell, as anyone who has seen the brilliant Wings of Desire would know, and his prominence tends to keep the whole thing from imploding under the weight of its own estrogen. Your mother will love it… but that’s not a selling point. Give it a miss.

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