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Overall Rating

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Pretty Bad75%
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1 review, 2 user ratings

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On Their Knees
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by Chris Parry

"I was on my knees, begging for something to actually happen."
2 stars

Give an unknown actress a bunch of money to make a movie and you can guarantee she’ll cast herself as one of the leads. Smart film financiers ensure that this isn’t permitted when they dole out the funding… so I guess the bodies that funded On Their Knees could be considered less clued in than most.

Anais Granofsky stars (and writes and directs) this feature about a couple of half-sisters, one white, one black, who decide that their dead grandmother deserves a burial closer to here ancestral home. Rather than asking that the body be shipped, they buy an ice cream van (“we’ll need the fridge”) in which to transport their grandmother’s stolen body across country.

So after breaking into the funeral home and swiping their grammy inside a large black sports bag, they then cart her across country for a few days, picking up the odd hitchhiker, ripping off the odd cripple and having the odd shag, before they finally show up at a family function… with a smelly decomposed body in tow.

Thankfully, in the middle of all that they take a quick time out to let off some fireworks and run naked through a field. That could possibly be the saving grace of this film, though it’d have to make up for a lot after this long-winded, short-on-point movie sends the non-latte drinking audience to sleep.

Granofsky is better known as Lucy of TV's DeGrassi Junior High, and if she'd been an American instead of a Canadian, she would never have received a greenlight for a script like this, let alone permission to star and direct in it. To her credit, she's made the flick for a budget of $250,000, which is an achievement in itself but not one that should be yelled from the rooftops. To say the money is there on the screen would be a fib. To say it’s in the screenplay would be an outright lie. This is a welfare film, no doubt about it. An investment in a canuck by canucks with a view to maybe getting her on the big stage. Only someone forgot to run quality control over the screenplay.

Oh sure, I get the point. I know what this woman is trying to show here, family, home, color schmolor, blah blah but the point is all but lost through a script that believes it’s far more important than it ever has a right to be. The dialogue could have been improved by someone actually reading it out loud ahead of time and putting a red line through those lines that stank and the acting could have been helped by bringing in someone who has actually been trained as an actor. And let’s not even talk about what might have happened had an actual director been in charge of the show.

Canadian Government-funded girl-power nostalgia has never been the sort of stuff that could satisfy a mass audience. On Their Knees makes no case to the contrary.

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originally posted: 01/03/03 13:33:27
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User Comments

9/15/03 Kare Saving Grace 3 stars
9/09/03 Julie Gee Chris...say what you REALLY think. It wasn't THAT bad....sheesh! 4 stars
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  11-Sep-2001 (PG)


  02-Feb-2002 (PG)

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