Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Picking up the Pieces (2000)

Lame, yuck-yucky DTV comedy about a missing hand, linked to a murder, that suddenly provides miracles for the citizens of a New Mexico town. Woody Allen plays a Texan butcher who, after killing his wife out of jealousy toward her many infidelities, accidentally scatters her body parts in New Mexico. He accounts for all of them except a hand (flipping the bird, no less), which is found by locals, and soon, very apparant, and very real miracles start occuring; the blind can see, the crippled can walk, David Schwimmer gets the girl, etc. The plot doesn't really extend beyond that, with the remainder of the story involving mix-ups and confusion over the hand, it's true meaning, and it's real point of origin (they think it's the Virgin Mary's). This New Mexican, Catholic, Virgin Mary bullshit betrays the sophistication of the cast and reveals the film for what it is; a pathetic attempt by a Mexican director (Alfonso Arau of Like Water Like Chocolate) to make a cross-over mainstream comedy without leaving his comfort zone. Like Ricky Gervais' The Invention of Lying, the religious satire only extends to establishing that it can, in fact, exist, and not that it is misguided, or, dare I say, shouldn't exist. So within this ramshackle, shitty looking dirt NM town, we get people like Allen, Kiefer Sutherland, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Cheech Marin, and Sharon Stone (as the hacked up wife) running around, impotent to make the movie funnier (save for Allen, who simply CAN'T be unfunny in a narrative film, no matter how much he tries). The familiar faces do help this pill of shit go down easier, but by the time the shark is jumped and 3 priests from the Vatican arrive, played by Andy Dick, Fran Descher, and Elliot Gould (amusingly channeling Maximilian Schell), it just starts making the finer actors in the bunch look bad (particularly Kiefer and Gordon Levitt).

Skip it, save for diehard Allen aficionados who could care less about content but would get off on seeing him run around the desert in a cowboy hat. I heard a lot of terrible things about this one, and the cast made me ignore it; now I remember why I don't get distracted by pretty faces if the body smells like Mexican horseshit.

No comments:

Post a Comment