That says it all. It contains three of the four key
warning signs of imminent boredom:
- child in a coma or dying
The fourth sign was missing. The only way to make it
worse is if the reviewer had said that the film was a "tone poem".
One of the families lost a promising son to an
accident, and he lay in a coma. One of the ladies next door has been
having an affair with coma boy. Well, you know, before the
coma. Coma boy's mother continued to dedicate
her life to him, causing her husband and daughter no end of grief
over their neglect. The hippies next door worshipped coma boy as a
god. The cute little boy next door wanted to use him as a sled or as
home plate. And so forth.
I fabricated the last two, in case you are a DENSA
What really happened is that each of the families
dealt with life in that special way used by stereotyped characters
in family-centered melodramas, except that in this case they were
forced to do so without the calm, reassuring, introspective presence
of Kevin Kline. Kline is probably in court with these people,
contract specifically requires him to be in this kind of movie.
Maybe he had a conflict, and was courageously dying of cancer in
It really needed Uma Thurman to show up and start
slashing people with Samurai swords. When you get sick of the guy, freakin' Tarantino seems to be
ubiquitous, but where is he when you really need him?
The Safety of Objects (2001) is a
portrait of the evils of suburbia told by showing 4 families
living in adjacent houses. The film boasts and impressive array
of talent, including Glenn Close, Moira Kelly, Mary Kay Place
and Robert Klein. The film is based on a series of short
stories, which were intercut to create a supposedly coherent
portrait of suburban hell. Close is dealing with a son, former
promising musician, now a vegetable due to an auto accident.
Another mother is recently divorced, and trying to be super mom.
One of the kids is sexually fixated on his Barbie doll.
The problem with the film was way too many characters, and a
confusing narrative style. It's competently filmed and acted,
with some compelling moments, but disjointed, and not enough
real problems to make us sympathize with the characters."
Critics Vote ...
General UK consensus: two
stars. Mail 4/10, Telegraph 6/10, Independent 1/10, Times 6/10, Sun 5/10, Express 6/10,
, Mirror 6/10, BBC 4/5
Box Office Mojo. It grossed a whopping $319,000 over a
14 week arthouse run that capped at 43 theaters.
|The meaning of the IMDb
score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics,
or a C- from our system.
Films rated below five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one
and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but
will be considered excellent by genre fans, while
C- indicates that it we found it to
be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for
fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is
recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C-
that often, because we like movies and we think that most of
them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know
that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below
Based on this description,
this is a C-. I guess it can't be any lower than
that because it had a reasonably good collection of reviews. I
found it completely predictable, and sheer torture to watch. I
had to drop it from a C to a C- because of the absence of Kevin
Kline and Tone Poetry. Tuna says, "This is
a C-, competently filmed and acted, with some compelling
moments, but disjointed, and not enough real problems to make us
sympathize with the characters."