I guess a movie about a quirky dysfunctional family seemed new in 1989, but while I was watching this, Little Miss Sunshine, the umpteenth quirky dysfuctional family drama/comedy this year alone, was playing across the street. I don’t want to see that, so why should I want to see this?
The myth of Jane Campion, for one. The myth of Dayton and Faris at Sundance has got nothing on the myth of Jane Campion. Shots like the one above and story quirks like the one below (the question mark on his forehead foretold by a fortune teller leads Kay to go after him) redeem it for the most part, but overall it feels lightweight and obvious (the final death of Sweetie, who falls from the treehouse, naked and painted black, is an easy ending for this type of movie).
Kay hasn’t much to say for herself, Bob (below, buried in sand with Sweetie) is a red herring, only the parents are interesting as having allowed Sweetie to get to the point where she ends up. Even Kay’s relationship with Question Mark and her fear of trees seemed to mean little, but I guess Sweetie fell from a tree so there’s that. A little commentary-tracking should clear up a lot, but I don’t think I’ll put the time in. Maybe watching the short films or renting An Angel At My Table or The Piano would be more rewarding.
Shouldn’t be hard on the movie… I enjoyed it for the most part, liked all the scenes Sweetie was in especially. Katy didn’t watch, but would’ve been frustrated by the ineffectual dad character. Or is that only in sitcoms?