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Movie Review: Hideous Kinky

I’ve been on an ice cream jones lately, so I wasn’t disappointed when it was decided we stop by a homemade ice cream stand after the movie this week. If you find yourself even remotely close to Montclair, New Jersey, it is highly suggested you visit Applegate Farm on Grove Street. I thought for sure I would be a shoo-in for the chocolate peanut butter (it came strongly recommended), but I oddly found myself slurpin’ down the coffee chip. It was absolutely magnificent and two bucks gets you a small cone that is not anything near being “small”.

Since being ill last month and venturing out with a sweaty fever and a craving for ice cream, it’s been an unending struggle against the forces of Ben & Jerry, chipwichs and soft serve from the musical vans. Normally it’s the lure of the doughnuts that is my mortal weakness, but it’s been replaced by the siren call of the frosty delight.

Everyone deals with their life stresses in different ways. In HIDEOUS KINKY, Kate Winslet plays a hippie (and hippy) English chick in the ’70s who finds out her husband, a famous writer/poet, has been cheating on her. Rather than stick her head in an oven like Sylvia Plath, Kate runs off to Morocco with her two small daughters to find enlightenment. While she may not exactly find that, she does find herself getting laid by this groovy, slacker, native guy named Bilal. Thankfully, as Kate matures as an actress she’s become very comfortable doing at least one nude scene in each film now. I knew that movie TITANIC was good for something.

Morocco seems like an interesting, colorful place, but I don’t think I’d want to visit there even for a day much less an entire year. I have this odd hang-up about having running water. If I need to “get away from it all” I take a couple walks around the block and maybe buy a Ben & Jerry’s pint and I’m all better. And I’m not suckered into that whole “we’re so wonderful to the environment” self-righteous, PR bullshit. They just make damn good ice cream.

It’s a lot harder for me to “get away” now, too, since I sold my car the other week. That’s about as rustic as I’m going to get in this life. But getting rid of the ol’ automobile was part of the big scheme of moving to the city in the first place. Though when it went I felt strange, like a limb had been cut off. Nothing like a life of public transportation and self-propulsion. It might suck when I want to get out of this claustrophobic concrete jungle once in awhile, but when I had the car I rarely went anywhere anyway.

The only foreign country I’ve ever been in was Mexico and I was only about five then, I guess about the age of Kate’s kids. I don’t remember too much. I vaguely recall climbing a pyramid and staying at this odd hotel on top of a mountain that the insanely narrow road going up to didn’t have guardrails. We had been warned not to drink the water, but there was one incident when the ‘rental units were out for the evening and my brother and I were given as a snack strawberries that were rinsed in the sink. We got creamed for that when the folks came back, well, mostly my brother because he’s older and was supposed to be the “responsible” one, I guess. Neither of us got sick.

The same can’t be said for Kate’s daughters. I read somewhere that this was somewhat of an autobiographical tale (the film was based on some woman’s book), but I don’t remember who wrote the story, one of the kid characters or Kate’s character. It was sort of told through the eyes of the eldest daughter, so I’d assume her but ya never know. She alternates between having a grand adventure and completely detesting her mother for dragging her to this godforsaken land. Was Kate being a selfish, unfit mother or was she providing for her children an experience they’d remember for the rest of their lives? It’s an interesting question. It was an odd film as there weren’t really any antagonists, except you could make the argument that Kate and her idealism was the villain of the piece. She could have left her husband, but did she have to go to Morocco?

Kate was really good in the film, too. Probably her best acting job since HEAVENLY CREATURES and maybe even better than that. She was much more subdued and controlled than anything else she’s done. I think it’s great she did this bizarre little flick after starring in the biggest box office grosser of all time. I wonder what she’s like in real life. I think she might be pretty interesting.