Underground Film Journal

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Movie Review: The Virgin Suicides

By Mike Everleth ⋅ May 12, 2000

Gypped out my ice cream last weekend (see review All I Wanna Do), I bought a vanilla chocolate-dipped cone from a Mr. Softee truck on Saturday. It was about three-thirty in the afternoon and I was trying to kill some time before The Virgin Suicides. Since it was the opening weekend, I assumed the flick was going to be crowded and bought my ticket early for the 4:45PM show. It was cold and kind of rainy out, but I was on a serious Mr. Softee jones.

So, there I am, leaning against the Virgin Megastore in Union Square trying to manage my mangled cone. This dude was the worst Mr. Softee ever. The ice cream was practically perpendicular to the cone. It was a mess. But I’m minding my own business when a disheveled woman passes by. It is cold out, but this chick’s got, like, fifty coats on and is lumbering along with giant dirty shopping bags filled with who knows what.

She gets right past me, then turns around as if she just thought of something. Clumps of gray hair poke out of her chin and cheek and she looks absolutely miserable. Then, she says to me, “Wish me a happy Easter.”

Ok, whatever, I think. “Happy Easter,” I say to her. She looks like she’s about to cry.

“Thank you. I’m starving. Could you please help me? Do you have anything you can spare?” She asked politely.

“No.” I responded politely.

“What? You don’t got nothin’? Come on, help me out.” Now, she was on a tirade. I just want to eat my friggin’ ice cream!

Why does this shit happen to me? I sighed and rolled my eyes and said, “Whatever. Goodbye.”

So, she yells after me, “I HOPE YOU HAVE A ROTTEN EASTER!”

Well, I can’t say it’s a “rotten” Easter, but I’m not celebrating it in any way. It’s just any other Sunday. The weather’s crappy out again, so I’m staying in, doing some drawing for my next Redemption Squad page, writing this. I do have to go out and get some food for dinner and return a video (Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace — ya know, that movie’s pretty boring).

I also must be in the middle of a Kirsten Dunst film festival or something since this was the second movie in a row I’ve seen her in (see my All I Wanna Do review again). Which was kind of a shame in this film because it felt like the movie kept pulling her to be the main character even though it’s more of an ensemble piece. It’s about five teenager sisters living sheltered lives under their parents’ strict religious regimen. But they’re all hot, too, and the boys in the neighborhood lust after them, alas, to no avail.

Though I was anxious to see this flick, I was greatly terrified that it was going to thoroughly suck. It’s written and directed by Sofia Coppola, as in daughter of Francis Ford. There was a tremendous chance the film was going to be an aggravating piece of nepotistic indulgence.

Prior to The Virgin Suicides, Sofia is mostly known for her horrible acting in The Godfather Part III. The chick got horrendously reamed for that one. I didn’t think she was so bad. Of course, I spent most of that movie drooling over her like Homer Simpson over a donut (or me over a donut for that matter). I don’t know what it is, but something about Sophia draws out all my primal urges. Well, not all of them, just the dirty ones.

So, it made me quite happy when Comedy Central gave her her own show, called Hi-Octane. Don’t bother trying to remember it. This was several years ago and I think it lasted only about a month airing late Saturday nights. But it was pure genius. I think Comedy Central yanked it pretty quickly because it wasn’t funny enough. And, ya know, it wasn’t that funny. Except it was cooler than shit! Ahh, my darling Sophia! Taking stunt car driving lessons, learning how to drive a monster truck, interviewing Gus Van Sant in the backseat of a car, playing punk rock with Thurston Moore and hosting a fake talk show with the Beastie Boys as their “Sabotage” video characters and discussing how they “love each other, like only men can”. It was brilliant.

But who’da thunk she could direct a feature-length film, especially one so sad and intriguing. Maybe Daddy-o needs to take some lessons from his progeny. What was the last watchable movie he’s made? Alright, that’s cruel, even by my standards. When Sophia makes something as legendary as the GODFATHER, then I can bust on Francis. But The Virgin Suicides is better than, say, Dementia 13.

That begs the question then. Could Sophia have made a bad movie with so much talent surrounding her. Her dad’s Francis. Her cousin’s Nicolas Cage. Her husband’s Spike Jonze. Her aunt’s Talia Shire. How else could she get James Woods, Kathleen Turner and Kirsten Dunst to star in her movie and get Danny Devito and Scott Glenn (with an embarrassing Irish accent) to make cameos. With that kind of star power I could probably make a pretty decent flick, too. At least when I imagine me making a movie I can. Right now I can barely get my shit together to put movies on the Underground Film Journal.

Someday. Someday I’ll be a famous underground/Internet filmmaker. And I’ll steal my darling Sophia from that skunk Spike Jonze. Then I’ll steal the Coppola fortune to finally make my film CRUEL, one of the most brilliant, insane scripts ever. Then I’ll show the world. You’ll see!! YOU’LL SEE!!