"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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The Virgin Suicides

06 Apr 2002

Movie Poster

Once again, I was sucked in by a slick trailer. I barely remember it, but it perhaps it was images of gauzy blonde youth, sun dappled drives and a whopping dose of All-American. And then it hits you. "Written And Directed By Sophia Coppola."

I should tell you that my feelings about Sophia are less than charitable -- at least as an actress -- but I was hoping that she would have found her feet behind the lens rather than in front of it. Let me describe what watching the film is like: Five daughters. 70's tunes. The youngest kills herself. Neighborhood boys, being jerks. More 70's tunes. The oldest girl flirts with the high school bad boy. Sex, then the repressive parents. 70's tunes. Dad starts acting strange, Mom reveals her fundament. A chance at freedom, then the ending. Roll credits.

I would say that I was completely bored by this picture -- you don't get a lot of insight into the characters' minds because they're essentially cartoons. They hit their note when required, and then the camera moves on. The voice-over narration (one of the neighborhood lads, years on) goes on (and on) about their fascination with the girls and how they never really got to know them, only bits and pieces from which they were unable to assemble the complete picture. And that's exactly what we get too, but does that make a good movie?

Related Links

The Virgin Suicides (Official Site)
The Virgin Suicides (IMDB)