Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Gloss and floss
Idlewild, the upcoming musical starring the Outkast boys, looks like a heckuva lot of fun. Think Moulin Rouge in a speakeasy. Elaborate costumes, anachronistic tunes, starry-eyed casting, all served with a side order of panache.
While waiting for my doctor's appointment today, I got to hear the interoffice talk about an employee who'd stayed home with a cold. In this medical building, it was bigger news than Mel's meltdown. "Did you talk to Lily? She is soooo sick. Oh my god, you could hear it in her voice. I told her not to come to work. She is sooooooo sick. Poor thing. I hope her baby doesn't catch it."
The thought of a germ spreading within a family reminded me of the film The Secret Lives of Dentists. One segment deals with the slow, but steady collapse of a four-member nuclear family due to a flu bug moving through their systems. It serves as a queasy metaphor for the emotional sickness spreading between them. All of this led me to begin a (possibly) continuing series entitled "Great Movies You Probably Never Saw."
The Secrets Lives of Dentists is definitely worth a rental on DVD. Along the lines of The Squid and the Whale, it eloquenty, realistically, captures the language and emotions of family dysfunction in modern-day, middle-class America. Campbell Scott and Hope Davis give tremendous performances and Denis Leary provides some refreshing comic relief as an "invisible" alter ego. Director Alan Rudolph handily avoids the schmaltz and screenwriter Craig Lucas keeps it real.
As Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post describes it:
"The Secret Lives of Dentists is that most extraordinary of achievements, the small, quiet movie that imperceptibly takes its viewers by their throats and doesn't let go..."
So make an appointment to see it soon! (No, I did-n't.)