Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

06 June 2004

Laughter on the Third Floor

I got the email Saturday morning that said that Rick Williamson (Petruchio) is dropping out of the show.

Adios.

I have no actor now, but... Adios.

Yesterday, Derek and I saw The Mother with Anne Reid. She has gotten tons of good reviews and could possibly be a contender for the Best Actress Oscar—we should know in December. She was good, but the character was just such an odious human being. This has been okay with me before (I loved Denzel Washington in Training Day, for instance), but I think because this character is so collossally selfish, I found it really hard to sympathize with her.
I think we were supposed to feel sorry for her, too. I know I have a well-documented dislike for the elderly, and so I should probably stop talking about them. But this character exemplified everything I dislike about the aged. A horrible mother, who, once her husband had died, forced her son and then daughter to give her a spare room. Then she starts fucking her daughter's horndog boyfriend. The daughter has clearly communicated she is desperately in love with this man, too. So, it's not like she was gonna break it off or anything. The mother is just this monster of a woman, who doesn't give a fuck about her kids, but expects all of them to care about her. Ludicrous. My problem with the film is that none of the characters have any redeeming qualities. It was written by Hanif Kureishi, who wrote (the very sweet My Beautiful Laundrette), but it feels like it was written by Neil LaBute, the hatred for these characters is so strong.
Derek rather liked it, I think. I was rather bored. I find that if I don't invest in the characters as people—if I don't get behind at least one of them and root for them to win—I start to be really bored.
The mother looks like she's about to kill herself at one point in Act Three, and I found myself muttering "Do it. Do it, now."