Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Derailed: The Title Says It All

Here’s how desperate I was to see a movie yesterday: I saw Derailed for the second time. My daughter wanted to see something, and I’d already snuck out the week this clunker opened while she was out doing something more socially acceptable, like hanging with her friends.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I would have seen this movie now matter how bad the reviews were, because if you ask me, Clive Owen is proof of the existence of god. Staring hungrily at this gorgeous honey is what got me through a second portion of Derailed. For those of you who don’t know this dreamy British treat yet, damn, get with the program. What a pretty, pretty boy. I first noticed Clive Owen in the BBC mystery show Second Sight, which is about a bad boy DCI (which is what the Brits call their police detectives, apparently), who is losing his vision but is trying to hide it because that would interfere with his job or something, and sexiness ensues. You’ve seen him as the assassin in the Bourne Identity (where he walked all over Matt Damon, despite barely having any speaking lines), and as the guy with the wind-swept hair who needs a car with a bigger trunk in Sin City. He’s so beautiful it takes my breath away, and I’ll happily pay hard cash money to see him in pretty much anything, which is good for Clive, because since Hollywood discovered him he’s been taking roles in stupid drivel like this bit of forgettable carnage. Knowing that Derailed was a clunker, why didn’t I insist that we see a different movie? Because I’ve already seen almost all of the movies available this week, including Zathura, (and I didn’t even have a kid with me, damn!), that’s why. Don’t hate me because I’m pitiful. I did draw the line at Usher’s In the Mix and Yours, Mine and Ours—I do have some standards, despite what you think. This is how Derailed came up for grabs again.

Derailed tells the story of hardworking Chicago ad man Charles Schine (he’s shiny, get it?), who has a pretty, generic little wife (Melissa George, rocking oddly huge eyebrows) who doesn’t really like him anymore, and a pretty, generic little teenage daughter (Addison Timlin, rocking pretty much nothing) who’s dying of Type I diabetes and needs some sort of expensive new treatment that costs as much as a Lamborghini. On the commute to work, Shiny Boy Dad ogles some sexy black-hosed legs (Jennifer Aniston, looking more haggard than we are used to, for which we can blame Brangelina I guess), and is amused to observe all the other suits on the train doing the same. The next day, Mom empties out Dad’s wallet while they are both rushing off to work, Dad ends up not having train fare, and low-and-behold, Sexy Legs offers to pay for him and off they go. Meet Cute leads to Long Lunch, which inevitably ends with the furtive “Gee honey, I have to work late tonight” cell phone call (have you noticed how often cell phones are key plot elements these days?) Sexy Legs balks during the cab ride looking for hotels, gets out the cab all distraught, but somehow right in front of a seedy hotel which she decides is better than the Radisson or whatever. Did I mention it was raining? This is how Jennifer’s purple silk blouse gets transparent. Enjoy it frat boys, because that’s about as much naked as you’ll get in this flick. Sexy Legs and Shiny Boy get a room and proceed to get busy, when All Of A Sudden, scary-but-handsome French thug LaRoche (the also very dreamy French hottie Vincent Cassel, [who is married in real life to World’s Biggest Cupcake Monica Bellucci]), bursts in and beats up Shiny Boy and takes his wallet and then proceeds to “rape” a bleating Sexy Legs repeatedly (and blurrily) while Shiny Boy bleeds on the floor. Sexy Legs pouts and whines and refuses to go to the police afterwards to protect her family from shame and divorce, and pretty soon Scary French Thug is blackmailing Shiny Boy for all Sick Daughter’s medicine money, and well, before the film makers want us to, you, I, and the corner grocer all know that Sexy Legs is in on it. Oh yeah, Xzibit is French Thug’s henchman for no good reason, other than he gets to rap to Shiny Boy and wear a bellhop’s uniform and die, go figure. Fellow rapper RZA has a bigger role as the office-mail-boy-slash-expendable-plot-device. “Whatever.”

Anyway, Shiny Boy learns some street moves, kicks some ass, gets his ultimate revenge on French Thug, and Sick Daughter gets her medicine money back. After all the ass whooping, Generic Mom is now at least willing to touch her husband on the chest over the closing credits, so I guess it was worth it. God I feel used.

My recommendation

Avoid this movie at all costs, unless you are an active member of the Clive Owen Stalker Club. (You know who you are, bless you.) Fans of Jennifer Aniston beware—this movie does her no favors, and actually made me think Botox might be a good thing, even though I’m against plastic surgery on principle. Those are some nasty jowl lines on her in this flick, damn!

Derailed snack foods? Do it like the Canadians and get some french fries covered in gravy, because after this stinker you’ll need something greasy and horrid to get rid of the taste. You’ll thank me later.


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