Don Bauder 9:30 a.m., July 25
Review: Violet & Daisy
Hollywood never gives me what I really want. When the invite to the Violet and Daisy screening arrived, I thought for sure it was going to be a CG biopic of the Hilton sisters, America’s once loved and sadly forgotten Siamese twins. (And I’m not talking about those stringbean hotel heiresses!)
Geoffrey Fletcher’s violent and ditzy Violet and Daisy is anything but conjoined. Fletcher, you will remember, is the guy who took home an Oscar for scribbling a script to Precious. This time, they also let him direct.
Fletcher took home his Oscar in 2010. V&D was completed the following year and has been sitting on a shelf ever since. That shows how much faith distributor Cinedigm Entertainment Group has in their product. The bubblegum-headed crime comedy should have gone direct to iPhone.
A pair of blue-eyed teenage hit-girls (32-year-old Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan, basically reprising her role as Hanna) are assigned the job of whacking Michael (James Gandolfini), a pathetic target eager to avail himself of their services. As mounted by director Fletcher, V&D would have played out just as well on stage or in comic book form.
Fletcher is clueless as far as creating a fantasy comic universe is concerned. By side-stepping this part of the creative process, he fails to enact rules of logic with which to play by. The fashion conscious femmes fatale arrive at their first assignment dressed as pizza-delivering nuns. Okay, that’s kinda’ cute. They then proceed to air condition any and every thug who gets in the path of their bullet spray, and they do so with expert efficiency and impassioned abandon. These gals are pros.
So how is it that while waiting for Gandolfini to arrive at his apartment, our two steely assassins fall asleep on the couch as if they were at a slumber party? Which board does Fletcher rely on while plotting a script: dart or Ouija? Instead of the swift dispatch previously on display, the girls warm up to their victim, get to know him. Were they assigned to talk Michael to death?
Is it me, or with two unblinking saucers where her eyes should be and an icicle for a body, don’t all of Saoirse Ronan’s deadpan performances appear to have been rendered through the magic of motion capture? Joan Rivers has less trouble blinking than this kid. Bledel is cute, but so are a lot of actress in Hollywood. Together, they try their best to establish a chemistry that isn’t there.
They arrive on the job riding a tricycle. Michael winds up baking the girls cookies. The animal-loving chicks avert their aim so the shooting of a human being won't harm a caged parrot. C'mon, Fletch. Give me something to work with other than material best left for the pages of Teen Beat. Add to it a soundtrack pulsating with an unbearably ironic use of popular songs and a third act stab at 'love me, daddy' pathos that allows Michael to make amends for being a lousy father, and you have every reason to avoid this movie.
Reader Rating: Zero Stars
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