Sunday, February 18, 2007

Flashback! Bad Movies That Haunt Me: Beloved

I have this thing I do, when Mrs. Film Geek and I actually make it to a theater, that's designed to embarrass her. With my best dumb guy voice-- and, believe it or not, I can really sound like a dumb guy!--I purposely confuse the movie title or it's stars when I order the tickets.

For example, when we went to see Beloved (1998), starring The Big O.

[Dumb guy] "Two to see the Opal Winston movie, please."

Sure, it's goofy. But sometimes it makes her laugh. And, it keeps the romance sizzlin' at home.


I wish we had picked another movie instead. Beloved,
which starred Danny Glover and Thandie Newton in addition to Opal--uh, I mean Oprah--was just god-awful. Winfrey played Sethe, a former slave who moved after the Civil War to a farm in southern Ohio. Glover co-starred as a friend, Paul, who happened upon her and was invited to move in. Newton's character, Beloved, arrived unexpectedly about the same time strange poltergeist-type occurrences began on the farm. The character was almost absurd: she moved in a herky-jerky sort of way, had to be taught to speak and had the affect of a zombie. Turns out she may have been the ghost of Sethe's dead daughter.

In addition, the popcorn sucked that night. It was cold, greasy and not salty enough.

The only good thing about the flick was that it was a serious stumbling block for the otherwise ultra-successful Winfrey. It probably kept her from making another feature.

It still haunts me.


jedi jawa said...

Would you say that it haunted you more so or less so than "Glitter"? More so or less so than "Crossroads". How about "Raise Your Voice"?

In all seriousness, I remember seeing "Beloved" in the theater and just how disturbing that it was.

Route 75 said...

Didn't "The Big O" catch a rapin' in this one?

The Film Geek said...

I didn't see those movies, Jedi. But they would have haunted me just as much.

Route 75: I don't remember that scene. If it happened I must have been out getting goobers to get that crappy popcorn taste outta my mouth.

JDB said...

I don't think you can blame Opal, er, Oprah for the bad popcorn. She's not omnipotent. Yet.

Jelly-Filled said...

I was beyond disappointed by Beloved, too. Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors, and Beloved is my favorite novel of all time. Sadly, the movie sucked. I just don't think it's the sort of book one can turn into a movie. Er, a GOOD movie, that is. But the book? It's amazing.

Ian C. said...

I'm with jelly-filled: Beloved was a fantastic book. I had to write a thesis paper on it that was almost as long as the novel itself, but it was a pleasure to do so, because the material is so rich.

Having said that, many of the themes and concepts just weren't meant to be literally translated to film. And I think that was most apparent with Thandie Newton's portrayal of Beloved.

The Film Geek said...

JDB: Or so she would have us think!

Jelly-filled and Ian: You guys seem passionate about the book, so I'm gonna check it out.

Suzy said...

Heehee... I do this thing (from Beloved) that really pisses my hubby off. I start caterwalling "Paul Dee - touch me on the inside!" and he just gets SO mad! I swear, he won't talk to me for an hour (at least) after that!

The Film Geek said...

Heya Suzy...better him than me!! Man, that character--and her odd voice--gave me the creeps!