Saturday, January 12, 2013

Les Miserables, Explained

Alright, I might just lose my “man card” for this one, but I took my daughter to see the aptly named “Les Miserables,” which depicts three hours of abject human suffering set to catchy major-key melodies. There’s even a dance number.

Yep, two thumbs up on this one.

Back in the day, I took a pass on the 1980’s-vintage Broadway play and subsequent road show that, by the time it hit secondary markets like Los Angeles, CA, probably featured Barry Williams as Jean Valjean. Call me a philistine.

Spoiler alert, here’s the entire movie summed up in one sentence: A hapless father loves his precious daughter so much that he saves her dumbass boyfriend from certain death (and the kid’s own misguided political views), risks his own demise at the hands of a life-long nemesis, and carries the kid through the shit-choked sewer system beneath the streets of gay Paris, to deliver him up to her little princess, who promptly marries the dimwit (yes, a boy who sings in a fey falsetto, no less). Then the father drops dead from grief and exhaustion.

Shit…that’s two sentences.

But if you can get past Russell Crowe singing (the mercurial “Gladiator” now in French military tights—um, “pitchy, dawg”), and the interminable recitative between epic arias, you’ll get to witness The Princess Diary’s Anne Hathaway deliver up the best four minutes and thirty-eight seconds of celluloid in the last ten years.

I’m not kidding.

If Hathaway doesn’t get the Academy Award for best actress for this one, I’ll choke down a plate of escargot for the first time since I got food poisoning at that frog restaurant in Santa Barbara.

Awkward paternal moment #2: When Fantine dies, or (the smokin' hot) Eponie dies, or that precocious little kid Gavroche dies, or…(fuck, everyone in this movie DIES!), try convincing your bemused daughter that your teary eyes are, in fact, due to a sty or anaphylactic reaction, and NOT a spontaneous display of sentimental sop expertly triggered by calculating Hollywood hacks.

So after all of that, what was my take-away?

The French sure can fuck up a perfectly good revolution.


Rachel said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I just finally saw the Liam Neeson version and am not sure I can handle a repeat.

I do, however; think you are pretty much Dad of the Year for taking Annie to it!

Anonymous said... may lose your "man card", but I think you'll get father of the year...

Guess I don't need to go see the movie now. :)

Good to see you blogging again, you're such a talented writer...I agree with all your thoughts here..all so true.