It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
I watch the guests on "Jerry Springer" with the fascination of an ambulance driver at Demo Derby. Where do these people come from? Their dialogue may be "suggested" but their lives are all too evidently real, and they have tumbled right through the safety net of taste and self-respect and gone spiraling down, down into the pit of amoral vulgarity. Now comes "Good Housekeeping," a film about how the people on Springer live when they're not on camera.
No, it's not a documentary. It was written and directed by Frank Novak, otherwise a trendy Los Angeles furniture manufacturer, who regards his white trash characters with deadpan neutrality. How is the audience expected to react? Consider this dialogue: Don: "Maybe if we cut her in half we could get her in there." Chuck: "We can't cut her in half!" Don: "So what are you? Mr. Politically Correct?" Don and Chuck are brothers. Don (Bob Jay Mills) uneasily shares his house with his wife Donatella (Petra Westen), while Chuck (credited only as Zia) sleeps with his girlfriend Tiffany (Maeve Kerrigan) in Don's car.
Things are not good between Don and Donatella, and he uses 2x4s and plasterboard to build a wall that cuts the house in two ("She got way more square feet than I got," he tells the cops during one of their frequent visits). Realizing he has forgotten something, Don cuts a crawl hole in the wall so that Don Jr. (Andrew Eichner) can commute between parents. Soon Donatella's new lesbian lover Marion (Tacey Adams) is poking her head through the hole to discuss the "parameters" Don is setting for his son.
Donatella is a forklift operator. Don is self-employed as a trader of action figures, with a specialty in Pinhead and other Hellraiser characters. When Chuck tries to sell him a Sad-Eye Doll, he responds like a pro: "Couldn't you Swap-Meet it? I'm not gonna put that on my table and drag down my other merch." Don Jr. has less respect for action figures and occasionally saws off their heads.