In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_office_christmas_party

Office Christmas Party

Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Therese and Isabelle

  |  

This is it, the worst movie of the year. Not since Stan Freberg's recording of "John and Marsha" has there been dialog of less complexity. "Ah, Therese!" "Oh, Isabelle!"

Advertisement

Arrgh. Yeech. Radley Metzger, who gave the world "I, A Woman" and mercilessly followed with "Carmen, Baby!" is back again with another of his traveling stupidity exhibitions, which masquerade as "art films" to get into respectable theaters.

Typically, a Metzger movie is advertised in a restrained, dignified-type face, selected by a high-priced ad agency to give an aura of respectability to the enterprise. The public for these films -- adolescents of all ages -- is not fooled; it can spot a dirty movie by instinct.

Like its predecessors, "Therese and Isabelle" is a terribly serious movie, perhaps because everyone involved is doing his damnedest not to laugh out loud. There is something preposterous in the sight of two adult women (Essy Persson and Anna Gael) costumed and cast as schoolgirls. The effect is roughly as convincing as Jonathan Winters in a Cub Scout uniform.

Advertisement

To keep from seeming ridiculous, the actresses walk around with long faces, sighing and moaning and wishing someone had given them lines to read. It is all too sad. When they do smile, they seem as strained as a sixth-grader with rubber bands on her braces.

The plot involves two girls who go to a boarding school and fall in love. They do this very quickly, which is a shame, since the main event has none of the suspense of the preliminaries. There are lots of shots of Essy Persson staring ecstatically at the ceiling, a trick she perfected in "I, A Woman," while the sound track provides what sounds like an iron lung in neutral. If you find this erotic, I can also recommend the latest displays at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Popular Blog Posts

The Unloved, Part 36: "Lisztomania"

For the 36th installment in his video essay series about maligned masterworks, Scout Tafoya examines Ken Russell's "L...

Why Critics Should See Bad Movies

A piece on the experience gained from seeing bad movies.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Racism, Religion and Remembering Pearl Harbor

Remember Pearl Harbor and remember how prejudice shaped history.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus