Those of you who know me well (okay, those of you who read my postings here, which is sort of like being a tiny steel orb bouncing in and around the bullseyes and drop targets in a pinball machine based on the Seventh Circle of Hell) have already deduced my propensity for procrastination.
(Pssssst: No, no, no, don’t worry! The Housewife Assassin’s Killer Christmas Tips will be in online bookstores before December 1st…unless I call you up, sobbing because my editor tells me I’ve emdashed her one too many times, and she’s quitting in protest….but not gonna happen, since I’ve moved away from emdashes to editors’ second most despised nemesis: the ellipse, as liberally used in this sentence…
But I digress.)
In our house, procrastination is a rose by another name: movie night.
If I could, I’d go every night of the week.
As it is, my usual date night with The Hub is either Monday or Tuesday, because The Hub is not too proud to claim any and all senior discounts owed him. (Youza, youza, hear, hear! Good for him! However, my tickets are still — and will always be — purchased at full price. And whether he likes it or not, this will be the norm until I’m ninety, despite any ticket teller’s gentle nudging to accept the inevitable: that I look my age. When it happens I’ll yell loudly and proudly, “What the hell do YOU know? You think anyone over forty looks as if they have one foot in the grave…” knowing she will be shamed to concede this is the truth, and let me in for free, just to move the line forward. At that point, I’m sure The Hub will insist I cause a scene at every movie theater.)
Be it in film or novel, the perfect story has three ingredients: sympathetic characters; pithy dialogue; and a plot in which every scene moves the story forward, keeps you on the edge of your seat, and has a satisfying ending.
For all these reasons, Seven Psychopaths is one of the most satisfying movies of the year.
Farrell has always been one of my favorite actors. He has a natural charisma that, with the right material, burns up the screen. However, he hasn’t always chosen the right projects. Being writer-director McDonagh’s cypher has been a godsend for him. Both in Seven Psychopaths and In Bruges he’s played anti-heroes who with an acerbic edge, softened by a real conscience.
As with In Bruges, this is also a bromance: in this case, Rockwell’s Billy, an actor wannabe, will do anything to help his best bud — Farrell’s Marty, a screenwriter under tight deadline to deliver his next script — with his writer’s block. Besides placing a classified ad inviting psychopaths to tell Marty their stories, Billy steals a few anecdotes from friends, lovers, and lovers’ lovers alike.
(This is where Woody Harrelson comes in. We all know he can play a mean psychopath, but it takes real acting chops to be funny, mean, and sympathetic, all at once.)
I won’t give a way the biggest twist of all, but let’s just say that not everyone is as they seem.
If you’ve already guessed that Walken plays exactly to type and is one of the psychos, step to the head of the line. However, if the classification of one’s mental state is based on one’s reaction to any and all brutality forced upon those we love most, then we are all psychos if we choose to protect, defend and avenge those who hurt the ones we love.
Walken’s character, Hans, illustrates this succinctly, yet with pathos.
I correct myself. This is not a two-way bromance. It’s a thruple.
Life is not easy.
Actions have consequences.
We rise to the occasion.
We fight when our backs are against the wall.
We forgive those we love.
And even bad guys have soft spots. Go figure.
No. Don’t try to figure anything out. Instead, go see a good movie.
Don’t forget to enter my HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S GUIDE TO GRACIOUS KILLING contest for a chance to win a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice!
Photo: courtesy: Blue Print Pictures and Hanway Films