I think I may have actually liked this Lynch movie. In the way you find it interesting to, say, examine some particularly strange yet somehow appealing malformation.
Laura Dern still annoys me, and I still have no idea what Lynch sees in Isabella Rossillini. As ever, the main female character is brutalized and overly sexualized. I’m starting to think that this isn’t even a critique you can make of a Lynch film – it’s, like, the definition of a Lynch film. Which makes me wonder where he gets this obsession, or if it’s just lazy misogyny. I’d like to think it’s not, since so much else you see in Lynch film’s isn’t lazy – but I won’t rule it out. Sometimes there are just gaping holes in our assumptions where our reasoning should be.
Basic premise is: girl and guy love each other and have mad sex. The girl’s mother is jealous of this cause she wants to screw the guy. So she puts out a hit on the guy. Guy and girl run away and go on a road trip through the south. At one point, Willem Dafoe blows off his own head with a shotgun, Laura Palmer plays the Good Fairy, and misc. Twin Peaks actors get cameos. It’s the sheer out and out weirdness that makes this movie watchable.
I did like the weird integration of elements from The Wizard of Oz, the red shoes, the crystal ball (the wicked witch mother thing was kind of lazy,but she’s a reaaal creepy character), and I think it failed on one level because it’s not, in the end, Lulu’s (Dorothy’s) story – it’s her boyfriend’s story (and, really, the Good Fairy talks to *him* in the end, so is he supposed to be Dorothy? That might be worse). It’s Lulu’s job to just love him and endure. He’s the one with all the action. It’s his actions that are the driving force of the story (unlike Wizard of Oz, which puts Dorothy in a more active role).
So that does kind of lean toward lazy misogyny, doesn’t it?
Kind of disappointing, but the film has the same weird Lynchian obsessions with red things, wacky characters, character actors, and family secrets. This is probably the closest thing Lynch has got out there to a a love story that I’ve seen. A wacky, head-blowed-off, manslaughtering, brutalized woman, fucked up guy love story.
And, ok, now that I’ve written all that, I’m not sure why I said I liked the movie. Maybe it’s more accurate to say I found it… interesting? Just like mangled bodies at the scene of a wreck – so freakin’ weird and messed up that you can’t help looking.