which i really just cannot summon the nerve to do.
because it looks terrible. and not in a good way. not in a way that we can all laugh at and go ‘ha, ha, this is ridiculous, but fun.’ no, no. it looks terrible in a time-stopping, soul-sucking way, much like li.lo’s liz & dick, a movie so intolerable that i couldn’t even find an angle from which to make fun of it.
still raw from the experience of liz & dick, i’m having a hard time justifying the loss of two more hours of my life.
which isn’t to say that diana is of a liz & dick caliber. it is, as i understand it, a straight up chick flick- a HORRIBLE misinterpretation/oversimplification/misrendering of her life, yes, but we can probably assume she and fayed won’t be sitting up in the beyond in director’s chairs beside an ashtray passing judgement on their lives.
(if you’ve not seen liz & dick you’re likely laughing at the prospect of such an implausible thing. if you’ve seen liz & dick, then you know exactly what i mean.
oh yes they did. for reals. i would say that was the worst part except for the fact that grant bowler’s richard burton’s hamlet was SO.MUCH.WORSE.)
the thing i absolutely do not understand about these types of films is why they come SO CLOSE and then completely give up. my number one complaint of made-for-tv biopics is that the ceilings are always so low. because surely people who live in palaces have ceilings of higher than 9 feet! but perhaps that comes down to budgetary necessity… it’s easy to see how the grandness of the characters’ environments might be lessened by lifetime’s purse strings.
less understandable is how the hollywood movies get it equally wrong. what is the point of producing a copy of one of princess diana’s gowns if you’re going to have it be ill-fitting and have the princess diana character wear it with the wrong shoes and bag and jewelry, not to mention a dreadful wig?
this is a genre i LOVE LOVE LOVE, remember? because of a love of biography but also for the cheesiness inherent in it. much as biography can’t fully capture the living of an individual’s life so these films fall far short. but they offer different versions of events that, in what they lack or what they choose for inclusion, are interesting. much like perfume can evoke a sense of a person not present, so these movies capture an aspect of a life. and aesthetics are the one element within that aspect that can be rendered with great accuracy.
i watched my week with marilyn again the other night, which reenforces the fact that this can be done right…
madonna’s w.e.– which is 1/2 of an AMAZING movie– is another case in point.
it can be done. it just so often isn’t. and so we wind up with this…
when we deserve so much better.