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FPQT (sort of) Goes to the Movies: A Touch Of Rage: “Patti, let me explain!”

January 26, 2011

[It’s Wednesday & L-A has two papers due this week and Ally’s got her own work deadlines. In both cases, it involves a lot of binge eating and less sleep than either would like. So here’s Anthony with a sort of movie review/fashion review for you.]

Anthony: First off let me apologize to anyone reading who may have actually managed to enjoy this movie.

A few months ago, I tried to see the film “Never Let Me Go” which proved much more difficult than I could have imagined. When a movie is critically acclaimed with an all star cast and based on a best-selling, award winning novel, you would think it would play in the downtown theatres for longer than a one week engagement. Unfortunately, “Never Let Me Go” was banished to the wasteland of the Bayer’s Lake Industrial Park (BLIP for phunzies) with a regular show time of 10 p.m.

Yeah, you read that correctly: one of the best movies of 2010 was only playing once a day at 10 p.m. in perhaps the most unfriendly pedestrian location in this city. Undeterred by this criminally ridiculous decision by Empire Theatres, I took a bus to the theatre to watch one the most beautifully gut-wrenching films I have ever seen. Aside from the amazing experience, “Never Let Me Go” is a perfect snapshot of how to dress like a super-chic-yet-clearly-not-fussy-English-twenty-something.

So shabby, but so lovely.

Upon arriving at the theatre I noticed a movie title I did not recognize that was blessed with four daily show times – “A Touch of Grey”. I was curious to see what kind of film would merit all of these more convenient show times over “Never Let Me Go” so I investigated using the power of YouTube.

After reading the title, I think you can see where I’m going with this.

“A Touch of Grey” is a Canadian film about four women who meet up for a “girls’ night” 25 years after high school. Each woman is at a crossroads in her life and over the course of four bottles of wine they get drunk, vent about their feelings, scream melodramatically and change into their pyjamas as they accept their new roles in life.

Reitmans: 1 - Canadian Film Industry: 0


Four bottles of wine over the course of an evening? The trailer makes it look they get trashed in this hotel room after splitting four bottles between four people. That’s a bottle each. A bottle of wine is an appetizer in my world. If I cried and wore pyjamas after a single bottle of wine, I would never wear pants after 6 o’clock. To be honest, I find these films insulting to women. They present women defined by classic, outdated stereotypes – bitchy career woman, ditzy housewife, divorcee and the frumpy one – as if everyone watching is going to look to these one note characters and think, “Wow, they really get me.”

Watching the trailer, I get a feeling that the writers were looking to create an empowering piece about middle aged women finding the passions in life, reconnecting with the vigour of their youth and growing as human beings but all I see are four boozed up soccer moms cackling about whose husband is cheating on who. If you want to empower women don’t dress them up in a wardrobe that looks like a uniform for their character. At the end of the trailer when they’re all lying on the couch in their comfy clothes, why does the mom have to wear the kitschy matching pyjamas and the “sexy business woman” wear the large t-shirt you know she borrowed from her macho husband? Why can’t the mom wear something sexy? Why does the woman trying to recapture her youth have to wear animal print? Why oh why do empowering movies for women use such tired clichés?

Give me a movie where four women share four boxes of wine and sit around in elegant sleepwear, bitching about their lives. And don’t refer me to “Sex and the City” films – I like to pretend they don’t exist.

L-A: Do fashion blogs even review PJs? Maybe we should. Then again, mine consist of oversized pants and old t-shirts…not exactly stylish. So maybe not. Anytheway, when Anthony showed this movie trailer to Jill and I, our reaction was exactly the same: Only four bottles?!? Maybe if the trailer had said, “One Hotel Room. Four Women. 16 Bottles.” we would have believed the messy mascara and the pleas for Patti to let her explain already. But one bottle? Please. That’s pre-game drinks before karaoke.

[ed. note: A slight correction about Never Let Me Go show times at Empire Theatres. It actually ran for two weeks at the Oxford, a week at Bayer’s Lake and then a week of 10pm only at Bayers Lake. Our bad. Opinions on Touch of Grey still stand.]

16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2011 1:36 am

    …there are no words. Really? Is this really a real movie? And how is this trailer supposed to appeal to ANYONE? And I agree, “four bottles” is shocking to no one.

    • L-A permalink*
      January 26, 2011 10:20 am

      Not only is it a movie, but it got more time on the movie screens of Halifax than some of the more critically acclaimed films of the year. Impressive.

      And yeah, four women + four bottles of wine? That’s just a half decent buzz. That is not enough for a drunk crying jag.

  2. Eden permalink
    January 26, 2011 9:31 am

    Oh god, it’s a Women Coming To Terms With Things movie! I HATE THOSE SO MUCH.

    • L-A permalink*
      January 26, 2011 10:19 am

      But they come to terms! With their stereotype roles! Sexy! Mom! Business Woman! (okay, I haven’t seen the movie, but that trailer is telling me that’s what happens and therefore not selling it).

  3. January 26, 2011 9:46 am

    Never has a post made me so simultaneously happy and angry. I can’t believe this didn’t make the cut for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

    • L-A permalink*
      January 26, 2011 10:14 am

      Had they added a couple more bottles of wine to the script, they might have stood a chance. Maybe the film was on a budget and couldn’t afford more wine?

  4. January 26, 2011 11:03 am

    If you have time to kill, read the entry about the movie on Wikipedia for a full posting of the plot. After all the crying, screaming, explaining things to Patti and wine, the women just leave the hotel and go home. There’s no redemption, no concluding character arc – they’re just done.

    OK, so maybe reviewing pyjamas might be petty but the women are all wearing dowdy sweaters or power suits they found in 2001. If you really want to portray women in 2011 trying “come to terms” with their issues, why not look at what women actually wear today.

  5. Kristine permalink
    January 26, 2011 12:40 pm

    Oh, Patti, Patti, Patti. If only you had turned down the invite.

    It’s hard to believe this is a real thing in the world in the year 2011. But there you have it. I am going to pretend I didn’t see this now. Not enough sanity points.

    • January 26, 2011 2:20 pm

      I know. It looks like it was filmed using a cell phone dipped in vaseline. And what’s with the dialogue? “Women’s lib my ass…” – they actually wrote that. Someone took the effort to think of that line and write it into a script. These people made a movie and I’m unemployed.

      I’m going to eat a cake.

  6. January 26, 2011 12:43 pm

    I could BARELY make it through the trailer, you guys.

    • L-A permalink*
      January 26, 2011 2:01 pm

      That trailer made me want to drink four bottles of wine. By myself.

  7. January 26, 2011 7:04 pm

    The worst part is that they are showing this four times a day. Obviously nobody is going, but what about the poor projectionist? Or the poor people who wander in, looking for “The King’s Speech?”

  8. Sarah permalink
    January 27, 2011 1:59 pm

    Mufty n’ plain sad. No amount of wine will erase the experience of watching the trailer. Patti has some explaining to do.

    • January 27, 2011 4:27 pm

      “I was thinking about our times in high school and before I knew it, I had booked this hotel room and was flying you all up to Toronto.”

      Yeah, great plan. I’m sure if your high school selves could look at you now, posted up in a hotel room with four bottles of white zinfandel they’d walk into traffic and spare themselves the future horrorshow.

  9. Ginger Martini permalink
    January 26, 2015 7:20 pm

    As the costume designer for A Touch of Grey, I’m disappointed with the lack of substance in this article, it seems more like a catty attack than an actual review. The costumes chosen made sense for the characters we were portraying. The stay at home mom didn’t buy new jammies for her girl’s night, she grabbed something out of the dresser. It would be hella weird for her to be in sexy jammies for a girls night with friends she hasn’t seen in years, considering she doesn’t wear them for her husband. I see you mentioned you were over Sex and the City, so if you want ladies in sexy pjs for a girls night, maybe look into porn. Fun note- not a piece was from Reitmans like the caption in your photo suggests, maybe next time, try researching your subject matter.

    • allygarbs permalink
      January 28, 2015 2:16 pm

      While we stand by our belief that on this blog we absolutely do not have to research our subject matter, I’m not sure if research was required to back up our guest posters comments. That said, we do appreciate your suggestion to look into porn, we shall do that.

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