Thursday, March 13, 2014

Plush (2013): The Male Stalker, updated

Plush (2013)
dir: Catherine Hardwicke

The crazy male stalker is a genre that has been around for ages. One of the definitive crazy male relationship movies of anybody who was a teenager in the 90s was 1996's Fear, where Marky Mark was trying to launch his acting career with Reese Witherspoon and Alyssa Milano. But, Fear is only good for nostalgia value for its ridiculous over-the-top nature.

Of course, that was 17 years ago (can you believe that?!), and Fear has largely been left to the dusty video bins. And, Lifetime Original Films haven't been doing their duty filling the gap with a full litany of woman-in-trouble films lately, instead doing things like remaking Flowers in the Attic. The obvious solution is to update it, make it a bit punkier, and to hire a teenage-familiar director for the job.

Fortunately/unfortunately for us, that director is Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first installment of Twilight. Luckily, she didn't bring any of the bored distanced nature that she gave to that Twilight film. Hardwicke, instead, creates a mildly compelling. if ultimately ridiculous, film that also adds a bit of bisexual panic to the film.

Hardwicke, with Arty Nelson, wrote a story about a faux goth rock sibling-led band, where the brother dies, and the sister hires then fucks a new guitarist. Enzo, the new guitarist, initially, is presented as gay, but that's passed off as "what is gay?" when he finally fucks Hayley, the lead singer whose brother died. They write a new hit song, and fuck along the tour.

When Hayley returns home to her husband and kids, Enzo promptly starts inserting himself in her life, and she fucks him in the home...because he's so seductive or something. But, then she finds out she's preggers with Enzo's kid, and all hell breaks loose.

What makes Plush different from Fear is that Hayley is a 25-year-old rock star instead of a teenager, and she also has a pair of walking-talking kids with hunky 31-year-old Cam Gigendet. She started her family life really early, especially for a rock star. And, there is 100% fewer decapitated dogs.

Really, Plush has an end run sexual assault, much like Fear had a couple end run sexual assaults. Hayley saves herself with a method as equally ridiculous as killing somebody with a carnival peace pipe. All of the murders actually happen off screen. There is actual sexings that happens on screen, though the nudity is also minimal. Really, Plush is Fear but aged a few years.

Hardwicke isn't giving us anything new. She's not subverting anything. She's merely re-wrapping an old trope in new clothing. It's more of a feminist trope, for sure. And, the woman of the movie is actually a breadwinner, even though she had married a journalist and author. It's well-made enough, though the ending is extremely condensed. The switch from Enzo's in love personality to his crazy personality is sudden and drastic, filled with ridiculous quirks and hilarious acting. Hardwicke is not a subtle director. Mildly stylish, somewhat ridiculous, semi-entertaining, but not subtle. Which, I think is a good descriptor of this movie as of any other movie she has directed.

No comments:

Post a Comment