ACROSS MY EYEBALLS LIKE A BAD HALLUCINATION
My week didn’t start off very well. I usually think it’s a great idea to start the week with a movie, because, well, I love movies. But I didn’t love the new Julie Taymor (Frida) film Across the Universe. In fact, I almost walked out (and several people actually did). **minor spoilers follow**
Across the Universe sounds like it would be fairly watchable: It’s an epic anti-war tale starring Evan Rachel Wood (Once and Again) and set to some great renditions of Beatles songs. And there’s even a lesbian character. Her name is Prudence, as in “Dear Prudence.” In this still from the movie, Prudence is the one in the top right corner, above Evan Rachel Wood’s head and cuddling with the redhead:
Prudence is played by T.V. Carpio (She Hate Me), who looks like this when she’s not lying in the grass with a bunch of hippies:
Here she is in more stills from the film:
Looks interesting, right? The Beatles and a cute gay character who even wears a cheerleader outfit at one point — what more could you want? Well, maybe a better story, more fully realized characters and (I know this is asking a lot) fewer scenes that make you feel high. I’m not even talking about the “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” part. I was more freaked out by the scene with Eddie Izzard and the dancing blue things — but I refuse to induce my own flashback right now.
Julie Taymor told The New York Times that she wanted to do more with the character of Prudence, but the movie was already too long. (Plus, I’m sure she had to go work on the costumes for the dancing blue things.) As it is, Prudence spends most of the movie — when she’s actually in it — pining for unattainable straight women. Because who can get enough of barely glimpsed lesbians who love in a mostly unrequited way? I don’t care how many Beatles songs you set that to; I’m still going to want my $11.50 back.
If I haven’t scared you away yet, here’s one reason to see Across the Universe: Staceyann Chin has a small role in the film. Small in the sense of lines, that is — not in the sense of her hair, which is gloriously huge as usual.
Here’s a trailer to give you an idea of what to expect. A very hint of a shadow of an idea. I simply can’t prepare you.
Across the Universe has been in limited release since Sept. 14 and opens wide Sept. 21.