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Before It Had a Name (2005)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  2007 (USA)
3.1
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Ratings: 3.1/10 from 524 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 6 critic

A young Italian woman inherits from her deceased lover an enigmatic modern house in the New York country side, and goes to see it for the first time. When she arrives she meets the caretaker of the house...

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Eleonora
...
Jeff
...
Waiter
...
Gail
Claudio Botosso ...
Karl
Bari Hyman ...
Local Policewoman
Spenser Leigh ...
Girl crossing street
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Storyline

A young Italian woman inherits from her deceased lover an enigmatic modern house in the New York country side, and goes to see it for the first time. When she arrives she meets the caretaker of the house...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Widow  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Spoofs The French Chef (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Domani e un Altro Giorno (The Wonders you Perform)
Written by Jerry Chesnut
Performed by Ornella Vanoni
Published by Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film that shatters the standard movie recipe
25 March 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

There are 2 versions of this movie: the sexually explicit one and the censored PG13 one. My review is about the PG13 one which is 91 mins and released in the USA as "The Black Widow" by First Look Entertainment. And when they say it's PG13, they ain't kidding. All the explicit sexual scenes are cut (including the infamous tampon scene you may have heard about), there is zero nudity, and all the swear words are dubbed out.

This is a very minimalist film about isolation, disconnection and unanswered questions. It will confuse & irritate anyone who is looking for a standard plot tied up with a pretty ribbon. Like the Brando film "Last Tango in Paris", it gives us the dysfunctional romance of two people who can't or won't share their past, who have no connection to the present and who haven't got any future. The only glue that holds them together is the house.

The house, known as the "Rubber House" due to it's twisted black appearance, becomes the 3rd character in the story, like a voyeur but more than that--almost like an omniscient presence that observes everything but tells nothing. Again, this may frustrate the viewer who is looking for clearcut answers, but the poetry of the situation is far more important.

There is also a lot of poetry in the dialogue, but you have to work very hard to catch the hints. There's a brilliant scene in a restaurant where the waiter (played by the unforgettable Issach de Bankole) describes a dish called "deconstructed jambalaya"--a recipe that consists of all the elements of jambalaya (a word that literally means "mishmash") but separated into its parts, not allowed to mix. The hilarious deadpan delivery of this speech along with Dafoe's reaction sums up the characters' relationship perfectly. In another cute piece of dialogue, Giada talks about how mathematicians never grow up because, living in an isolated world of abstract concepts, the never learn about the reality of life. This takes us back to the theme of disconnection and the timelessness of isolation which we feel in the Rubber House. The whole movie is very cryptically written, but if you pay attention to theme, not plot, it will make perfect sense.

The key to enjoying this film is to imagine it's the first film ever made. Don't compare it to anything. Don't expect anything. There are no shootouts, car chases, criminal masterminds, Hollywood romances or melodramatic tear-jerkers. If you can somehow scrub those preconceptions out of your mind, I think you'll find that this movie is much closer to a real story than anything you've seen in the last 20 years. Whether that's entertaining or not is entirely up to you.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I think this film is a dark romantic comedy awhite787
Looking forward to it? david-starina
I liked it. bruce-anderson-4
Crap! noreply1-1
The Rubber House billywallace
I figured it out......they're both crazy! musashden04
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