Immediately you are drawn in by the brilliant opening graphics, by the collections of photographs and the history that these women can share. You think "Wow, this is going to be great.. how fascinating!" you put down the clicker and get ready for wonderful entertainment and a new understanding of these women. Then you realize that there is this irritating girl in her own world who keeps appearing in every single scene.. you ask 'who is this idiot?" only to realize that she is the director and you will be forced to see her - and hear her - the whole time. The only way to describe her is .. well, a drippy and passive aggressive self centered bore.. watch as she tries on clothes and/or give lifeless, one dimensional personal comments on what was happening in these women's lives. This 'director' obviously loves herself on film more than her subjects, missing almost every single opportunity to explore and enrich the viewer with what is absolutely interesting and full of potential. This is not a documentary so much as a self serving masturbation. Very Film School. Meanwhile, there are these missed stories.. these women who spent their lives as sex objects during a very weird time in our country's history.. sexuality and independence were both just peeking out from under the oppression and denial of the 50's ... how did these ladies get started, what did they dealt with, how did their families deal with it? .. we lose most of this while we blink in distraction watching this 'director' gratiate herself into every nook possible starting with her childish costume obsession.. Watch the strain on the dancer's faces - now in their 70's - as the 'director' asks to try on their clothing: fragile, precious relics and trophies from their career. Who would even THINK to ask to try this stuff on?! Who? A self centered, clueless, disrespectful ego maniac whose eyes are open only to see herself.. "oh yes that's very interesting.. oooh.. can I try THAT on?" These dresses are sacred to these women, left in zipped hangers for the past 40 years and some twit is going to turn on a camera and ask to try it on?.. Leave them alone - the clothes and the women! These ladies have an amazing life story, they are amazing now..
It turned out to be SO DISAPPOINTING!! You cannot help but ask yourself who this girl knew to get this movie made and presented to HBO.. Meanwhile, Pretty Things could almost be a segment on Saturday Night Live.. But seriously, It's a wonderful film to watch and learn how NOT to make a documentary.. compare this with something like Grey Gardens where the directors allowed their subject to blossom. Not to watch the director plant herself into the subject and kill it all.
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