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Pretty Ugly People is pretty unremarkable. The set-up and general tone of the movie would suggest a quirky independent romp. It may aim for this title, but it's mostly bland and patronizing. A big lass loses weight and arranges a trip for some friends. They all learn valuable lessons and "discover" themselves. These characters aren't horrible enough for any grand changes, nor or they nice enough to actually like. The protagonist is the biggest bitch of all, allowing her friends to believe she is dying. It's a horrible tactic that only the best writing could salvage a heart from. Unfortunately, such talented scripting is absent here.
I expected more when I saw the accolades but I'm disappointed in the film. I guess this film is supposed to be about a life changing four days for Lucy and her college friends. Years past, they get married, divorced, and have children and careers. A star cast includes Missi Pyle and Melissa McCarthy. The other cast members are fine but the script is weak. The film has great scenery. I can't get past the negativeness of the film. There is no character to root for anyway. Sure, Lucy loses the weight but her mind as well. She thinks her weight loss will lead to feeling accepted and an equal peer. Lucy has a self esteem issue as well. Things change but not much.
REALLY bad movie. Did an adult make this?
Bums me out that loads and loads of money and work go into what is essentially no more than a blatant Todd Solondz-inspired, mean spirited comedy full of cliché characters and obvious jokes and story lines.
Wait, did I say "Todd Solondz-inspired?" Ha. How nice of me. This is a Todd Solondz rip-off. Waste of money. Waste of time. Piece of s**t. Imagine if the guys who own McDonalds attempted to rip-off Todd and you'll have a pretty good idea of how much soul this film has.
Really, though, I can't help but shed a little tear for the film US industry whenever I see a movie like this. Actual adults put their time and money into this project. Bad humor. Bad writing. Bad acting. Great resources. For every $20,000 spent on a film like this, there is a unique indie film maker out there wishing he/she could catch a break.
Firstly, I'd like to get this out of the way: If you have not watched a
movie in its entirety, you have no business reviewing it. That would be
like listening to the first note of a song, or reading the first line
of a book and panning it. Shame.
Now, on to the business of reviewing. While not the best movie in the world, it is certainly far from being the worst. There will always be something for someone to criticise, but for the most part, this movie is funny, sad, maddening, sappy in parts, and even hits a few sore spots. This is all good in my book. If seeing the real truth about yourself, or someone else, for the first time doesn't initially make you at least a little angry, then...
Not all film is supposed to be a masterpiece of cinema. Some are just there to entertain us a bit and, if possible, to help us along the way. This may just be one of those.
The premise is okay, just an excuse to get a group of people together. The story you can read about in the plot synopsis. The acting is quite good, considering that coming off as an every-day person in a movie is a lot harder than it seems. And I was happy to see some of my favourites: Missi Pyle, Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer (all of whose talents are abundant), Larry Sullivan (adorable and hot at the same time, not easy for a real actor), William Sanderson (that's the way he speaks; nice to see someone not try to botch a local accent). Also noteworthy were Philip Littell (as the repressed, judgmental Richard) and Phil Lewis (whose Raye gives Wayne Brady a run for his money as the "whitest black guy").
All in all, much better than most of the drivel out there that people actually pay to see. Quite a few belly laughs and some intimate moments, different for each, that may ignite a spark.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you like your jokes innocent and inoffensive Pretty Ugly People is
not for you. If you enjoy the average American TV-comedy, like Cheers,
the Cosby Show or Friends, stay away from this as far as you can. If
you think relation problems and human condition are to be take
seriously and nothing to be mocked, if you think Oprah a source of
wisdom and if you want to be comforted by some superficial moral
lesson, you will think Pretty Ugly People an insult to political
correctness. In the latter case you're right.
Pretty Ugly People doesn't show how people should be like, it shows how people actually are in reality. People tend to marry each other for the wrong reasons. Why else divorce? They can be egocentric and often hurt each other, exactly like the characters in Pretty Ugly People. A large part of the audience can't stomach that and prefers wearing blinkers.
So the point of Pretty Ugly People is not that the spectator should care for one or more characters. Pretty Ugly People holds a mirror and shows human failure. It does it by spoofing the genre of the well-meaning relation movies. The characters in Pretty Ugly People often say and do the wrong things on the wrong moments. Exactly that is what happens in every day life - why else all those quarrels?
Still Pretty Ugly People essentially is a feel good movie. In the end everybody is happy. Sure, two characters die, but one was irrelevant for the story. The other, Richard, was a sour man who still showed remorse before closing his eyes. And his death gave his wife Betty the opportunity to find happiness after all. Even the black congressman found what he was looking for, in a rather unusual way.
Now Pretty Ugly People is far from perfect. It could have had more politically incorrect jokes and drags a bit now and then. But I see it as a most welcome slightly cynical parody of all that moralistic stuff that has been released last couple of years.
First of all, if you do not read the title before watching this movie,
you may be a little...irritated? Or upset. The characters in this movie
are dysfunctional but their dysfunctions remain very well guarded and
hidden in their everyday lives...until their old friend from college
(Missi Pyle) convinces them all to meet years later, in the middle of
nowhere Montana to go on her own selfish journey. At first she seems to
be the only person who is not a mental case, but towards the end, we
realize she may be worse than any of the other characters.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone who isn't afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone, and has the ability to to laugh at the fact that what runs through a person's mind daily, or even just many times in their own life, can actually be played-out in reality when all pretenses and distractions are suddenly removed.
36? 38? I mean seriously. We've been watching this movie for 40 years.
College 'friends' together and share their horrific personalities with
each other. Because not speaking to each other for decades only to jump
on a plane for a long weekend in the woods is a thing people do. And
especially when they lose 300 lbs to rub in your 'friends' faces. And
because all of that is the rational act of sane people, gather up these
people to 'share your last 4 lbs weight loss. You know, because no one
grows and changes in 20 years. We do gain some insight into the former
fat girl though. She's still an angry control freak.
Anyway it pulls every stereotype off the shelf. Uptight Oreo black guy, street black girl, rich douchebag, gay douchebag, friend zone guy, old guy, hillbilly, and of course Melissa McCarthy in her patented hysterical fat girl with borderline personality disorder.
But I tell you it never gets old watching near 40 year olds act like 17 year olds imagining what 30 year olds act like. When do they grow up? 45? 50?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
@@@Possible to read into a SPOILER@@@ Entertaining with good casting. I'm the first to mention that there are 3 Oscar recipients/nominee from this humble B movie. Missy Pyle for The Artist which won....Octavia Spencer won for The Help...Melissa McCarthy nominated for Bridesmaids! All in the same year, too! Wow.. Who knew? All actors were believable when they were annoyed, vulnerable, sad, happy, hopeful. Even after watching, the entertainment goes on when you find out that the actor who played George has a Congressman father, and two of the other actors are gay, but not the ones from the movie. What's not to like? The plot was original.....the characters were believable...the script delivered various emotions...there were surprises...the ending I wish was longer, but it's good enough.
I just finished watching this as a rental (It also was available only
on DVD, not even Blu-Ray, which is rare these days, even for a movie
that went straight to disk, but then it WAS made in 2008).
While I agree with a few of the negative comments made by some who didn't like the film, I also agree with all of the positive comments by those who did, as well. I thought it was a fair amount of fun, if not "laugh-out-loud" funny, and I've always enjoyed Missi Pyle.
I think the fact that this was made BEFORE Melissa McCarthy became a big star and BEFORE Octavia won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for "The Help," certainly DIDN'T help make it a more marketable movie for theaters, as all I can find in the way of theater showings is a bunch of film festivals and ONE "limited release" in September 2009, and it doesn't even say WHERE, plus one brief showing in Palm Springs.
William Sanderson, of course, has been around, like, FOREVER (my favorite role for him -- probably his most memorable -- was as the puppet maker in "Blade Runner"). But as a character actor, most folks don't know his name.
I think this is good enough that were it released AGAIN during a slow period of the movie year (like the fall or winter), it could probably have a decent showing -- especially now that Melissa and Octavia are stars. Jeff
I also stopped watching about 10-20 minutes in. That's a very rare move for me. I consider myself from rural America, and found the "blacks in these parts" bit tiresome. Also, why was the local hillbilly (in Missoula, Montana, a city of at least 60,000... with hundreds of African-Africans living there as well as a university with a large international population) speaking with such an aw-shucks southern accent? Montana is not The South. It just gets under my skin when it seems as though all people outside of the Northeast or California are portrayed speaking in folksy, Appalachian drawls. Apologies for not sitting through it, but... I was a trifle insulted.
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