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Theresa Russell was way too glamorous looking!
I really enjoyed this film because of the acting of Ms.Russell. Though all the characters were painted with the usual overly broad strokes.
The only problem I basically had with this film, was that Ms. Russell's character was much too glamorous to be a *street whore*.
Her skin and make-up were flawless, she had nice teeth etc.. It sounds silly, but I notice these things when watching films. That was the most un-authentic part of this film, noticing how perfect she looked.
From viewing documentaries depicting real life prostitutes (HBO's series about hookers in the Bronx, those women were rough....missing teeth, barely literate etc) and other movies depicting the horrors of prostitution, we all know they usually don't look as good as Ms. Russell does in this film....unless they are call girls. Call girls aren't as abused as street hookers, they usually have a decent and comfortable place to be with their clients.
Most street whores have drug problems, even if they don't, that rough 'street life' certainly takes a toll on ones looks. I saw none of that in Theresa's character. She looked young and vibrant!
Nevertheless, she gave a great performance given the below par script she was given to work with.
I also enjoyed the 'Alfie' speaking-into-the-camera style and the anti-"Pretty Woman" message. Anyone who thinks prostitution is in any way 'glamourous', well, they need to read a bit more about the seedy demeaning aspects of that life. Then go back to school to get a decent education, so they can get a normal job. There are no free rides, pardon the pun, in that world.
Good performances all around. Though it would have been nice to see Antonio Vargas play a different character other than a wacky street person, at least he wasn't a pimp!
Primo amore (2004)
Not really about romantic love....or any other kind of love
*****Some SPOILERS, but not much more than were in the movie's description here*****
This was a very bizarre movie, the title is very deceiving. If you're expecting a normal love story or a raucous 1960s Sophia L/Marcello M sexy comedy romp, forget it!
Beautifully filmed and well acted, though the subject matter was certainly not about any kind of real *love*.
I always enjoy 'indie' films because I know they'll be different, they are usually more thought provoking than mainstream films, though when they get this far fetched, well.....you have to wonder...is it for shock value? Not that it's a gory film, but the subject matter is quite disturbing. One hopes there aren't many couples out there like these two!
Synopsis: A woman moves in with a man she is in 'love' with. He begins to control her almost immediately by involving her in a bizarre eating ritual and mind control situation which is based on getting her weight down to what he thinks is 'normal'.
Of course, the lack of nutrients affects her brain (as well as her body), which causes her to fail in other areas of her life.....her job suffers, she has no social life, no friends, no hobbies.....basically the woman has NO life away from him, except a job which she can no longer do the basics involved.
Her relationship with her brother is also questionable, as he doesn't seem all that concerned by the change in her demeanor and the fact that she's living this very isolated life with her strange boyfriend. The boyfriends own life is also spinning out of control.
Her lover basically gets ultimate control of her life because she's too weak mentally and physically to fight him. The viewer will remain interested, as you'll wonder how this will all end.
You've got to wonder, in this day and age, if women are so desperate for 'love' and/or attention that they would allow themselves to get into these sorts of depths of self-loathing & self-hatred. This bizarre *love* relationship became all about the man and his control, not the woman or her feelings on any level.
What woman in their right mind literally starves themselves to fit the ideal of some control freak man? I suppose, a mentally ill woman or one totally lacking any self-esteem.
That aspect of the female character is never explored: her views on what was happening to her. Why she even allowed it to happen at all.
Was she already mentally ill to think the way she was being treated was normal behaviour? What type of person allows themselves to become this manipulated to a point where they might die?? There is nothing she asked of him in trade for her bizarre devotion. Most relationships are about some sort of compromise, he did nothing for the woman, he simply controlled her. His declarations of love rang hollow.
Basically, there was not enough background about the characters to explain their strange behaviour and her blind acceptance of his control masked as 'love'.
While watching films such as this you have to wonder about the directors views towards women. Though, later on, I discovered this was supposedly based on a true story. Hopefully, it was not the directors point of view to show such a weak woman, we hope!
Sure, we are in an age of bizarre standards for both men and women. 'Everyone' wants to look like some celebrity or a super model. Plastic surgery and being extremely thin is now accepted as normal.
The media has bombarded us with unachievable 'standards' of beauty. What we see in the fashion magazines isn't real to begin with...Photoshop, anyone?
Though, this movie doesn't touch upon that aspect of beauty standards. The man didn't seem to have a fashion magazine 'ideal' that he wanted of his lover. He was the sole architect, it was HIS warped ideal he was forcing upon his lover. Perhaps his need to control stemmed from his background as an artisan.
Of course, love had nothing to do with this man's manipulation of that sad, pathetic woman. This movie was not about love. In the male characters warped mind he might have perceived it as 'love', though he was as disturbed as the female character.
Clearly, love was not portrayed from the perspective of two rational, sane human beings.
Remember, we must love and care about ourselves first, before we can truly love someone else. The female character in this film seemed to have nothing but hate for herself. One would suspect, if she allowed her creepy lover to manipulate her to that extent, she wasn't happy with herself to begin with! Manipulation is NOT 'love'.
I found this movie extremely disturbing on so many levels, yet I would recommend it. This movie should be a must-see for young impressionable teenage girls and body obsessed young women who find themselves being manipulated by their boyfriends or husbands..
Clearly, the message here is about the extreme lengths some people go for 'love' and to be desired by another human being. If anyone thinks this movie is about real 'love', they need to get their head examined......and if they themselves are in this sort of relationship, this movie will definitely help you to re-think the meaning 'love' and your partner!