This is an update of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" that changes the genders of the main characters. Hannah Higgins attempts to turn blue-collar Boston beer vendor Elliot Doolittle into ...
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This is an update of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" that changes the genders of the main characters. Hannah Higgins attempts to turn blue-collar Boston beer vendor Elliot Doolittle into a viable candidate and inadvertently learns something of Elliot's side of life.Written by
The classic rock and roll song Dirty Water which plays during the bowling scene and at the end is the original 1966 version by the Standells. The lyrics include references to the pollution of the Charles River and Boston Harbor. See more »
In the last scene Hannah parks her car right in front of Elliot's front door and walks around the car to get to the door. When she comes out again she walks about eight paces uphill to get to her car. See more »
Honestly I don't know how this movie could be on Hallmark except that the 'charm' was of that caliber. I will say that this movie is hardly a romance except for the last 30 seconds where the two main characters kiss. There is ZERO chemistry or romance buildup or flirting in the entire movie.
Near the beginning of the movie there was some hint at maybe there being some remote chance of a romance story line with the male lead getting a makeover from beer man neanderthal with a speech impediment - to a handsome suave man.
None of the romance storyline really developed but there were contrived hints along the line of "you need to tell him how you feel" nonsense that felt so out of place.
Elliot was a very likable guy, somewhat lower class blue collar fellow from Bah-stun. The 'makeover' context was more about his speech and mannerisms from beer vendor to politician.
Julia Stiles' character, however, was the prototypical narcissist. Perfectionist 'linguist' that feels the need to correct everybody who is the slightest bit 'unrefined'. Unfortunately, even with my wholehearted attempt at suspending judgment of her character, she was just not a likable person. She never showed any redeeming qualities, no growth, no kindness. For someone who is altruistic enough to pioneer experimental educational techniques for special needs children, she was the prototypical hag. There were several points where she was in a position to apologize and never remotely did, always blaming something else.
It would have been nice to see some sort of emotion out of her, maybe a moment of vulnerability. But there was none. And that's honestly all I needed to like her, but it failed miserably. She was beyond a doubt the ultimate narcissist, and put forth unredeemable abuse onto Elliot for his lack of 'refinedness'. And he kept overlooking how she was just a total witch. There really is no other way to put it. It's abuse, and just because the main character is a woman, doesn't mean her horrid behavior is ignorable.
All it would have taken was a moment of vulnerability, but the writers somehow just pushed things forward and patched the conflict with trivial dialogue. It made no sense. Stiles' character insulted Elliot several times, with bitter cruelty, and somehow he didn't have the sense to cut her out of his life. The whole thing was totally unrealistic and the writers seemed to try to get us to want to like Stiles' character although that was never remotely accomplished.
The storyline is cheezy, and the idealization of politics (actually changing something good) is far fetched (not realistic with how corporate-focused politicians are), but that is not the point. I would have enjoyed the film better if Elliot with his likability had the chance to teach Stiles' character something about being human or being a decent person. But the film cut out too quickly and somehow got a moment to sneak a kiss in which I found far contrived.
I did, however, get some insight into how women can be in politics, that it takes a certain amount of emotional detachment and need to control, perhaps a hint of narcissism. It takes a certain absence of moral and emotional character to be in politics. It's a bit expected of men, in our society, but for women to be into politics (and not all soft- hearted), it seems to require a certain self-centered focus that narcissism provides. In that sense, Stiles played the role of would-be female politician well. I can somewhat understand how someone like Hillary Clinton could want to be in politics, what kind of person she is underneath (really not a good person), and how a politician's wife can overlook "intern sex" scandals. Because there's a bigger agenda overall, that morality, family, etc are trivial in comparison. Julia Stiles' character was thankfully a morally ground politician (how few they are) and cared about real issues (education, crime, etc). But that didn't mean she was likable as a person or worthy of romance from the other main character.
Julia Stiles playing a prototypical narcissist is honestly something that is going to be hard to shake from my memory. It's going to distort any further movies I see with her in it, unfortunately.
5 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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