She’s So Lovely

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Directed by Nick Cassavetes and written by his late father John Cassavetes, a pioneer in the independent film sector, She’s So Lovely tells the story that makes us wonder just how strong love really is.

“Would you continue to love your partner if they were a homicidal maniac that’s been locked up in solitary confinement for 10 years” is how Nick approached this question. This film is part melodrama and in many ways a black romantic comedy, because we can see how love does indeed make fools of us all. It makes us “rock the boat.”

The Plot

  • Like so many of Cassavetes’ films, we have a woman named Maureen, the eccentric and hard nosed lover of Eddie (Sean Penn), a personality equal to that of Maureen Robin Wright Penn), who hasn’t come home in three days.
  • When her neighbor Kiefer (James Gandolfini) invites her in for a drink to calm her down, he gets to drunk and sexually assaults her. Eddie shows up a day later, but he isn’t told the truth.
  • A couple more and Maureen tells Eddie what happened.  He brutally beats Kiefer, goes and gets drunk at a bar because Maureen didn’t tell him the truth from the beginning and accidentally shoots an emergency response member in a drunken tirade.
  • After spending 10 years in solitary confinement, Eddie is released and is told that Maureen is married to man named Joey (John Travolta) and has two children with him, but also has a child from her’s and Eddie’s past.
  • Eddie arrives at Maureen’s, giving her an ultimatum to come back to her or stay.

What I Liked 

  • The film attempted to keep the spirit of a true Cassavetes feature that shows us that all families are dysfunctional, and most times irrational. Why? Because we’re human beings. Irrationalism is the centerpiece of why we make decisions, be it for ourselves or loved ones.
  • The casting was every underrated. This is a film that casted a handful of actors who are viewed as borderline insane for their craft and the characters they played. Watching them all gel together was humorous, but in a good way.
  • I also like how the movie was reference in an episode of Entourage.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The film seemed to lack a real resolution. Yes, in the ending we have a decision, only after a bizarre 40 minutes of her contemplating her indecisiveness.
  • The film felt too fast paced. Cassavetes’ films would span hours because he wanted to show real human emotion go up and down. Here, it’s too fast to really empathize with any one chacter.

Should You See It?

  • This is not a movie for everyone. Most of you will probably shut it off within 4o minutes, despite it only being about an hour and a half. If you enjoy watching whacked out characters and nonsensical romance that still makes more sense than romance movies today, then check it out.
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