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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Friday, June 08, 2007

It's In The Water

And Also: Things go along nicely, and then the team needs late inning heroics to win a series versus a bad team, loses another with help of injuries and are swept because they can't hit or the bullpen ruins three good outings. Such is why a Mets fan cannot totally be comfortable and/or aggravation is just there for the taking.

It is a well known joke among NYC actors that a stone's throw will hit someone who guest starred on Law & Order, as any look at a Playbill will tell you. A look at the c.v. of the leads in It's In The Water suggests something of a SW take on that ... they both guest starred on Walker, Texas Ranger. In fact, the IMDB listings for the two female leads are pretty thin. A bit sad, surely for Keri Jo Chapman, who was quite good. She surely has something here -- she's her own person, and has her own style. Chapman took her chance for a starring role, even if in a little known (overall) indie, and ran with it.

Charming indie at that. I first saw it a few months back, one loses track, everything seems to be "a few months back" when I speak about movies and such here, huh? Anyway, it was on some movie channel, and it was one of those nice surprises that those sorts of things (or the video store) sometimes gives you. A mid-1990s movie (the Bush bumper sticker being for his governor days, it taking place in a small Texan town ... like Waitress, we have a pie restaurant*) with the DVD commentary (two women leads plus the writer/director) done before the 2000 elections. Good enough that I picked up a copy to listen to that commentary and watch the film again.

Both supplied benefits. The three women provided a smooth commentary, nothing too deep, but pleasant enough with some interesting tidbits. The movie itself centers on two locals, one of each sex, who are in some fashion hiding their sexuality, in one case apparently from herself. It is a pretty busy film -- the title referring to a rumor that the local water made people gay, while other tidbits include a dying local decorator, a too precious narrow minded sort who thinks a bit too much about her new breasts, and even the perils of yellow journalism for profit.

The water conceit doesn't really work, but enough subplots and character do that it comes over fairly well. In fact, it supplies another to warrant at least one more viewing, the commentary helping one out by pointing to stuff that I missed the first time around. For instance, some of the expressions of the Grace Miller character (Keri Jo's love interest) are great, including what she does with her tongue when she is nervous. And, like they said, I too missed the final joke at the very end. Ditto some odds and ends, including some character tidbits.

In fact, there are quite a few precious expressions here -- perhaps, a bit of overacting, but still great fun -- Nancy Chartier (Sloan/breasts) having some of the best. Ironically, from a character who was no fan of an AIDS hospice opening up in town, NC has a major role in a recent indie that takes place at just such a place! I don't know how the movie is, only knowing of it from the IMDB listing ... NC also has spent time over the last few years providing acting tutorials. She did do a great job here ... not that easy to play such an over the top character!

It dropped off a bit toward the end, the first hour the best part, but overall I enjoyed it. Good use of an ensemble cast, small town locations and a somewhat rare (both sexes have their own subplot) equal opportunity plot. The use of the cast is perhaps particularly impressive, underlining the value of good performances by people you might vaguely recognize, but at the end of the day truly make or break many a scene or even movie. Overall, it is a nice satire of small town values with some humor and touching moments ... pretty good chemistry too.

For those with access, btw, clips can be found on You Tube.** The theme song, written particularly for the movie, also is quite good. This take from someone likely to be among the targeted demographic provides a pretty on point analysis as well.

* We have bakeries and bagel shops, but no places with seats and such that centers on the selling of pies, the bakeries for pick-up generally.

** The DVD has a track that plays the theme song along with stills from the movie, a sort of low rent music video approach favored by many amateur Youtube sorts, who are pretty creative when doing so. No closed captioning though ... a bit annoying, since I couldn't catch a line or two, and CC is great for that sort of thing.