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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-03-19 - 8:51 p.m.

Well, my big news of the weekend is that I stumped Guess the Sit-Com Character twice (Amanda and Bernie) and started learning a beautiful Iberian romance language, in part so I can understand and pronounce the lyrics of my new favorite songwriters.

Also saw Where the Truth Lies, a picture that intrigued and infuriated me in equal measure. I've never seen an Atom Egoyan film before, so maybe it's a matter of getting used to his style, which, at least here, could be decribed as faux film noir.

The story is complicated and twisty, not just plot-wise but emotionally, and I like that it credits its audience with enough smarts to follow along. I also appreciate that seemingly minor characters are fleshed out and given depth even when it doesn't necessarily serve the plot.

What I found myself resisting was, firstly, Alison Lohman's performance. I've enjoyed previous performances by her, so maybe she is just miscast here, but she is so monotone and awkward and unconvincing as the driven journalist. Her teeny-tiny voice, projecting seemingly from her throat and not her gut, is a constant irritant.

Then there's the fact that the two main characters are a Martin-and-Lewis type comedy duo who are painfully unfunny in all of their scenes.

The movie is based in both the 1950s and the '70s, and the scenes set in the '70s seem way off base in terms of fashion, hair, tone, and that always bugs me.

And I think I can officially declare now that I can't stand Kevin Bacon. I'm sure he's a stand-up guy, but he creeps me out no matter what role he's in, and in this role I believe we are required to sympathize with him at least a little, and it's hard to do that when you're praying that you won't be having Kevin Bacon-is-under-the-bed nightmares for the next week.

And yet, and yet! I still really enjoyed watching this relentlessly grim melodrama, go figure.

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