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I’m sorry because I don’t like to get out the whip when there’s no need, but this is what I wrote last September after seeing Bruce Beresford‘s Love, Peace and Misunderstanding (IFCFllms, 6.8) at the Toronto Film Festival:

“If you’ve ever been stuck in some hippy-dippy atmosphere or environment that you couldn’t escape from…if you’ve ever been more or less forced to spend time with graying, balding, pot-bellied, granola-slurping doobie-tokers…a prisoner of smiling people dressed in Mexican peasant shirts and sandals and beads and easy-fit jeans who won’t stop speaking in ’60s psycho-babble platitudes…if you’ve ever had to suffer this way, as I have once or twice over within the past 15 or 20 years, then Bruce Beresford‘s Love, Peace and Misunderstanding will bring it all back home.

“It’s pretty close to excruciating. How could the director of Breaker Morant and Tender Mercies make something like this? How could Jane Fonda, so bright and brilliant and transporting in B’way’s 33 Variations, give such an oppressively banal, cliche-spouting performance as an aging hippie grandma?

“The script is by Christina Mengert and Joseph Muszynski, and if I was an actor those names alone would scare me off.

“The only actor who comes through unscathed is Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays a local carpenter-musician who falls for Fonda’s uptight daughter, played by Catherine Keener. Morgan brings his own alpha force field to the game. It’s not that Elizabeth Olsen and Chace Crawford, who play Keener’s children, are painful to watch but they give off a vibe of feeling vaguely trapped, which is how I more or less felt as I watched it.

“I talked to the son of a critic friend as I left, and he said ‘that might be the worst film I’ve ever seen.'”

  • Gaydos

    Far be it from me to call someone “Square,” but Jeff, you didn’t notice that your ticket to this film contained a hit of windowpane acid?

    Everyone else ingested theirs and had a blast watching this film…over and over for the next 17 hours. Until they all stripped off their clothes and jumped into the surf.

    PS: Wavy Gravy called and said he’s NOT going to give you your cowboy hat back because a family of starlings has nested in it and Terry Malick is headed up to Wavy’s to film them.

    Johnny Depp is tipped to star and…I CAN CATCH MY HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • George Prager

    Ira Parks says…

    Gaydos says…

    As Nick Lowe wrote so many years ago:

    As i walk through
    This wicked world
    Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity.

    I ask myself
    Is all hope lost?
    Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

    And each time i feel like this inside,
    There’s one thing i wanna know:
    What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
    What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

    And as i walked on
    Through troubled times
    My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
    So where are the strong
    And who are the trusted?
    And where is the harmony?
    Sweet harmony.

    ’cause each time i feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry.
    What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
    What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

    So where are the strong?
    And who are the trusted?
    And where is the harmony?
    Sweet harmony.

    ’cause each time i feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry.
    What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
    What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
    What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

    Sorry guys, it wasn’t Elvis Costello or Curtis Stigers.

  • Ira Parks

    Prager for the win. I’m still working on my Gaydos impression, this is more what I should’ve been shooting for.

  • George Prager

    DeeZee says…

    This is going to bomb for Bruce anyway, since audiences still haven’t forgiven him for Evelyn.

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  • Gaydos

    Ira Parks says:

    George Prager says:

    Gaydos says:

    What does it say about our time on earth that the best song Elvis Costello ever wrote was written by Nick Lowe?

    Ira and George both say: I don’t know. What do YOU think diddy wah diddy means?

  • DiscoNap

    Songs better than (the great) Peace Love & Unverstanding: (Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes, Little Triggers, half of the stuff on Imperial Bedroom (his underrated best).

    Songs by Nick Lowe that are still better: I Love the Sound of Broken Glass.

    P.S. This movie looks horrid. This whole part of the world should probably be cleared out now that Levon is dead.

  • Gaydos

    What does it say that Sam Arkoff did a better job at covering hippie culture than 2012 American cinema?

    Can’t anyone here play this game?

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