We've all seen movies with good scripts. And movies with bad scripts.
But have you ever seen a movie with NO script?That's what Showtime's "Chantilly Lace," which premieres Sunday at 6 p.m., is.
A movie with no script.
Seven actresses - Lindsay Crouse, Jill Eikenberry, Martha Plimpton, Ally Sheedy, Talia Shire, Helen Slater and JoBeth Williams - all gathered up Provo Canyon at Sundance to make this movie last year. Each actress developed her own character, and, after being given the basic plot outline, came up with her own dialogue.
It's an intriguing idea. But the end result ranges from weepy soap opera to pretentious political correctness.
And, unlike a movie with a script, these actresses basically have no one to blame but themselves.
Well, there is some blame to spread around. The plot follows these three women who gather at a (Colorado, not Utah) cabin three times - for a birthday party, a wedding shower and a death. Pretty predictable right off the bat.
And some of the performances and dialogue are downright embarrassing. Shire - who plays a nun - should be ashamed to show her face after an incredibly tasteless monologue about how she has intimate relations with - well, deity.
Less tacky but even more in the scenery-chewing vein is a remarkable outburst by Crouse involving a snake she intends as a birthday present.
And Williams' character has a meaningless sexual encounter with the pizza delivery man, whose face is never shown. (Apparently meant to prove that women have achieved equality with men - they can now use men as sex objects.)
Surprise, surprise, there's also a big revelation about lesbianism here.
Four-letter words abound - this is worse than any men's locker room. Some of the situations seem right out of daytime soaps.
Amidst all this profanity is an abundence of touchy-feely emoting. And the finale is so weepy and maudlin it borders on the ludicrous.
It's entirely possible here that my reaction is based on the fact that I'm not a woman. But I have a difficult time imagining that, unless one is a Hollywood actress, it's normal behavior to be a gutter-mouthed tramp.
These seven actresses may be under the impression that they've made some sort of statement with "Chantilly Lace," but it's not the sort of statement they have any right to be proud of.