The Hours: a three word review

The Hours: a three word review

By Tom Chick, with apologies to my friend Coby, from whom I plagiarized this review

Shoot me now.


Two words, stolen from Fitzgerald who used these same words to review an early draft of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises:

Elephantine pretentiousness.

You liked FEAR AND LOATHING but you hated THE HOURS?? Come on, Tom! Okay, so Ed Harris was waaay over the top. And okay, the bit with Meryl Streep was a bit talky and boring…and Jeff Daniels’ performance was too gay for even QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY but I thought this movie was kinda cool. I dug the back and forth cutting between the time periods (and that should’ve reminded you of the first scenes of MAGNOLIA) and I dug Nicole Kidman’s manic-depressive performance and I dug Julianne Moore’s lesbian fifties housewife bit. One thing, though. John C. Reilly as the “boring” husband…it must be really shitty to be married to this guy when you consider this movie and CHICAGO. People are killing themselves and killing other people just to get away from this guy. Okay, back to the post. Come on, Tom. Lighten up. And it’s “character-driven” - a favorite tag-line of yours. So, let’s recap. (1) MAGNOLIA elements like cross-cutting, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore; (2) character-driven. Where did this movie go wrong for you? Or did you turn it off halfway through like you usually do?

Augh, it’s one of the AITC-movie-name-capitalizer people! Augh!

Sorry. You don’t want me to. I won’t.

At least the spelling is right and there’s no organic analogies of any kind ;)

The only way for Julianne Moore to be happy is to leave her husband and her child and take off on her own? Selfishness is the root of all happiness I guess.

No… the only way for her to not kill herself is to leave her family.

Yes it’s selfish - she admits that at the end - but she also says it’s what she had to do to survive. Therapy wasn’t seen as very okay in the 50s…

I enjoyed the movie. Not an upper - but I thought it was done very well.

Self-absorption was practically heroic in this flick. Each of the female protagonists was so deeply entrenched in their private little miseries that they couldn’t bother to notice that those shadows lurking on their peripherial vision were actually real people. I wouldn’t have had a problem with this if the filmmaker weren’t trying so damn hard to get us to like these despicable characters.

When I say “female protagonist,” I also include the gay men who appeared to be inserted to state that to have feminine qualities is to suffer a silent pain. It’s too bad none of them took a peek outside of their myopic misery to notice that other people are affected by their actions.

The prevelance of homosexuality is also a nod to narcissism as a sort of Freudian self-love that can’t see past the mirror.

A great triumph for feminism, trumped only by the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

I saw this movie on an airplane.

It was better than the other offerings, “Welcome to Collinwood” and “Like Mike”.

I would have liked the film outright, though, if that one “50s housewifes commiserating” scene segued into hot lesbian sex.

Yeah, don’t let Brian Koontz see any of that nonsense. I’m sure he would employ it as a TOOL of much SIGNIFICANCE in his writing.

I loved it. One of my favourite movies.
A good story about characters who endure (or in some cases, don’t) in a society that isn’t fit for them. Especially then the story about Laura Brown (Moore) and Virginia (Kidman). And while I personally wouldn’t exactly agree with many of their actions (except Laura’s, especially not Richard’s (Harris)) the concept of one having to do what it is they truly want and need is a good one, to me. As such I find Laura’s story to be the most triumphant, as she manages to escape the trap society is to her without ending it all.
Stunning acting, especially from Kidman, I thought.

The music… fitted (by not fitting).

A+++ Would see again (and have seen, 3-4 times)

I was just hoping they would all kill themselves so I could go home (it was a date movie).

And don’t forget The Good Girl where John C. Reilly plays another husband that the protagonist will do almost anything to get away from. I wanted to slit my wrists after that one (another date movie).

I’m off to see the Ghost in the Shell and Metropolis (the anime version, not the silent one) double feature tonight. Guess what? Yup, the girlfriend wouldn’t be caught dead going to my geek movies.

And you know what? I’m going to sit there reading my Knights of the Dinner Table collection between the movies. Welcome to geek heaven!

The Hours was so good. I really really enjoyed the movie very much. I didn’t recognize Nicole Kidman until after the movie when the credits rolled. :)

I thought the two husbands should get some credit for their performances as well.

As I said in another thread, I recognize that the movie has an agenda to push, but I don’t think it detracted from the movie.

I beg your pardon? I am physically incapable of not watching an entire movie, constantly lured forward by the promise that it Might Get Better.

Jack pretty much summed up my problem with The Hours, which I found maudlin and heavy-handed. Could we possibly get more scenes of women breaking eggs? And can the camera make sure to insert tight close-ups of the eggs breaking for the slow-witted people in the audience?

In the end, it seemed like a chick movie that threw in a lesbian kiss among all its pairings just to titillate the guys. My favorite kiss was Toni Colette and Julianne Moore, by far, with Nicole “Putty-Nose” Kidman and Miranda Richardson a close second, and Meryl Streep and Allison Janney a distant third.

(Spoiler, kind of) – The movie’s emotional impact was muted for me because its characters’ were so self-absorbed. So when Ed Harris flings himself from a window in front of the woman who loves him, I remember thinking only, “Jeeze, what a total asshole thing to do! Jerk!” I don’t think that was the effect the filmmakers were going for.

But as a few of you noted, Putty Nose’s performance was great.


No, this is direct quote from Daffy Duck.

No, this is direct quote from Daffy Duck.

Daffy Duck didn’t like The Hours either?


He did say, “Shoot me now.”

Even if escaping means not taking responsibility for your actions? Who hasn’t wanted to do something to escape? I’d love to rob a bank, take millions and sit around playing KOTOR for the rest of my life. I don’t see what is triumphant about that, she took the easy way out. All of us have difficult problems, is the answer to leave behind anything that might be hard?

Sadly, that seems to be the way most people feel. If its hard, don’t do it. If you screw up, never accept responsibility for your fault. If bad shit happens to you, stand up and start screaming “The world owes ME a handout!”