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Movie Review: Personal Velocity

Story: I really wanted to like this film. It had been hyped as a ground breaking film about women. What can say? The velocity of this film ground to a halt very quickly for me.

Writer, director Rebecca Miller (Arthur Miller's daughter) delivers a celluloid triptych based on her short stories. Each tale depicts a woman on the verge of change (or so it would seem). I found the characters to be stereotypical, hackneyed and very depressing. Depressing because I would have hoped that after thirty-five years of women's liberation my gender's younger writers would be beyond tales like these. The story of a woman in an abusive relationship, a boring marriage or an unexpected pregnancy reduces women to the most obvious of imagery. Blah, blah, blah.

And did I mention that Miller used a narrator throughout all three pieces. The narrator is used for long passages during flashbacks and segues. Ugh!

Acting: Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey and Fairuza Balk are all talented women who did the best that they could do with the material.

Predilection: I like films by and about women when they do not fall into stereotypes or belong on the Lifetime network.

Critters: None. These three gals could have used the affection of a companion animal.

Food: Doughnuts and fried chicken.

Visual Art: Some really bad modern art in the second tale. This was one of the times that I laughed.

Blatant Product Placement: Dunkin' Donuts and Apple Computers.

Soundtrack: Whatever soundtrack there was fell on these deaf ears.

Opening Titles: Simple black font superimposed over a dreamy sequence of a little girl on a swing. I should have been warned by this overused symbol of innocence lost that things were not going to get much better.

Theater Audience: Not crowded at all and one guy left during the third story.

Squirm Scale: I did not squirm but my movie pal squirmed quite a bit at the level of violence.

Predictability Level: Who cared?

Tissue Usage: None.

Oscar Worthy: NO - but apparently Sundance worthy. It won the Grand Jury Prize at last winter's festival. Go figure?

Nit Picking: As you know, I don't like the device of narrators in general, but the use of a male voice in this women's film made me nuts.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. For some interesting Parker Posey films, how about renting: Best in Show, Clockwatchers, Waiting for Guffman, The Daytrippers, Basquiat and Party Girl

Length: 90 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 4 (one for each leading lady and one for director, writer Rebecca Miller who must have had a very hard time growing up as Arthur Miller's daughter).