|Ivy says: "My phrase for this movie is:
She Hate It.
"Although Kerry Washington’s performance was good, and there
were lots of good appearances from some of my other favorite indie actresses
I do think that the film was more of a premature baby. Well, babies – since
it was really like a set of conjoined twins. Maybe with more time to
gestate it would’ve ended up being two good films but instead its
just a mess.
"Now I want to go back and see 25TH HOUR,
I bet I would like it now."
Michael says: "I can't really imagine what is
going through the mind of Spike Lee. Nor can I remotely intuit what he's
trying to say with his latest film, SHE HATE ME. There is clearly a lot
of passion behind this film... perhaps a little too much. SHE HATE ME
is two very different stories, that each could have been their own movie,
grafted together in some sort of lengthy essay on morality. Spike whips
himself into such a frenzy that he completely loses control of his film
and ends up with a 138 minute, beautifully shot, well-acted mess.
The film is pretty sloppy, as Lee introduces too many major storylines.
Editing is shoddy and the screenplay is stiff and filled with errors.SHE
HATE ME is also potentially offensive, as Lee plays around, as he often
does, with stereotypes and expectations. Again, I have no idea where
Lee is coming from or what he's trying to say, but I tried to view SHE
HATE ME as the satire it was meant to be... but it got so sincerely earnest
at various points that it became difficult.
It seems that the disparate stories are all revolving around morality.
Jack Armstrong (Anthony Mackie) blows the whistle on corrupt practices
in the pharmaceutical company where he is a vice-president, and the company's
slimy president (played by Woody Harrelson) uses his influence to pin
the blame on Armstrong. With his assets and savings frozen by the SEC,
Armstrong reluctantly agrees to a money-making scheme proposed by an
ex-girlfriend Fatima (Kerry Washington). For $10,000, Fatima asks Jack
to impregnate her and her girlfriend Alex. Eventually, a stream of lesbians
pay Jack to get them pregnant. One of those women is Simona (Monica Bellucci)
the daughter of a mafia boss (John Turturro) whose family possesses a
morality all their own.
While questioning the morality of certain acts is dubious or narrow-minded,
not to mention pretty judgemental, Lee really loses control as his film
nears completion. His ending, particularly to the Jack/Fatima/Alex triangle
is rather confounding. And the film is overlong, with many sequences
repeated, both told, and then shown, something that grew tiresom.
But somehow, I enjoyed SHE HATE ME more than I should have. I enjoyed
seeing our pal Kerry Washington in a starring role, and her performance
was terrific, even with her difficult character. Ellen Barkin was strong
in a small supporting role. Lead Anthony Mackie (also featured in THE
MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE in theatres now) is an appealing leading man. Given
the proper choices, he could rival Denzel Washington as one of Hollywood's
few African-American leading men. And the posse of lesbians featured
lots of intriguing and beautiful actresses who were fun to watch. Cinemtography
by Chlotrudis-winner Matthew Libatique (PI, REQUIEM
FOR A DREAM) was
clean and interesting. It's too bad the screenplay and director couldn't
have done a better job. 2 1/2 cats."