Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I had a halfday today and went to the movies. I saw a film called Hard Candy.
It starts with two people chatting online, all you see is the computer screen and the conversation. We quickly realise it's between a man and a young girl. It turns out that the man is in his thirties and the girl is fourteen. They have been chatting this way for three weeks and now they are flirting back and forth until it makes you wanna puke. The girl suggests that the man meet him at a local diner. What! Are they idiots?! Is she an idiot? She's fourteen, she's allowed to be an idiot, but this guy is thirty-something, he's not allowed to be that much of an idiot.
Oh well, naturally nothing good is gonna come of this misguided tryst...
They meet up and he (Jeff) is impressed by how smart she (Hayley) is. She's really smart for a fourteen-year-old! That makes it OK, right? They get along well, and before you know it she wants to go back to his place. Sure, why not?
We learn that Jeff is a successful fashion photographer. He has a new Mini and Hayley thinks it's really cool. Haw! These young chicks are easily impressed eh?
Back at Jeff's trendy mountainside pad (looks like the Hollywood hills) they get stuck into the vodka but when Jeff offers Hayley one she says 'Wait a minute! I was warned not to take drinks that I didn't see mixed!' 'Smart girl!' he says. 'We'll pour this one out and you can come and watch me make another.' See! He's a good guy really. Plus he's too young and handsome-looking to be a baddie. He doesn't have a pot belly and a big greasy combover like those real nasty men.
I should probably quit with the plot revelations about here since I don't want to fart out any spoilers, so I'll just make some spoiler-free comments and observations:
Hayley looks like Australian popsinger Missy Higgins.
Jeff looks like Kevin Bacon. (The casting agent probably tried to get Kevin Bacon but he probably said 'Look dude, I already played a nasty kiddie-goosing man in The Woodsman. Count me out.')
The movie is based on reports of Japanese schoolgirls luring pedophiles into traps where they attack them.
Maybe it's just because I'm a guy and a 'potential rapist' (hello Andrea Dworkin!) but for the entire movie I was convinced that Jeff wasn't such a bad guy at all, that it was Hayley who was the monster. For any thirty-something guy considering messing around with teen girls, this movie is the perfect antidote to such folly.
The movie is intense, and there's no way you will walk out and go "ho-hum", or "whatever". You will talk your head off to your friends about it, and if you walk out of the cinema alone you will collar people in the street and begin tormenting them with your theories. Hard Candy will probably end up being the most talked-about movie of the year. ("Woah! What a bold statement! He sounds like a real movie reviewer!") It's an uncomfortable movie to sit through too, especially for men with testicles.
I would say don't miss this one. It's no walk in the park, that's for sure. It's no picnic, to continue the analogy. It's not a Farrelly brothers movie, there's no doubt about it. But I watched Anatomy For Beginners Pt 2. last night, with Gunther von Hagens chopping up a real human body, so after that it was like Play School. Ugh!
One final word! There's a big revelation right near the end so pay attention.