Paleo Retiree writes:
I bought the DVD of this 2009 movie because Gretchen Mol is in it. It turns out to be a small historical suspense fantasia, set in 1963 in Georgetown, about a teenage boy from an uptight family who lives across the street from one of JFK’s mistresses. Smitten by her beauty and intoxicated by her boho ways, he starts shunning school and lying to his parents in order to sneak his way into her life. Bit by bit, he manages to lose his innocence, if not in the way he was hoping to.
Sorry to report that I found the film unexciting and uninvolving, even dreary. It’s made in a style so pedestrian that the fiction never begins to gel, let alone take off. The CIA and Dallas make entirely expected appearances, and in entirely expected ways. Plus I was disappointed that the filmmakers were as eager as they were to draw the so-expected-as-to-seem-inevitable parallels between what the boy goes through and what the country generally was supposedly going through. A few lashings of whimsy and/or perversity would have done a lot to de-dull the film.
All that said, I’m always happy to have an excuse to watch the delectable and talented Gretchen Mol, who combines a lot of classy beauty and performing flair with a reckless commitment to her characters. She never fails to fascinate me. Here, she’s ungallantly photographed — her beautiful flesh looks blotchy and raw most of the time. It isn’t dramatically inappropriate, but it still seems a shame. Despite the film’s shortcomings she makes a wonderfully luscious sacrificial lamb.
- The good true-crime TV series “Hardcover Mysteries” has an episode about the 1964 murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, the real-life artist and JFK-mistress who Gretchen Mol’s character is based on. It’s a dizzying, almost Ross Thomas-worthy peek into the way our elites once worked, and to some extent may still work. The Wife and I caught the episode on Netflix Instant.