I think it’s pretty apparent that I have a penchant for crappy TV and movies. I enjoy trite plot lines and overacting. That’s not to say that I don’t love great cinema, or that I don’t have a discerning eye or great taste or anything – because I do have/do all those things, but I enjoy some crap every now and again. Just like I like to eat McDonald’s or KFC or Taco Bell. Sure, I feel pretty bad about myself afterward, but it was kind of worth it, too. I might be wallowing in a greasy ball of shame, but it is a delicious greasy ball of shame.
There are certain movies that whenever they are on TV, I watch them. A League of Their Own is one of those movies. But I’m not going to talk about that movie (or PCU, or The Fifth Element), though I will likely tell you all about the finer points of all those movies in the future. Tonight I’m going to say a few words on The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston (pre-coked-up hot mess madness) and Kevin (I Have No Facial Expressions) Costner.
I will say one thing. They both do OK in this movie, because neither of them are acting. Kevin Costner is the same guy he was in, say, Dances with Wolves, or even A Perfect World (which I actually love). He’s expressionless, gruff, reticent…you know, Costner-ish. Whitney Houston is an absolute vision – she’s beautiful, she has an undeniably gorgeous voice, and her performance is not laughable, even though it’s not very believable during the actual acting parts (ie her interaction with other actors). All in all it’s not bad. For a first movie, it’s actually pretty OK.
My main beef is with Michele Lamar Richards, who plays Whitney’s jealous and (spoiler alert!) murder-conspiring sister. She’s only done a handful of films (one was a vehicle for MC Lyte – just imagine) and a LOT of TV. I’ve not seen any of that, so I can’t pass judgment on her as an actor in THOSE things. But in The Bodyguard she’s just awful. She alternates between looking terrified and looking drunk (BESIDES the scene where she actually is supposed to be drunk) and then in her pivotal scene where she IS drunk and she’s telling all about how she hired someone to kill her sister she looks like she’s going to sneeze the whole time. Then she gets killed, so there is no chance of her acting her way back out of that.
Backing up though, there is that scene where Kevin Costner and his dad are walking around outside and the sister’s out on the porch singing “Jesus Loves Me” and I’m sitting here thinking WHO DOES THAT? Who goes out to some stranger’s cabin in the middle of the damn woods when you’ve hired someone to KILL your SISTER and sings “Jesus Loves Me” in a self-conscious way. Plus, isn’t hard to sing in the cold? Don’t your vocal cords get all cold and stuff? Inquiring minds want to know.
And another thing. It’s just a leetle too convenient that the hired killer turns out to be Kevin Costner’s character’s old partner or coworker or whatever. We meet him earlier in the movie and Whitney Houston makes out with him a little and he’s all pushy and stuff.
Wait a minute. Is that how it ends? I said I always watch it when it’s on TV, but that doesn’t mean I usually finish it. Being self righteously critical is exhausting, you know?
So, recap. Shoulder pads, inappropriate singing, silver pop helmets, murderous sisters. Sorry I didn’t get to the shoulder pads or the silver pop helmet. Always leave ’em wanting more, my grandma always says.