So I came home tonight and my roommate was already drinking. She never drinks more than me — I am known for being the lush in the household. In fact, it has been proven that I shouldn’t drink in public, because when I do to the point of needing a designated driver, they always get pulled over. I am bad luck drunk. True story.
What was I saying? Oh right. So the roommate was inebriated and we both wanted to watch something, but nothing on Jeremy the TiVo intrigued, and we watched a couple of episodes of Supernatural and got bored with that.
Roommate: What’d you decide?
Alaina: Uh … I haven’t. Ooo, let’s play Netflix Recommendations. That’s always fun!
Roommate: Especially since we’re basically sharing an account and you and I watch different things.
Alaina: Ooo, Phineas and Ferb!
So we watched about four seconds of Phineas and Ferb, agreed that Perry the Platypus is best, but we really need to be drunker to watch it, and went through all the new releases, until finally …
Alaina: New game! Netflix Roulette!
Roommate: And how do you play that?
Alaina: I’ll hit ‘Search,’ close my eyes, hit random letters, and whatever shows up, we watch.
Here’s where we end up:
In the last days of Communist Romania, college student Gabita wants to end her unplanned pregnancy. With help from best friend and fellow student Otilia, Gabita seeks an abortion — which is illegal under the oppressive Ceausescu regime.
Alaina: Well … now we have to watch it.
Note from the Future: Uh, I should disclaim this movie. There is some serious subject matter all up in here, and while I’ve now watched the entire movie and writing this paragraph before writing the grade paragraph, I’m realizing now that maybe this isn’t the best movie I should be watching. Or, at least, blogging about. Abortion is a provocative subject at all times, not just now, and not just because I’m watching a movie about it. So please, to those who may have abortion sensitivities: I am talking about the movie and not about the political issues. I am talking about the choices the director and the writer of this film made in order to progress the story along. Please let it be known that I do not want to discuss the political and/or health issues raised herein in any way, shape or form. I am here to make fun of this movie, not the subject matter. I am here to belittle the writing choices, not any choices the inspirations for these characters may have made twenty years ago (the movie takes place in Communist 1987). I am hoping that my drunken rants amuse you, the reader, and that they do not offend because I do not want to talk about politics.
So. Caveat Lector. If you feel the need to comment about the subject matter of this film and try to get me to talk about Abortion: The Issue, please note I will react in one of two ways: 1) I will ignore your comment(s), or 2) I will post the most inane That’s What She Said jokes in response to your comments in order to annoy you the most and get you to stop. This blog is for movies, not politics, and that is all I am going to say on the matter.
Thus ends the Note From the Future.
The first ten minutes was all subtitled, and why are they taking the tablecloth off the table, and she’s — is she making meth? (Roommate: “She’d better be making meth.”) No wait, she’s heating up wax because she’s waxing her legs? And then the blonde roommate is going into the showers to ask for money for Kent cigarettes, and all I can think is, is this movie taking place in a Women’s Romanian Prison?
Roommate: It’s too nice for Romanian prison.
Alaina: Romanian Minimum Security Prison?
The friend meets her boyfriend and pretty much says “no, honey, I can’t go to your mom’s birthday party. Oh, she’s making a meringue pie for me? That’s nice, but no, really, I can’t go. I can’t tell you, I just have to do this, because … because I have to! Hey, do you have any cigarettes? I just scored some Marlboros off this dude in my hall, but I really want some Kants.”
Alaina: Why did I just turn the TV up? The movie’s fucking subtitled. Turning it up isn’t going to make this movie any easier to understand.
The blonde friend goes to a hotel room and gets the hotel room for three days, and then meets the dude who is going to give her friend the abortion, and they all meet in the hotel room and discuss terms.
Roommate: This is the weirdest fucking movie ever. What’s it called, “Four Guys, Three Girls, Two Abortions?”
Alaina: Uh, that’s what we’re calling it now. It’s like Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. Only the Pizza Place is an abortion clinic.
Roommate: Not even – a skanky Romanian hotel room.
Alaina: Is the guy even a doctor?
Roommate: I don’t think so.
Our suspicions were confirmed when, instead of money, he requests sex from the non-pregnant friend as payment.
Alaina: Hey, uh, so, just so you know … you know I’ll do a lot of things for my friends…
Roommate: Yeah, but I’m not fucking some dude who may or may not be a doctor so you can have an abortion.
Alaina: Oh good, we’re both on the same page with that one.
And then, after fucking the not-doctor so her friend can get an abortion, she leaves her friend as she’s whatevering in the hotel room to go to her boyfriend’s mother’s birthday party. There’s some discussion between the friends about why did the pregnant one choose this not-doctor over another not-doctor, and apparently the friend had thought, and that was a bad idea or something? Anyway, her friend leaves the pregnant one in the hotel with a tube coming out of her whatever and heads across town.
There’s this super awkward family dinner party where there’s toasting and clearly, the friend just wants to get back to the friend in the hotel but she can’t, and seriously, how is this movie still going?
Alaina: It’s filmed in real time.
So we did a bad thing: we fast-forwarded a little bit. The awkward family dinner party was going on FOREVER and we were falling asleep on our couches. There was a fun part where, while fast-forwarding, we read aloud the random lines of dialogue that showed up. It’s like, “She put potatoes in the polenta!” “Do you know who I met at Easter last weekend?” “Do you know why priests are so busy? Confessions!” (That last one was real.)
And now she’s arguing with her boyfriend about what would happen if she got pregnant. Not that she is, but what happens if she did get pregnant? Would he pay for an abortion? Would he marry her? It’s the old “Why are you mad at me for how you would react in a situation we haven’t experienced” problem.
So the not-pregnant friend is trying to call the friend back at the hotel room and there’s no answer. So she’s ditched the douchbag boyfriend’s house and heading back to the hotel on foot in the dark … what? Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t do that in Portland, and you’re doing it in fucking Communist Romania?
While she returns to her friend, let me just take a moment and note that this movie was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, and won the Palme d’Or in Cannes the year it came out. HOW. HOW DID THIS WIN ANYTHING!?
Roommate: Dude, I’ve been asleep for the last fifteen minutes. I’m going to bed.
Alaina: I’m going to power through, because ten bucks says the friend died.
She heads upstairs, bypassing the Communist dicks at the desk who ask to see her ID. She yells at her friend for not answering the phone, and her response is, “I got rid of it. It’s in the bathroom.”
Alaina: The not-doctor told her not to move! Why did she put the phone in the — oh.
Alaina: Oh GOD.
So there’s this shot of the friend staring down at … it …, and the phone rings, and then —
Alaina: AHHHH GROSS
Roommate: Oh, come on, Romania!
Two minutes later…
Alaina: I think the movie would have been more powerful if they hadn’t shown that.
Roommate: I think the movie is still pretty damned fucked up.
Alaina: Oh, no question there.
We quickly fast-forward, because, come on, Romania! And the friend has gathered up the … the thing, and is looking for a rooftop to toss it off of, or a bus to leave it on, or a place to bury it where it won’t get eaten by dogs (there was a section of dialogue the not-doctor said earlier about how to dispose of … it, once it’s been … disposed of, and specifically said to avoid burying it in a place where dogs can dig it up), but all she can find is a dumpster, and she’s about to toss it in the dumpster when DOGS SHOW UP WHAT THE FUCK, ROMANIA?
She finally finds a building with a rubbish chute and disposes of the .. the thing, and then she cries a bit because really, the whole day has just been fucked up from the get-go. She returns to the hotel and pounds on the door to the room, but there’s no answer. The nice concierge tells her that her friend is in the restaurant. The friend asks the friend what the fuck she’s doing in the restaurant because she didn’t know where she was, and the answer is that she was starving.
AND THEN THE MOVIE ENDS WHILE THEY’RE WAITING FOR FOOD. WITH NOTHING ELSE HAPPENING. NO YELLING, OR CONSEQUENCES, AND ABOVE ALL, NO ONE DIES.
COME ON, ROMANIA!
Grade for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days: What the FUCK was THAT!?
And now, to watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Because Marshall having dinner with Harold Lee over Kobe Lobster will get the taste of Romanian fetus out of my mouth.
Oh and PS – tomorrow night we’ll be watching something suggested by my dear friend Sarah: Hobo With a Shotgun. Dear Sarah: if this ends up being like when you told me to read Decadent, I’m going to hurt you.