THE VIRGIN SUICIDES Add To My Top 10

Cliched Caricature

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: April 21, 2000

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, James Woods, Kathleen Turner, & Josh Hartnett

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers & adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 96 minutes

Address Comments To:

Ruth Vitale
Paramount Classics
5555 Melrose Avenue
Chevalier #215
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Phone: (323) 956-2000
Fax: (323) 862-1103

Content:

(AbAb, L; V, S, N, AA, DD, MM) Anti-Christian worldview that sets up a caricature of strict Roman Catholic Christian parents who unintentionally drive their five daughters to suicide; 3 obscenities, 2 strong profanities & 3 mild profanities; after-effects of four suicides, 2 unsuccessfully attempted suicides & 1 possible suicide shown, mostly implied, with some blood but nothing really gory or gruesome; implied fornication & promiscuity, plus reference to touching teenage girl’s private parts; upper male nudity in naturalistic context; alcohol use, underage drinking & drunkenness; smoking & marijuana use; and, voyeurism, rebellion, over-reaction to rebellion mocked, & several characters imagine seeing dead girl.

Summary:

In THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, an unseen narrator glances wistfully back 25-years later on the short lives of five beautiful Catholic sisters who committed suicide. This movie successfully evokes what high school dances were like in the mid 1970s, but it cheapens a serious issue, teenage suicide, by setting up a cliched anti-Christian worldview, complete with a caricature of strict Roman Catholic Christian parents.

Review:

THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is a dreamlike movie about teenage rebellion and suicide directed by Sofia Coppola, the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, director of the GODFATHER movies, APOCALYPSE NOW and TUCKER. An unseen narrator glances wistfully back 25 years later on the short lives of five beautiful Catholic sisters who committed suicide. James Woods plays their bumbling father, and Kathleen Turner their strict mother. The youngest daughter commits suicide, but the parents let the remaining four attend the homecoming dance anyway. When the eldest daughter fails to return until morning, after a sexual tryst with her date, the mother withdraws them all from school, putting them under strict “quarantine.” Some teenage boys make contact by playing rock music to them on the telephone, but their efforts result in further horrible tragedy.

Some scenes at the high school dance perfectly evoke what such dances were like in the mid 1970s, before disco. The rest of this satirical movie is unbelievable and confused, however. Making matters worse is that the second half of the movie turns THE VIRGIN SUICIDES into a cliched anti-Christian caricature of two Catholic parents. Teenage suicide is too deadly an issue to be treated so cavalierly.

In Brief:

THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is a dreamlike movie about teenage rebellion and suicide directed by Sofia Coppola, the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, director of the GODFATHER movies. An unseen narrator glances wistfully back 25 years later on the short lives of five beautiful Catholic sisters who committed suicide. James Woods plays their bumbling father, and Kathleen Turner their strict mother. The youngest daughter commits suicide, but the parents let the remaining four attend the homecoming dance anyway. When the eldest daughter fails to return until morning, after a sexual tryst with her date, the mother withdraws them all from school, putting them under strict “quarantine.” Some teenage boys make contact by playing rock music to them on the telephone, but their efforts result in further horrible tragedy.

Some scenes at the high school dance perfectly evoke what such dances were like in the mid 1970s. The rest of this satirical movie is unbelievable and confused, however. Making matters worse is that the second half of the movie turns THE VIRGIN SUICIDES into a cliched anti-Christian caricature of two Catholic parents. Teenage suicide is too deadly an issue to be treated so cavalierly