"Sad, Self-Focused Sisters"
What You Need To Know:
There are numerous language and nudity issues in LOVELY AND AMAZING, and a lack of redeeming values to the story. The story is dark and hopeless, the ultimate fruit of a godless way of thinking, void of the meaning and peace that come through a saving knowledge of and relationship with Christ Jesus
(PaPa, Fe, LLL, SS, NNN, A, D, M) Strongly pagan worldview with tone of no God, no hope, no absolutes, simply living for pleasure and acclaim, and secondary feministic worldview with men portrayed as weak, distant, absent, cold and calculating OR simply motivated by easy sex; strong language with 22 moderate obscenities, 16 strong obscenities, and 1 profanity, with much off-color humor and jokes about 3-some sex ring, Jewish/African American joke, obscene gestures, and fat girl insults; sex depicted during actor’s interview and after-sex scenes depicted several times; several instances of upper female nudity and full female nudity; alcohol and smoking depicted; and misc. immorality such as lying, cheating, dad-neglect, dad-bashing, etc.
Ah, LOVELY AND AMAZING . . . What a wonderful film this will be with such a sweet, uplifting title, right? Au contraire: It is a total downer! It should be titled UGLY AND APPALLING. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to imagine the creative meeting where the writer pitched this idea to the producer, and the producer began nodding and smiling, saying, “Wow, this is just the kind of thing I want to spend my millions producing! Thank you! Let’s get the cameras rolling!”
What are people thinking? This is the story of three sad, self-focused sisters, and their sad, slightly less self-focused mother. Though it was difficult to pinpoint the protagonist (a BIG no-no in screenwriting rules), let’s say it was Michelle (Catherine Keener). Michelle is a foul-mouthed, angry, lazy, self-loathing 36-year-old who tries to sell her homely crafts to upscale stores. She is continually rejected but simply curses at her rejecters and storms off, never utilizing her college degree to try for better employment. This angers her husband, who is having an affair with her best friend and would probably like his wife to be occupied elsewhere. Michelle’s poor, sweet child gets completely neglected during her mother’s selfish pursuit of meaning and pleasure.
The next possible protagonist would be Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer), a neurotic model/actor who insists, at one point, that her one-night-stand-actor-boyfriend criticize her naked body, from head to toe, and give his honest appraisal of her physical strengths and weaknesses. (How this will make her less neurotic, no one knows, but the boyfriend complies.)
The youngest sister is an adopted, overweight black girl, Annie (Raven Goodwin), who has numerous issues of her own, including the fact that she wants to be white and thin. Annie’s birth mother is a crack addict, and she never knew either a birth father or an adoptive father.
The mother is Jane (Brenda Blethyn), a lady completely unable to see or deal with her daughters’ weaknesses, though she loves them all. One of her daughters says of her, “Mom doesn’t like the facts of her life, so she tunes it out.” Jane’s big story is that she is getting a tummy tuck from a hunky doctor, and all the daughters wonder if a romance will spring forth.
The movie intertwines these pathetic lives into a bigger, more pathetic tapestry, and in the end, no one has really changed.
MOVIEGUIDE® audiences will want to note the language and nudity issues, but even more offensive and sad is the total lack of redeeming values to the story. The producers tagged this a comedy, of all things, but few audiences will be able to see the humor. The story is dark and hopeless, the ultimate fruit of the worlds’ system of thinking, void of the answers, meaning and peace that come through a saving knowledge of and relationship with Christ Jesus.