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Man, was this a hard watch. As a consummate American mass consumer, when I hear of a plot about a young woman’s journey to learn the difference between sex and love, and there’s a pretty girl on the cover, I’m envisioning some borderline skinflick destined to be on heavy rotation after hours on Starz.
But I keep forgetting that there’s more out there to watch than our American fare. “Somersault” comes to us from Australia, where according to Men at Work, the women glow and men plunder.
Whatever the hell that means, the woman we meet in “Somersault”, Heidi, has a seriously skewed view of male/female relationships. Her mother is what we call on this side of the planet a mattress-back, and Heidi has garnered that the physical expression of love is actually the emotion itself. Now and again we see that Heidi is capable of other emotions, but she cannot care for a man without bringing sex into the picture – this concept is completely foreign.
And just like here in the US, there are plenty of guys in bars that are willing to take advantage of this. Heidi can’t comprehend why after a night of drinking and screwing a guy moves on…shouldn’t they be in love now?
Those of us with marginally healthy views of human relationships know this isn’t the case, but it’s something that Heidi must learn all on her own.
For a film with several sex scenes, there was nothing sexy about it. The act of sex was purely physical, like watching Animal Planet during Breeding Week. And watching Heidi hook up again and again was emotionally draining. You feel a lot of sympathy for the character.
Is there a happy ending to her quest? Is there a valuable lesson here? I couldn’t really tell. Heidi does mature somewhat emotionally by the end of the film, but I couldn’t grasp if she had reached any level of normalcy (shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org after you watch it and let me know what you think).
The film itself was stunning. The beautiful backdrop of Australia and the grittiness of the bars were very pleasing to the eyes, and the soundtrack and score were terrific, it was just the content that disturbed me. I begged that any maternal character in the film would set her straight, but it just wasn’t happening.
Overall, “Somersault” was a good movie, and I’d recommend renting it, but I don’t think it’s something that I could watch again. While I was entertained by the depressing story, I don’t think that I could take that much heartbreak again.
In retrospect, it reminded me of the old Was (Not Was) song “Anytime Lisa” – where as a viewer you want to pluck Heidi out of this cycle of men taking advantage of her, but yet her fear of not being loved keeps her going back.
Again, I’d recommend watching this, just grab “Young Frankenstein” or “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” to follow it up. You’ll need something light after this. 3 cans out of 5.
Added: Monday, July 31, 2006
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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