Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

And Suddenly It is that time of the year

Only this year, as famous queer writer on film, I seem to have got Press Accreditation for the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Given how little I actually make from the books and reviews, I need all the perks I can get.

However, I do take my responsibilities seriously, which means I shall be posting about the films I see.

'Happy Endings is a Don Roos film and quite delighted me, not least because it had Lisa Kudrow in it being snarky and sexy.
The setup is one that is becoming standard for a certain sort of LA-based indyflick which is several stories interlocked by coincidence and acquaintance.

Miriam (Kudrow) is an abortion counsellor, who did not in fact have an abortion as a teenager; she gave the kid up for adoption and has hardly thought about him since. Until young Nicky turns up claiming to know who her son is, and trying to persuade her to be in a documentary about their reunion. She decides she wants to know, but not to cooperate - and so she sets Nicky up with an alternate subject, her Mexican masseur boyfriend. We are warned that we may not like Miriam, and actually we do, in spite of her quiet ruthless sexiness and slightly weird areas of vulnerability - this is Kudrow playing it fairly straight and not even slightly daffy. I am biased, because of lust, but she is fabulous in this.

Meanwhile, her gay stepbrother Charlie (Steve Coogan) who fathered her child, becomes convinced that the two dykes who were going to use his lover's sperm then changed their minds in fact did and have lied. Otis, whose band plays in his restaurant, and has a thing about him, lets himself be seduced by Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal) the new singer in his band, and proves to be a stepping stone to her seduction of his father. Jude is one of the best things in the film, simply because she is totally amoral and a player, whereas everyone else kind of lies to themselves. Gyllenhall is terrifying in this, because Jude will do anything and sings like a dream, which means that you can't just dismiss her. In a wonderful moment of sarcasm at the end, she sings 'I love you just the way you are' at a wedding she does not in fact attend, after she has left the plot.

We know that all of this ends with someone being hit by a car, non-fatally, and one of the reasons we know this is titles that tell us often misleading things at the side of the screen.This ought to be deeply irritating and is actually cute.
There is a nicely misleading touch which is that we strongly suspect that Otis is the lost son, and he really is not. Or that Nicky might be. And the truth is less interesting, deliberately.

And of course because this is a movie called Happy Endings, there are happy endings, lots of them. I was charmed.


I think it is very funny that the Tories have had to give back several million pounds in loans to foreign donors who don't want to be named, or might be too embarrassing. This has exposed Blair as a crook and fraud, but he is playing it surprisingly well given that - because yes, actually, the Tories are Worse.


I need to append to my remarks about the NHS the further point that I bitterly resent money spent on management consultants for entirely personal reasons. My father's last days were made worse by a bout of MRSA - it is not that that killed him, but resisting it probably finished him off even though he fought it off. The same is true of the father of at least one friend.

The medical incompetence that killed several of my friends and nearly finished me is something we have to live with up to a point - it is always easy to secondguess afterwards. But clean hospitals are the least we can accept, and the reason they are dirty is that management consultants suggested that the job of cleaning them be put out to tender and that there not be dedicated trained cleaning staff who belonged to the hospital. Ultimately it is the fault of the Tories, and of New Labour for not changing things back as quickly as they could.

They are killing Iraqis, of course, at vast expense and they are also killing people that matter to me a lot.

Rage really isn't the word.
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