Violets are Blue

I saw Roberta Gonzales on the KPIX morning news laughing at a photo. After doing a bit of work at the office, I returned home for lunch, and I did my laundry. I had ten days of dirty socks. I went back to the office to grade some papers and prepare for a new class. I spoke for two hours and listened to the security guard talk about dental problems. I returned home to watch The Big Bang Theory, and then I watched the movie “Violets are Blue” with Sissy Spacek and Kevin Kline. With Bonnie Bedelia, the three key members of the cast were strong, but the movie was rather weak. Sissy Spacek is Gussie Sawyer, the girl who left home, meaning Ocean City, Maryland, to become a success as a photographer. Kevin Kline is Henry Squires, the boyfriend who stayed behind and became a writer for the local newspaper. Gussie takes a break from her work, and resumption of her relationship with Henry causes conflict because he’s married with a son. I found it curious that Sissy spoke with a Southern accent after going up in Maryland with the father that she had. The start of the movie made you think it was about the generation who were teenagers in 1969 who felt dissatisfaction and disappointment with adult life. I found it hard to believe that Kevin Kline was this hometown boy who hadn’t seen anything of the world, where Sissy Spacek was the sophisticated one who was taking jet plane flights around the world. I thought the Kline did one of his worst ever scenes when he tries to act surprised at seeing Gussie again after many years. I felt like he was squirming through various scenes. The dialogue is annoying vague at key moments. Gussie’s father works in the local amusement park, running the bumper car ride, giving a little touch of “Annie Hall” to this movie. He was one of the more interesting characters, although he ended up speaking in too many clichés. Bonnie Bedelia was so memorable in “Heart Like a Wheel,” but she didn’t get much of a role here, as the wife of the man whose attention is straying. She doesn’t get the chance to say much beyond asking Henry if he thinks she’s a fool who doesn’t know what’s going on. The movie seems to suggest that women who have a successful career are self-absorbed and unhappy and single, ready to wreck other women’s marriages. In that way, this movie is related to “Fatal Attraction.” The story is supposed to be this wistful tale of trying to reclaim a long lost love, but there is this odd strange that injects a bit of suspense. Spacek’s character goes too far in her pursuit of Henry. She loses our sympathy. It was almost comical to see Kline fumbling around, hesitating to drop his small-town job for the chance to do bigger stories around the world. Who said that he could handle the big time, anyway? We never get to hear that conversation. The movie feels underdeveloped. The movie has an unusually short running time of 85 minutes. Actually, I wish that more movies would be shorter because they mostly have too much filler. I liked the sense of place in this movie. It made me think back on movies like “Breaking Away.” Sissy Spacek was in other interesting movies during this period in the 1980s, like “’night, Mother” and “Places in the Heart.” I think that “Violets are Blue” is the weakest movie of those three. I remember Kline for “Sophie’s Choice,” which I thought was one of the best movies of the early 1980s. Also, he was hilarious in “A Fish Called Wanda.” In “Violets are Blue,” his character fades towards the background. He has no guts, making the ending predictable. Does he seem like the kind of journalist who can write about a war? Looking back on this movie, the whole job of writing for a newspaper seems like a part of the distant past. Who’s going to pay the slightest amount of attention to these little writers? I found it hard to believe that a woman could take a week off work and expect to expect a man to drop everything in his life and follow her. This man has no huevos. This woman is not a mature adult. This scenes with the horses made me think back to “The Misfits.” It was odd that the movie should end with a shot of those horses. You can’t just throw two actors like Spacek and Kline together and expect magic to come out of it. The movie had to either dig deeper into emotions or show more of everyone’s lives. If it doesn’t show us any remarkable insights, it should at least be interesting or pleasurable to watch. The movie did take me back to a time that wasn’t the greatest for movies, but the stars still held our attention. The theme song was from Laura Branigan. It had that synthetic 1980s sound to it. I thought I was going to remember Bobby Vinton. The director Jack Sisk worked with Terrence Malick on his classic films, and he previously directed Sissy Spacek in “Raggedy Man.” I remember 1986 for these movies: “Stand By Me,” “Blue Velvet,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “The Fly,” “Aliens,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Down By Law,” “A Room with a View,” Platoon,” “Tampopo,” “Salvador,” and “Sherman’s March.” I fell asleep and awoke to see the two actors in the new version of The Odd Couple in a talk show. I stayed up to watch the replay of the 11 o’clock news at 1:30. Where was Elizabeth Cook? I heard the news that Klay Thompson would miss tonight’s game because of a sprained ankle. I thought about going out to Safeway in the middle of the night. I craved something to drink and a pizza. My neighborhood is too unsafe during the dark hours, however. I heard a radio commercial for the Guitar Center. I’d like to buy a new guitar before the end of the year. I was looking for a DVD copy of “Silent Running.” I was also looking for mono editions of the Beatles albums in both vinyl and CD. Some of the people who died on March 18, Laurence Sterne (1768), Johnny Appleseed (1845), Barbara Bates (1969), Bernard Malamud (1986), John Phillips (2001), Natasha Richardson (2009), and Fess Parker (2010). Today is a birthday for Luc Besson (56), Irene Cara (56), Brad Dourif (65), and Charley Pride (77).

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