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December 04, 1991 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-12-04

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The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, December 4, 1991 - Page 7

Ding dong, Macaulay's dead

My Girl
dir. Howard Zieff
by Aaron Hamburger

tion her father pays to Shelley.
There's been a lot of talk about
the controversial death of a certain
young and bankably adorable charac-
ter in the film. The real problem
with this death is not that it occurs,
but that there is no logical reason
for it to occur in the context of the
screenplay. It seems like the

His body is a palace
What do Daryl Hall and John Oates and the Pointer Sisters have in
common? Not much, except that for some reason they all sing back-
ups on "Scattered," which lies somewhere in the reggae vein of Taj
Mahal's latest album, Like Never Before. (Dr. John is also here and
there on the record, laying down piano-tinkering blues under reggae-
R&B.) It's all another day in the life of the eclectic whirlwind that spins
into the Ark tonight. Taj brings a "River of Love" ("achin' for her love")
and "A Giant Step" ("Oh, come with me, leave your yesterday's be-
hind"), but also a reborn angry side, as in "Don't Call Us": "I heard you
fell from grace/ tumbled from your throne/ How does it feel now to be
left alone?/ Now you need somebody who'll be helpin' you/ ... Don't call
us, we'll call you." So don't worry about the big-name faces not being
here tonight, because in Taj's world, they're transformed into expres-
sions of his one-and-only blend anyway. Maybe he's an anticipatory
postmodernist, but he was mixing rock, jazz, calypso, reggae, folk and
traditional Appalachian musics before "world music" exploded as the
new cultural domination scheme. Maybe that would also explain how
he thought to name himself after a big of' building somewhere ("Hi, my
name is Washington Monument..."). Way ahead of his time. That's
leadership. It's also great music, so check it out. Taj Mahal plays two
shows tonight, at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., at the Ark. Tickets for each
show are $12.50 in advance (plus evil service charge).

In 1983, Terms of Endearment
made $100 million. Since then,
Hollywood has launched several
pale imitations, hoping to repeat the
box office success enjoyed by
Endearment. Thus, the dramedy, or
dramatic comedy, genre was born.
The dramedy has given us some
of Hollywood's lamest turkeys, in-
cluding See You in the Morning and
Paradise. The latest movie to join
the ranks of these illustrious mis-
fires is My Girl.
Like most dramedies, My Girl
lacks a conventional plot. Instead,
the movie consists of a series of
scenes, punctuated by a few con-
trived events, that are supposed to
add up to something. The screen-
writer seems to think he's being
subtle, but actually, the movie is
about as subtle as one of those old
tearjerkers from the '30s starring
Bette Davis.
Vada (Anna Chlumsky), the Girl
of the title, is a lonely 11-year old
who has trouble dealing with death.
Vada's mother died in childbirth,
and her father (Dan Aykroyd), who
runs a mortuary, has been "sad" ever
since.
Vada is simultaneously in love
with her English teacher and her
next-door neighbor/best friend
(Macaulay Culkin). Suddenly, a
free-spirited makeup artist named
Shelley (Jamie Lee Curtis) waltzes
into Vada's father's funeral parlor
and shakes up their lives. Shelley
falls for Vada's dad, whom the
script portrays as a depressed moron
who "used to be funny." And, of
course, Vada is jealous of the atten-

Miss Daisy. He quietly reveals his
character's inability to deal with his
emotions.
But the best performance of the
film is that of Culkin. Every line he
utters gains weight from his natu-
ral, childlike inflection. Culkin's
ease contrasts sharply with the
forced "movie kid" performance of
co-star Chlumsky.
The uninspired direction of Ho-
ward Zieff (Private Benjamin) fails
to smooth out the script's de-
ficiencies. Zieff tries to hide the
movie's phoniness in artificial
small town flavor and '70s nostal-
gia. He should have spent more time
rewriting the script and less time
finding bell-bottom jeans for his ac-
tors to wear.

TUPELO
Continued from page 7
same in New York," Heidorn says.
"But if you're down and you ain't
got a job or whatever ... you cer-
tainly could feel the same way in
New York and be depressed. So I
don't know what the big deal is
about where you're from, but I
think it does matter in our music. I
just don't know how. I think that's
where our country edge comes in,
but I'm not sure. That's just what I
think. I just play the drums. I don't
know."
UNCLE TUPELO plays tonight at
the Blind Pig. Cover is $S, and
doors open at the usual time.

MY GIRL is playing at Showcase.
DAILY ARTS***
SAVE THE LP!

.4

fu... o

bUIKint
screenwriter got so involved with
the love story subplot between
Shelley and Vada's father that he * MUTI CLORsPECILIST
needed some vehicle to steer the"MUTCO RSP IASS
movie back to its theme of Death. "ARTIST ON STAFF
Still, if the screenplay had han- " RUSH ORDERS
died this theme well, the movie -*NEAR UOF MCAMPUS
might have worked. But the film's
script offers no intelligent ideas on127hwt del ihd ah.H w oy u
how~~~~~F~t todelwihseth Hwdoyo.
deal with the pain involved with the ,.F ih t i d
loss of a loved one? Simply play
bingo or writea poem. If that fails.
climbing a...tree...and....looking.....at...a
pond is always helpful.
Th nyreasons for any of theTh19 12
film's success are the fine perfor-
mances. Curtis, one of America's LA Y S PEMT
most underrated actors, is warm,
funny and down to earth as Shelley .::::...::.:.:.. ...:-.:.::*::-: avi oe7
Aykroyd s performance vali1dates S1 W
his Oscar nomination for Drivi'nga th
athis one, It'll make you wantto :.:.<*:
bum o all of your Erasure discs, kill a
drum machine and buy a guitar. Real ST D N .UB I A I N
proof that God isn't dead. trin81 LD N
IM386.33MH, COMPATIBLE. 120
Meg. Fast Hard Dnve.1.2 &1.44 Meg. Flop-
py drives. 4Mgs RM 4 ue GA
monitor wI 1 Meg. SVGA card.Lgtc
mouse. New w/ 1 Yr. warrantY. $1699. 486-.$ e op 8m ie
33Mz waboveitems for $2099. Call 482-
4,190.

r~

RECORDS
Continued from page 5
a small-scale nuclear war. Mascis'
lone, wavering voice struggles to be

heard above the storm, emitting
more passion and emotion than a
dozen cheesy metal ballads a Ia Skid
Row or Tesla combined. The song
grows like a mutant plant from a

bad 1950s horror movie, finally col-
lapsing under it's own weight in a
wailing, messy guitar solo.
Thank God (Thank Bob?) for
bands like Dino Jr., and records such

I

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NEED FEMALE ROOMIE for Wint. '92. U
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ROOMMATE NEEDED! Female wanted to
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ROSE BOWL:
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ROUNDTRIP TICKET San Diego to
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SKI IN BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO
for Spring Break. Amy 665-1776 or Tami
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SPRING BREAK: HOT NIGHTS, cool
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SPRING BREAK '92: Don't get left
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AVID "M" FAN IN So. Cal. needs 2 Rose
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Please call,leave message.(818)362-9350
ONE WAY TICKET to San Francisco,
female. Dec. 24, $150/best, 663-4161.
LOS ANGELES TO DETROIT. One way
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PLANE TICKET TO PUERTO RICO
*(SAN JUAN): One-way, leaving from
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Call Jose at 663-4359.
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Call Henry at 665-7822.
ANNOUNE ME
DON'T SEND a
DON'T SEND cl
DO SEND A MESSAGE IN
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
HOLIDAY GREETING PAGE!
* Publication: Dec. 11
* Deadline: Dec. 6
* Cost: $5 for 1. $8 for 2
PREGNANT? Are you or someone you care
about pregnant and not in a position in your
life to be a parent? Please help a loving
couple become a loving family. Call collect
'214 r4 ,V,,,t,

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For more information stop by Project Community,
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WHAT'S
HAPPENING

RECREATIONAL SPORTS
Intramural Sports Program
ICE HOCKEY - WINTER - I
(LIMITED TO 30 TEAMS)
Entries taken: TUESDAY DECEMBER 10, 1991
11:00am-4:30pm IMSB
Lottery to Determine League Teams:
6:00pm Tues December 10, 1991 IMSB Lobby
ICE HOCKEY OFFICIALS
Clinic Begins: Tuesday December 10, 1991
7:00pm IMSB
CALL 763-3562 FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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