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One Class Act
The wonderful Jamaica Kincaid, author of "Lucy" and "Annie John,"
amongst others, reads from her new novel, "The Autobiography of My
Mother," at the Pendleton Room of the Michigan Union tonight at 8
o'clock. A reception and book signing will follow at Shaman Drum.
January 29, 1996
Roses' embedded in
By Jennifer Petlinski
Daily Film Editor
Mention director Michael
Goldenberg's "Bed of Roses" to anyone
and receive a knowing look that seems to
say: "Oh - one of THOSE movies."
You know the kind: Boy meets girl;
boy tries to win girl's heart; boy does
everything for this one girl; girl goes
through some major conflict (usually
relating to a disease, an ex-boyfriend or
a past secret); boy and girl finally "get
it on" and live happily ever after.
You wonder why you sat through an
entire movie just to see something that
you could have predicted. Oh well, you
think, you'll know better next time.
STOP and listen to yourself. You
said the same thing when you rented
'Untamed Heart" for your high school
sleepover; when you saw "Some Kind
of Wonderful" for the 100th time; when
you finally recited every single line
from "Say Anything."
"Bed of Roses" has a certain sweet,
simple quality that captures its
audience's attention. Lisa Walker (Mary
Stuart Masterson), atypical, workaholic
investment banker in New York City
receives a dream bouquet of flowers
from a secret admirer. Lewis (Christian
Bed of Roses
Directed by Michael
Goldenberg; with Mary
Stuart Masterson and
At Briarwood and Showcase
Slater), the owner of the flower shop,
makes the special delivery to her office.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out
that he's the one who sent them.
At this point in the movie, two ques-
tions might be brewing in the minds of
audience members: 1. Where did he get
such a fabulous bouquet? (This can be
rephrased as, 'Where can someone get
ME such a fabulous bouquet?') and 2.
How the hell did some random stalker
delivery boy find out where Lisa works?
So maybe Lewis enjoys midnight
strolls through the city. Fine. And maybe
he likes to look at all the lit windows as
he walks along. We can handle this one
also - after all, most people have hob-
bies, don't they?
The next part, however, is slightly
harder to digest. Lewis sees Lisa from
her window one night and decides to
fall in love with her. Does anyone else
have a problem with this psycho?
And there's more - Lewis asks her
on a date and she says "yes."
Time out: Lisa has just violated a
cardinal rule of survival in New York
City-Do NOT accept invitations from
delivery boys whose peeping tom ten-
dencies include you.
Regardless, the two begin to fall in
love; at the same time, Lewis sends her
more flowers than anyone has ever re-
ceived in a lifetime. The movie's great-
est flaw is not due to a lack of chemistry
between its characters, but rather to its
lack of conflict. Aside from Lisa's fam-
ily issue and her anxiety, the two love-
birds seem to have no problems. Well,
maybe there's one: After all, Lewis
does send Lisa more roses than can fit in
her apartment. What ever will she do?
The character of Lewis does not sit
right with the audience. He is the deliv-
ery boy whose sensitivity, looks, charm
and knowledge of flowers (of course)
make him as close to perfection as a
delivery boy can get.
If people remember back to Slater's
performance in "Untamed Heart," they
might notice glaring similarities be-
tween the roles. OK, so maybe he
doesn't have a baboon heart in "Bed of
Roses." Still, Slater's characters always
seem to transform him into some kind
ofabsurd, godly figure. A baboon heart?
A delivery boy who looks in people's
windows to find his dates? Enough said.
Lisa lacks the spunk that Mary Stuart
Masterson has often added to movies
-such as "Some Kind of Wonderful" and
"Fried Green Tomatoes." Here, she is
nothing more than a bundle of nerves and
an adorable face. It's no wonder that we
can't piece together the cause ofher over-
done anxiety. True, she does have the
characteristic conflict (and that's stretch-
ing it) upon which movies like this one
thrive, but she also has some major com-
pensation for it. Come on now - her
boyfriend buys out New York's entire
stock of lavender roses. You would think
that she could calm down just a little.
"Bed of Roses" is nothing more than
escapism. Ifaudience members get over
the conditions under which the love-
birds meet, they might be able to appre-
ciate this fairy tale for what it's worth.
1 C '5
"Mary, pass me that boui lon cube that I gave you, I feel like noshing on beef."
"What are you thinking? I told you to nibble on my ear, not my handl This hurts. Stop it, now. Nowl I'm serious."
By Prashant Tamaskar the situation with his son.
Daily Arts Writer REVIEW Although the first part
Children who are the targets of their captures the relationship be
class bully must endure trying circum- Big Bully and Roscoe, it does n
stances. However, most victims can Directed by Steve audience's attention. In ho
take comfort in the fact that the abuse ferent ways can a bully be
will eventually cease. In the new com- Miner; with Rick kid? Still, the movie fast-f
edy, "Big Bully," the harassment does Moranis and Tom Arnold injtime to prevent viewers
not end; after a temporary hiatus, this At Briarwood and Showcase all interest. And the fun beg
"bully conflict" resurfaces throughout adults, David and Rosco
the adult lives of two men. cepts the offer, deciding that the new duced. Played wonderfully
Little Davey Leary spent the major- environment might be a nice change and Arnold, the two teach
ity of his young life being beaten up by for his rebellious son, Ben. years, perfectly resume thei
the appropriately named Roscoe Big- However, on the first day of school, Most of the humor stei
ger, the meanest kid in the fourth grade. David is called into the principal's contrast between Roscoe'so
Davey's only defense was a vow of office after Ben is caught bullying a behavior and his transforma
revenge, which becomes an operational smaller student. Much to David's hor- elementary school persona
weapon when he accidentally saw ror, the father of the victim turns out to derrated Tom Arnold i
Roscoe steal something from the school. be a quiet, passive shop teacher whose throughout the entire movie
After discovering that he would be name is Roscoe Bigger (Tom Arnold). his change. At first, we ca
moving from Minnesota to California, When Roscoe finds out that the new laugh at the passive shop te
Davey turned Roscoe in just before his creative writing teacher was his el- know that this characterizati
departure. Davey thought that he had ementary school punching bag, he re- for Arnold). Later, howev
the last laugh. verts back to his old ways, making Tom Arnold surfaces, alo
Nearly 20 years later, David Leary David's life miserable. Somehow, loudmouthedbully whotorr
(Rick Moranis), an author, is invited David must find a way to end his con- Moranis is the perfect co
back to Minnesota to teach a creative flict with his old rival, while at the
writing class at his old school. He ac- same time, figure out how to handle See BUL
of the film
ot hold .)
w many dii-'
at up a little
ins when the
c, are intro-
ers, after 20
ms from t
ation into his
lity. The un-
,as he makes
acher ('we all
on is a stretch
ng with the
LY, Page 9A
Would you like
dance, art or
CDs? Then call
Man alive, were the last two years
good musically. That is, so long as
while glancing into the rearview mirror
you concentrate on the lovely land-
marks that were Britain's contributions
to pop and ignore the potholes that were
Better Than Ezra, Hootie And The
Blowfish and Silverchair.
To be completely fair, though, we did
hit a few as Union Jacks flew by the
roadside; exhibit No. 1: Bush. Another
was Shed Seven. Supposing it's to be
expected that with every good bunch
comes a rotten apple or two, one of
those wormy fruits would have to be
Because Britpop did overextend it-
self, creating a scene in which the mu-
sic did not always remain the focus,
Shed Seven's debut does not float. Take
for instance, the over-the-top vocals.
As Brett Suede and Damon Blur have
proven time and time again, they can be
miles more impressive than any low-in-
the-mix mumbling, provided that there
are some clever lyrics and half-a-tune
to back them up.
What we find singer Rick Witter do-
ing here is more akin to Billy Idol's
"Eyes Without A Face." Take away the
band waffling between the leastmemo-
rable of Cult and Chili Pepper riffs and
you have some singing that would get
your uncle ejected from Thanksgiving
dinner. That is, if he had the gall to
warble a chorus as embarrassing as
"Dirty Soul": "You know a good thing/
When you've got one/I've got a good
thing/Do you want one?" These lines,
along with the overabundance of aqua-
marine references of "Dolphin" and
"Ocean Pie," among other things, indi-
cate that Shed Seven will have to make
some significant strides to run with the
likes of Oasis, Radiohead and
Music From the Original Mo-
tionPictureAce Venture: When
For a movie as wacky as "Ace
Ventura: When Nature Calls," you need
a soundtrack to keep that whack crack-
ing and the fun flowing.
And that's exactly what the
soundtrack does. The disc is chock full
of diverse material, from the worldbeat
sounds of Pato Banton to the rockabilly
thunder of Reverend Horton Heat.
Kicked off by three covers, "When
Nature Calls" catapults the listener into
the fun and delirious world of Jim
Carrey's Pet Dic.
Pato Banton and Sting cover the
Police's "Spirits In the Material World"
with a cheesy, yet pretty darn cool
tribal vibe. Blues Traveler's rendition
ofJohnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man,"
is OK, while the Goo Goo Dolls cover
of INXS' classic "Don't Change" is a
little soft, but it still does the song
"Burnin' Rubber," the debut single
from Mr. Mirainga, rocks in a punky
sort of way and the Presidents of the
United States ofAmerica's "Boll Wee-
vil" is perfect for the zany antics of
Carrey throughout this and every movie
Angelique Kidjo's "Ife" is a great
reggae and soul number, rocking like
Blessid Union of Souls' "It's Alright"
and Reverend Horton Heat's "Watusi
Rodeo," while Matthew Sweet's "My
Pet" is candy to any Sweet fan.
Robert Folk's groovy world-instru-
mental "Ace In Africa is fun, while
Montell Jordan's "Jungle Groove" is
decent. The biggest disappointment of
the album is White Zombie's unintel-
ligible schlock filler track, "Blur the
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Technicolor," which does little more
than scare Ace's cute little animals.
- Brian A..Gnatt
Real Deluxe Records
Making good retro-rock is difficult;
there's a fine line between wearing your
influences on your sleeve and simply
being unoriginal hacks. The sadly de-
parted Jayhawks managed it with a flour-
ish, creating a country-rock jangle that
paid homage to Neil Young and Tom
Petty while forging a moderrksound tbt
earned them much-deserved col9
credibility. Crossed Wire try to pullthi
off too, and end up sounding likeha
bunch of guys trying really hard to sound
like Neil Young and Tom Petty.
That's not to say "Arrival Time" is a
complete loss. The stripped-down sen-
sibility and classic rock production yield
a few semi-gems: "Winter Song" is
wonderfully weepy, and "Empty Page"
shows great pop-songwriting instinet.
Most of all, the album closer, "Secr4
is a wistfully sentimental tune with gent'
Unfortunately, most of the album is
bogged down in a morass of tired cliches
and recycled hooks, never evolving from
its all-too-obvious roots. You're left
shaking your head after virtually :every
song, wondering which moldy'70smng-
get was slightly reworked to avoid copy-
Sure, you could pick up "Arri
Time" and hear how some visionless
throwbacks somehow managed to get a
record contract. Then again, if there's
still a radio station that hasn't been re-
formatted to "alternative," you could
check that out instead. It's wonderful
when new bands haven't forgotten their
roots, but they need some new branches,
- Dave Snyder
The Rolling Stones
"Stripped" is the Rolling Stones' ver-
sion of an "MTV Unplugged" album. A
record ofthe smaller, more intimategigs
Tickets go on sale January 15, 1996
For tickets and information, call 313-971-2228
Beginning January 29, call 313-763-1085
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