8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 24, 1996
Continued from Page 5
husband's office with him downstairs.
The only way out is the window-wash-
er's gondola. Wackiness ensues.
All three women give good perfor-
mances, but Hawn stands eut as the
most engaging. She typifies a middle-
aged movie star - caught somewhere
in that space between "Baywatch" and
"Driving Miss Daisy." Midler and
Keaton are also excellent as the two
repressed housewives. Keaton is unable
to express anger, and Midler, quite
capable of the same, is perhaps a little
more emotionally attached to her hus-
band than she'd care to admit.
Although the comedy and the acting
are superb, the film is not without its
flaws. Chief among them is that the
husbands are not depicted as deserving
of the revenge they receive. If the men
were made out to be severe jackasses, it
would be a lot easier to root for the
women. Instead, the story is very
lenient on them, depicting them as only
human (but jerks nonetheless), and
making us wonder if they really deserve
On top of that, and despite good
performances, the characters them-
selves are rather forgettable. While
the story is unfolding, we care about
Brenda, Elise and Annie, waiting to
see what they'll cook up next. But
outside the theater, they're lost in
memories of the ridiculous ending, in
which the women turn their absurd
First Wives Club into a suddenly seri-
ous Shelter for Women. Besides,
Elise and Annie are more annoying
than likable, and Brenda is the only
one that we really feel for.
The real question that most guys
want to know about "The First Wives
Club" is whether or not it's safe to go
see with their girlfriends. Is it a "chick
Even if such a thing as a "chick
movie" exists (which it doesn't), guys
can rest assured about "The First Wives
Club." While some of the themes are
assuredly female in nature, the humor
and sentiment are universal, and the
male-bashing is kept to a minimum.
Besides, it's an opportunity to see three
wonderful actresses working as a dead-
on comedy team.
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Continued from Page 5
good album. Lines like, "You're not the
boss of me / Meet my old man / He's
just a funny / He makes lovin you well
/ Take it away / I've got the only wis-
dom" just keep coming out. They make
the song work against traditional struc-
turing but still capture the attentions of
anyone in the vicinity.
"Captain Pungent" and "Berthas" on
the other hand have so many tradition-
al devices in them, although mixed
with some experimental bits, that they
could almost be KISS tracks, especial-
ly considering the loopy ultra
Gene/Paul riffs going on in them. But
the album closes with the nearly folky
"Cottonmouth," with its freaky distor-
tion and train sounds, letting the listen-
er off easy.
From the individual tracks to the
overall structure of the album, "Stag" is
a beautifully executed piece of music.
Hunt it down or get it at the porno shop.
- Ted Watts
Tales of Great Neck Glory
Sort of like New Coke to good old
regular, Sammy is to Pavement - a
smoother, blander version of a classic.
Sammy distills the half-mumbled, half-
sung vocals, loopy guitars, off-kilter
percussion and sunny pop hooks that
Pavement made its own. And slavish
imitators that they are, Sammy can't
chart the heights that Pavement reaches.
That said, Sammy's major-label
debut "Tales of Great Neck Glory" is a
fun, if derivative album. Singer Jesse
Hartman has a cheeky, knowing style
on songs like "Neptune Ave. (Ortho Hi
Rise)" and "Blue Oyster Bay" that
makes the group's five-finger discount
style of songwriting enjoyable as a sort
of in-joke between Sammy and its
audience. While they may not be the
real thing yet, "Tales of Great Neck
Glory" provides some entertaining lis-
- Heather Phares
John Turturro, pictured in "Barton Fink," is no stranger to weird roles.
John Turturro 1ves
back into the bizarre:
NEW YORK (AP) - John Turturro
shows up for lunch with sunken cheeks
and tightly cropped hair, looking so thin
that the waiter talks him into a wheat
germ "health shake" and a huge chick-
He seems shy and subdued, nothing
like Joel Millner, the fast-talking, big-
hearted record producer he plays in
"Grace of My Heart."
It's a pleasant departure for Turturro,
whose many characters haven't exactly
been the kind of guys you'd invite home
for dinner. He also has some of the fun-
niest lines in the film.
Turturro has been feeling gloomy
since getting back from the Ukraine,
where he's been immersed in the role of
Primo Levi, an Italian Jew who sur-
vived Auschwitz and described his
experiences in a series of remarkable
novels. It was a fulfilling experience.
"I think he's just a marvelous writer.
Very humane and delicate and detailed
and not overdramatized. It's overpower-
ing because it's so subtle."
To prepare for the filming, Turturro
studied the accents of Turin (Turturro's
own family is largely Sicilian) and read
every book of Levi's he could find.
He also dropped 25 pounds, eating
tuna fish alone in his room.
"I ate by myself a lot, which, you
know, is lonely. It was good for what.I
was doing, to save my energy for it. It's
just, sometimes, you can go a little
crazy that way."
With his soulful, dark eyes and-
crooked, tentative smile, it seems at,
times that what he needs most is a good
hug. Along with his obvious intelli-
gence, it's a quality that comes through
even in his stranger roles, and helps to
make manic screenwriter "Barton Fink"
or "Quiz Show" loser Herbert Stempel
Turturro insists he'll soon emerge
from his funk, and unlike Millner's pro-.
tege, played by Ileana Douglas, he
won't need anyone to cajole him irfio
"I never had to have somebody push
me," he says. "My wife (actress
Katherine Borowitz) always says Im
very healthy that way. It's innate. I just,
go, 'Well, if they knock me down, MVl
just get back up."'
Turturro is an accomplished stage
actor with a master's in drama from
Yale University, but for years he worked
in his father's construction business,
tended bar and even taught 5th and 6th
graders while trying to get film roles
His first was in "Raging Bull."
Along with Fink and Stempel, which
earned him an Academy Award nomi-
nation, he has played a psychotic rapist
in "Five Corners," a conniving Jewish
gangster in "Miller's Crossing," a series
of blue-collar bigots in Spike Le.
movies and a depressed widower ii
"Unstrung Heroes." Many of them had
a nervous, edgy quality, as if they were
struggling on the rim of madness.
"I know Madonna a little bit, and
she'd seen me do something- 'Miller's
Crossing'- and she said, 'You go so fare
out, you've got to be really normal to do-
that. You've got to be really stable, or
you wouldn't be able to do that.' And -I
think in a way she's right."
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