Splendor

Year: 
1999
Rated: 
R
Genre: 
Gregg Araki
Director: 
Gregg Araki
Writer(s): 
Gregg Araki
Actor(s): 
Kathleen Robertson
Johnathon Schaech
Matt Keeslar
Kelly Macdonald
Eric Mabius
Runtime: 
93
Rating: 
Four BOBs
Review: 

No director can make me feel like Gregg Araki.

I was prepared to be disappointed by this film. All I knew about it was that it was about a girl trying to juggle her relationships with several different guys. That sounds like most romantic comedies these days. It didn't sound that exciting, but I was still dying to see it. I had been waiting for it for over 2 years and it never released theatrically in Dallas, it just magically appeared in video stores. I got the soundtrack, back in like...September or something. So I rent it, trying to hold back the fear of disappointment, since I have been waiting so long, checking the IMDb weekly for release dates and the day is finally here...

...and I loved it! It made me feel so many things at once, dissatisfied with my boring life, but at the same time, made me feel like I was moving in the right direction, having recently gotten out of a dead-end relationship and taking control of my life. Just as The Doom Generation provoked feelings of inertia and boredom in my personal life, so did Splendor. It just made me want to go out and DO something. Do something about the rut I'm in, do something with my hair, do something about the guilt I carry around because I am "liberated," or whatever they call it these days. (ok, I guess I have never really been too guilty about that, but I hate it when people judge me) So I got as far as giving myself a porn star "haircut" and doing my nails, but hey - that's a good start, right? There's always tomorrow....

Enough of my personal bullshit - the film rocked! First off, my original sex god is in it. Jonathon Schaech is...words do not describe what he is. I think I am more in love with the idea of Xavier Red than anything, but that association in my head is enough for me to watch anything with him in it. (Except that craptastical Jennifer Love Hewitt show.) I am also gonna have to kick someone out of my love trailer to make room for Matthew Keeslar. He's built and etc...blah, blah, blah, but he also looks a lot like this guy I have been obsessing over for the last 8 months...that doesn't hurt either. Kathleen Robertson was pretty good as Veronica. She's cute, but not in the annoying, make you jealous way. I like her better with purple hair though, like in Nowhere. I am sure that I will be Veronica in my dreams tonight...I can't wait! Is it me, or did Eric Mabius look a lot like Beck here? He was such a rock god in Welcome to the Dollhouse that his dorkiness threw me off. I haven't seen Kelly McDonald in anything since Trainspotting, she has matured nicely. And I can't forget to mention the cameo by Mink Stole!

As usual, Araki uses color to great effect. I really liked the colored fades between scenes. Instead of the usual fade to black, he faded to color, matching the mood of the scene. When Veronica is angry, her face fades to red. When she is sad, she fades to blue, etc, etc... I also really liked the way he had Veronica narrate the story. It was a departure for him to have the story purely from one female's point of view, as opposed to the point of view of a group, such as Totally Fucked Up or from a primarily male point of view, such as The Living End or Nowhere.

So go rent Splendor and you too will dream of having two boyfriends at your disposal. Every girl deserves two. I once had two guys rub my feet at the same time (in a hot tub, no less)...so I can imagine that Veronica was one happy gal.

PS - Prepare to be disappointed by the lack of nudity.

 

"So there I was, torn between comfort and security I had never known growing up and a totally uncertain future where all bets were off and I'd have to make it up as I go along. What would you have done?" - Veronica (Kathleen Robertson)