Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Come Back to the 5 and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)

Synopsis: Six emotionally fucked-up chicks reminisce about the time something exciting almost took place in their dying town. 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “A cup of coffee and a side of dreams.” 

What Did I Learn?: 1) A slowly passing train is so romantic. 2) Prosperity, unfortunately, it's a fleeting thing.

Really?: 1) I realize Come Back to the 5 and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is based upon a stage play, but come one – this is a movie, with a budget. Why couldn’t Altman create a sense of atmosphere by showing a few outdoor scenes, or even giving us a look at Joanne’s often-mentioned yellow sports car? 2) So wait – there’s a brief mention of customers, but we never see any, and it’s obvious the local economy croaked a long time ago. How in the world does the Woolworth’s stay open, let alone pay Cissy’s (Cher) salary? 3) Wow – take a drink every time Sandy Dennis screams at somebody. 4) Oh, and take a drink every time we hear this song. [Gaa - it's STILL running through my head!]

Rating: I wouldn’t say that Come Back to the 5 and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is one of Robert Altman’s better films (I’m personally fond of Short Cuts, The Player and California Split), but it’s a memorable look at the regrets we inevitable feel as we get older, and the facades we build. The Disciples of James Dean aren’t particularly likeable women, but they’re human, and the three leads: Cher, Karen Black, and Sandy Dennis richly deserve credit for complex performances. Oh, and the final scene of the abandoned five-and-dime, circa 1995 is truly haunting. 7/10 stars.

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