April 18, 2005 - by tampabay 1701

The original plan for this weekend was to have spent the time at Disney World. Of course, being my life, only a planned trip to "the happiest place on earth" would somehow change to being literally dragged by friends to see a movie that I didn't want to see in the first place and sitting in the dark next to my husband, Mr. "Oh, Tea Leone, she's hot!". I never read anything about the movie other than the basics, so I didn't know anything about the story, or what to expect.

I not only ended up liking this movie, but it affected me so much that I ended up crying. And I just don't cry at movies (Bambi died - no tears; E.T. dies - still no tears.) I bawled my eyes out during House of D. I also ended up laughing a lot too.

Maybe I was just in one of those moods -- hormornal or something. Maybe it's the fact that, for once, I got to watch a movie that had a "happy ending" at the conclusion of it. I can't tell you. But all I do know is that the movie I watched yesterday was not the movie that has been trashed to kingdom come by all of the critics out there.

Is House of D the best movie ever made? No. If I wanted to play "critic" I'm sure that I could say a few things about it. And considering the mood I was in before the movie started, I'm actually surprised that I can't sit here and name a few things that could be considered "flaws." But considering a lot of the crap that has been pushed out by the entertainment industry lately, I can't fathom why so many so-called "experts" are claiming that this movie is so bad.

Maybe my friends are right - according to them, there are some "film" critics who work from the mentality that "some guy from some weird TV show has no right to think that he is good enough to write and direct a movie" which has lead these critics to use descriptions in their reviews that are usually saved for the latest Barry Manilow CD. And it actually scares me to think that I was one of those people who believed that "all of those bad reviews have to mean something." Never again.

I'm crossing my fingers in hope that House of D opens here locally in Tampa. I have no problem taking my friends with me to see it again. This movie has to be given a chance to be seen by more people. Lions Gate is dropping the ball on this one -- this is a gem that deserves to shine.

And . . .

May 1, 2005

I just sat through another showing of House of D at the local cinema. I came by myself - no husband, no friends, a few others in the theatre. I wanted to see what my opinion would be this time around with a clearer head and no baggage before the movie. (No PMS this time around, no headache, not hungry.)

It is rare that I enjoy a movie more the second time around. Sitting there, even knowing what was going to happen, I found myself laughing even more, and, even without the raging hormones, I still cried. The hospital scene was hard for me to sit through. And I found myself muttering when the cousins came to get Tommy "I see that sensitivity training course really paid off for you."

There were a few things that my brain picked up this time around that I missed (or frankly just didn't care about) during the first time. How did a 12 year old kid get a passport? I think this could have been taken care of with a line or two of dialog in the taxi cab ride. (i.e. - My Dad got this for me a long time ago, never though I would need it). And during the first part I wished there had been more dialog between Tom and his wife.

But overall, I still came away with the feeling that I had the first time -- how can this be the same movie that all of those critics are bashing into the ground? I just don't understand their attitudes toward House of D. You would think that it was the worst piece of garbage ever made, and that simply isn't the case.

I guess it is simply a case of "to each their own." Either you are going to like this movie, or you are not going to like it. But it certainly deserves to have a chance.