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HOME SWEET HELL: OR YOU KNOW I’M A DREAMER, BUT MY HEART’S OF GOLD… By RICK BALDWIN

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”- Janis Joplin

Stuff.  Lots of it.  You want it.  Unfortunately materialism is highly acceptable in our commercial crazed culture with a strong need to consume, consume, and consume.  Having the newest and most expensive must-have-purchases does not define the person we are.  Obsession to material items births shallow ideals, vain virtues, and unwanted Kardashians.  The value of family and love is by far more important and valuable than any possession that can temporarily gratify our worldly wants.  These topics are addressed in the film, Home Sweet Hell (2015).

Don Champagne, Patrick Wilson of Hard Candy (2005), appears to have the idyllic life to his family and neighbors.  Wife Mona (Katherine Heigl of Knocked Up [2007]) is straight-out of Stepford as Don parades her on his arm.  He also manages a successful furniture business with friend Les, James Belushi of Red Heat (1988), and owns a big beautiful house with two cute cookie cutter kids to boot.  Mona, a sociopathic perfectionist in every aspect of her life, desires everything she feels that she and her family are entitled to possess and will stop at nothing to make sure she gets it.  Mona scrapbooks obsessively, imagining her perfect life with a projected goals binder that is like a family business plan of the blueprints to a happy future in accumulating more material gains.  Mona’s pretty smile and role of subservient wife is a façade. Underneath, she seethes with hostility as a domineering nagging wife that keeps the weak Don oppressed, due to his lack of testicular fortitude.  After having an affair with his new young salesgirl Dusty, Jordana Brewster of The Faculty (1998), Don’s life sinks into a downward spiral of chaos when claims of his mistress’ pregnancy are exacerbated with black mail.  Don confesses to Mona, who in turn becomes a calculated, territorial killer that stops at nothing in order to protect her family’s picture perfect personae in hopes for a happy ending with a cherry on top.

Home was directed by Anthony Burns of Skateland (2010).  The film has a satirical tone throughout and reminds me a bit of a dark Fun with Dick and Jane (1977).  This film is a “take it as it comes” feature you will not grow to particularly like or show sympathy for any of the characters.  The story and plot are not bad, it’s the failure to execute deeper sentiment for the characters and at times feels forced and not a genuine as it could be.  It doesn’t live up to its spectacular cinema potential.

Home is definitely not for everyone and if you are offended easily by blood spatter and the bad mouthing of a character with Crohn’s Disease, maybe you should avoid this feature.  Also, if you are a strong supporter of women’s liberation, avoid–as it portrays each woman on screen with deep seeded issues causing problems for the men in their lives.  At the end of the day, it’s not a bad movie per se but it does have its flaws.  I highly doubt I will add this to my celluloid collection deep in the Rickamortis Movie Vault, but it may warrant another view in the future for further analysis.

So if you want to free yourself from the shackles of consumerism, the best bet is to turn off your TV (which was invented for the sole purpose of running commercials anyway), you can watch Home if you want, if you don’t…no big whoop.  Turn in, tune out, fall off the grid and free yourself from the propaganda of consumerism that wants your mind and wallet.  If you take anything away from this review, remember what Victorian art critic John Ruskin shared, “Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.

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