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Running with Scissors
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Annette Bening, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Alec Baldwin, Evan Rachel Wood
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: TriStar Pictures
Kiddie Movie: For the love of God, no.
Date Movie: Only if she likes an incredibly slowly paced movie.
Gratuitous Sex: There's loving, but someone should be in jail.
Gratuitous Violence: Some fighting but nothing horrible.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Quite a few good lines.
Memorable Scene: Neil reading his poem about a nun.
Memorable Quote: Both by Dr. Finch: "That leads to an adjacent room where I masturbate...Would you like a tour?" and "My turd is a direct communication from the Holy Father!"
Directed By: Ryan Murphy
Produced By: Dede Gardner, Brad Grey, Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt

Running with Scissors
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:56 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I was walking into my local gigaplex, heading for the 10:15 in the morning showing of "Running with Scissors." Then, at the end of the hall, I saw that "The Departed" was starting five minutes earlier. I told myself, "Self, go see "The Departed." Itís supposed to be great, while this "Scissors" movie isnít getting that great of reviews." But then I convinced myself to see "Running with Scissors," and about 20 minutes in, and for the rest of the movie, I wondered why I donít listen to my first thoughts sometimes. Hereís the story of the movieÖ

"Running with Scissors" the movie is based on the book/memoirs of Augusten Burroughs. For the movie we are introduced to Augusten as a young mamaís boy, and quickly realize that mom Deirdre (Annette Bening) is a tad on the crazy side, believing that her poetry is the greatest in the world and hoping to be published and famous. We are also quickly introduced to dad, Norman (Alec Baldwin), a white collar working dude with a drinking problem. And so, with our quick introductions to the family, we are transported to Augusten at an older age, a young teen, with his parents in full-blown "canít stand each other" mode. Hoping to save her marriage, or at least being able to complain to someone about her delusions, Deirdre and Norman go to psychiatry sessions with Dr. Finch (Brian Cox), and we quickly figure that things arenít going to go well for pretty much everyone involved. Norman divorces Deirdre, Deirdre slips further and further into delusion, and Deirdre decides that the best thing for Augusten is for Dr. Finch to adopt him.

The problem: Dr. Finch and his family is even more wacky than Augustenís own.

First there is daughter Hope (Gwyneth Paltrow), Dr. Finchís favorite who believes she can translate the purring of her cat, Freud. The mom of the Finch clan is Agnes (Jill Clayburgh), who pretty much has lost most sense of being productive, instead choosing to sit on the couch, watch TV, and eat dog kibble. The other daughter, Natalie (Evan Rachel Wood) seems to be the most balanced of the Finch clan, and Augusten and her seem to rely on each other to get through life in the Finch household. And lastly we find Neil (Joseph Fiennes), who happens to be a pedophile and a patient of Dr. Finch. And so, if you thought your family was dysfunctional, The Finch household probably tops it ten fold.

Now you would think total hilarity would ensue, and from what Iíve read, in the book version of "Running with Scissors," it does, but as I sat there wishing I had gone to see "The Departed" instead, I wondered how a movie with so much potential for quirkiness, seriousness, and hilarity, could be so boring, but somehow the movie folks accomplished just that. From the trailers we already new some things would happen, like Augusten being adopted by Dr. Finch, but it took forever to get there. We also knew that Augusten and Natalie have a fun relationship (and not even in the fun way you might think), but for the most part they donít seem to have much fun. And as cooky as Dr. Finch comes across, his cookiness is overshadowed by it taking too long for just about every scene to develop.

And so, with all of the potential, I spent about and hour and twenty minutes of this nearly two hour movie wishing I had jumped ship and gone to see "The Departed." Donít get me wrong, the movie did have a couple of fun moments, but for the most part this had to be the worst-paced movie I have seen in an awfully long time, and for that Iíve got to give "Running with Scissors" 1 star out of 5, even with the killer 70ís soundtrack that accompanied the film and the multiple funny lines of dialogue.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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