Hey, do you mind if I break the third wall here? Given everything that’s happened, culturally, over the last year, I’ve been feeling like I need to justify myself a little bit. I’m the off-screen bathroom renovation project whose mere mention in a long distance phone call gives the male protagonist of this cool indie movie permission to engage in some infidelity while on a business trip in t-minus three, two…
See what I mean? Now the charming main character is in the hotel bar while this younger woman laughs at his jokes. He looks alive for the first time since he got in a cab outside the house that doesn’t reflect who he is. Honestly, he would be fine just peeing in an old Shasta bottle and living on a floating island of garbage. He doesn’t even need food or a real doctor. Or, at least, not food prepared in a kitchen in a house. Left to his own devices, he could scale his work hours back to like, five hours of freelancing a week and just live in a homeless shelter. Why does the wife character insist on living in that light-filled brownstone with pans and children and health care? She kind of sucks. And she’ll be too tired to watch this movie, so we can just be real about that.
Remember how, as the husband is getting ready to get in the cab to the airport for his business trip, there’s that shot of the toddler screaming with snot running down his face? God, that kid really needs to get it together. Whose idea was it to have that kid? Marcy will actually be doing the main character a favor if she starts talking about grout colors and the contractors when he calls home because then he will have carte blanche to fuck anything that moves at his business trip hotel. But in a way that’s kind of soul searching and important to his journey.
Now, full disclosure, before Marcy started renovating me I was the Amityville Horror bathroom. Literally, they brought the Amityville Horror set out of storage and had the actors hang out on it to workshop their characters before they started filming this quiet indie film. The actors explored how it was awkward for a couple in their late thirties to have a toilet telling people to get out and then flushing uncontrollably. And they improvised some pretty raw scenes, which didn’t make the final cut, where Marcy would bring up during sex that it could be nice to have one of those low-flow eco toilets in the bathroom, and not a direct hotline to Satan.
But there’s no time to dwell on that! The attractive and single sales rep is guiding our likable if somewhat lost male lead by the hand to her hotel room and who can blame him for allowing this to happen? Not that toddler, who needs to get his shit together. And not Marcy. Talking about home improvement projects like me for even a second during a long distance phone call justifies immediate infidelity. Did you know, in some cultures, a man can divorce a woman if she says “the contractors” three times in a phone call? There’s a certain wisdom in that.
Look, we don’t know a lot about Marcy. She wears jeans, she has a sensible haircut, she seems like a great mom. Blah blah blah. The bottom line is, she doesn’t have an inner life. If she did, this movie would be about her. But there is no way to make a movie about a mom going about her day unless Michelle Pfeiffer is in it, and she realizes that she would be happier if she stopped neglecting her family and quit her job just in time to stop her husband from hooking up with someone else. That movie is a fun chick flick that you can see with your girlfriends on your own time. This is a real movie, and Marcy will be punished for trying to make the bathroom nicer.
Believe it or not, I’m actually in talks right now to develop my own series with Netflix. The idea is to do kind of an anthology thing where I get rehabbed by a different woman each season and her husband goes on a kind of Caligula-like sex rampage. We’re working on getting permission from Jim Henson’s estate to have the Marcy character played by Aughra from The Dark Crystal. See, it totally works! Cheat away, male lead character, probably played by a British actor!
Or we might just do the whole thing as a Disney Pixar animated series where the only female character is this big-bottomed pair of mom jeans who gets lost in a Home Depot. It’s actually pretty dark. But, you know, so was Bambi.
So, yep, don’t worry about me. I’ll still be seeing you bitches at Sundance.