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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 53 Florence Foster Jenkins

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Rich People Problems: The Movie

We watched:

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I think my biggest issue with this movie - and as a fan of HDTGM, MST3K, And Rifftrax, I recognize the hypocrisy of what I’m about to say - is that it felt like it wanted you to laugh *at* Jenkins. There was almost a cruelty in that it was basically presented as buffoonery. But then, without warning, it wanted you to suddenly sympathize with her - which never felt wholly earned. 

Also, I never got why people seemed to genuinely like her. Like, in a MST3K way, I got why the soldiers ended up digging it, but not the people at the Verdi Club. Things are hinted at (e.g. pretension of bourgeois, deafness of the audience, etc), but the movie never really settles on anything. And maybe that was the point. Maybe the writer was like, “I don’t really know,” but I felt it kind of weak not to at least speculate. And since it doesn’t commit to anything, in my opinion, the movie lacks a strong point of view.

Orherwise, it was enjoyable, just not entirely satisfying.

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My problem is that the movie goes on way too long. It feels like it really only has a couple things to do. Once you've heard her sing, it doesn't really change. It's a different audience but it's the same reveal...again. The only real change after "lol she's terrible... can you believe it?" is pushing just how sweet Hugh Grant is by going this distance for her.

I quite like the buildup to her reveal. I like the emotional bits at the end. But that's maybe an hour of movie and this is nearly two hours. I know you need to have a middle section but could it have been shorter?

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

Also, I never got why people seemed to genuinely like her. Like, in a MST3K way, I got why the soldiers ended up digging it, but not the people at the Verdi Club. Things are hinted at (e.g. pretension of bourgeois, deafness of the audience, etc), but the movie never really settles on anything. And maybe that was the point. Maybe the writer was like, “I don’t really know,” but I felt it kind of weak not to at least speculate. And since it doesn’t commit to anything, in my opinion, the movie lacks a strong point of view.

I wondered if it was because if people were nice to her, she would add them to her will?  Her will at the end looked reaaaally thick.

Overall, it was a fine enough movie, I guess, but none of the emotional punches landed on me.  And this is the first movie we covered where I'm straight up "no thanks" to the movie soundtrack.

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I gagged when they revealed the bathtub potato salad 🤢

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6 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

I gagged when they revealed the bathtub potato salad 🤢

I didn't see any chives in the bathtub potato salad.

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This is probably a similar point to Cameron and Tom's but basically, I just didn't care. There were some funny moments that made me laugh, but I think for a biopic it just didn't feel like it mattered. Which I think is important for a biopic. I don't know enough about Jenkins, but I think you could make a biopic of her that at least alluded to history or metaphorically related to today somehow. But instead it was just sort of "here's this lady, and a thing she did."

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12 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

This is probably a similar point to Cameron and Tom's but basically, I just didn't care. There were some funny moments that made me laugh, but I think for a biopic it just didn't feel like it mattered. Which I think is important for a biopic. I don't know enough about Jenkins, but I think you could make a biopic of her that at least alluded to history or metaphorically related to today somehow. But instead it was just sort of "here's this lady, and a thing she did."

Maybe in a hundred years there will be a biopic about how William Hung sang "She Bangs" on American Idol that one time.

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Hugh Grant, for all his sweetness and "loyalty", was one-note.  Every problem could be solved with enough application of money.

I also wondered how long he had been dating Rebecca Ferguson.  I thought he was married to her at first, not to Florence.  (Although the marriage to Florence was probably not legitimate since she could never prove she had been divorced.)

Also, why did she keep the name Jenkins even though she basically was separated after she got syphillis?

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3 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

Maybe in a hundred years there will be a biopic about how William Hung sang "She Bangs" on American Idol that one time.

Not a biopic but still...

William Hung: Hangin' with Hung

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16 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

This is probably a similar point to Cameron and Tom's but basically, I just didn't care. There were some funny moments that made me laugh, but I think for a biopic it just didn't feel like it mattered. Which I think is important for a biopic. I don't know enough about Jenkins, but I think you could make a biopic of her that at least alluded to history or metaphorically related to today somehow. But instead it was just sort of "here's this lady, and a thing she did."

I agree with this.  There wasn't enough background as to why she was a "sensation" before the end.  Wikipedia says Cole Porter was a frequent attendee of her performances so her surprise at the end of the movie is incorrect.

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20 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

I didn't see any chives in the bathtub potato salad.

1lpsiql9m2vz.png

But on the plus side, no raisins!

6 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

Maybe in a hundred years there will be a biopic about how William Hung sang "She Bangs" on American Idol that one time.

William Hung released multiple albums and a Christmas EP. He's arguably on par with Florence Foster Jenkins for success.

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7 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

But on the plus side, no raisins!

Raisins are for bathtub coleslaw!  

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27 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Also, why did she keep the name Jenkins even though she basically was separated after she got syphillis?

When I was a kid, my best friend's mother kept her ex-husband's last name. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe it's just easier than changing it again or maybe it was so it would be consistent with her kids' names.

But, I get it for a celebrity. Susan Sarandon kept Chris' name. I think sometimes it's just the name you get known by and it's easier than trying to get everyone to recognize you by a different name...

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In case anyone is interested....

 

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10 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

When I was a kid, my best friend's mother kept her ex-husband's last name. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe it's just easier than changing it again or maybe or maybe it was to be consistent with her kids' names.

But, I get it for a celebrity. Susan Sarandon kept Chris' name. I think sometimes it's just the name you get known by and it's easier than trying to get everyone to recognize you by a different name...

Off-Topic: I still can't believe it's Chris Sarandon doing Jack Skellington's speaking voice in The Nightmare Before Christmas.  When I think of Chris I think of Prince Humperdink and the vocals don't match.

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25 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

I agree with this.  There wasn't enough background as to why she was a "sensation" before the end.  Wikipedia says Cole Porter was a frequent attendee of her performances so her surprise at the end of the movie is incorrect.

I wonder if this is one of those things where people are fascinated and find meaning in it that isn't there.

If you've ever heard of The Shaggs, they have genuine fans. Frank Zappa, Kurt Cobain considered their album great even though it's objectively garbage. If they got together today, The Shaggs next album or tour would do some business. I wonder if Florence Foster Jenkins was Cole Porter's The Shaggs.

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14 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

When I was a kid, my best friend's mother kept her ex-husband's last name. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe it's just easier than changing it again or maybe or maybe it was to be consistent with her kids' names.

But, I get it for a celebrity. Susan Sarandon kept Chris' name. I think sometimes it's just the name you get known by and it's easier than trying to get everyone to recognize you by a different name...

Today I learned Susan Sarandon isn't her birth name and that she was married to Chris Sarandon. 

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2 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I wonder if this is one of those things where people are fascinated and find meaning in it that isn't there.

If you've ever heard of The Shaggs, they have genuine fans. Frank Zappa, Kurt Cobain considered their album great even though it's objectively garbage. If they got together today, The Shaggs next album or tour would do some business. I wonder if Florence Foster Jenkins was Cole Porter's The Shaggs.

Love The Shaggs!  My Pal Foot-Foot!  In last week's thread I posted a video from a lady named Mrs. Elva Miller.  She had a similar bad singing voice but she went for popular music.

 

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2 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Off-Topic: I still can't believe it's Chris Sarandon doing Jack Skellington's speaking voice in The Nightmare Before Christmas.  When I think of Chris I think of Prince Humperdink and the vocals don't match.

From what I’ve heard, Chris was chosen because his speaking voice sounded close to Danny Elfman’s singing voice. He was probably trying to match Danny’s voice in his performance. It did blow my mind to see him Child’s Play this year.

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3 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

If you've ever heard of The Shaggs, they have genuine fans. Frank Zappa, Kurt Cobain considered their album great even though it's objectively garbage. If they got together today, The Shaggs next album or tour would do some business. I wonder if Florence Foster Jenkins was Cole Porter's The Shaggs.

Outsider music is an interesting phenomenon, and I dig some of it -- love me some Jandek -- but mostly it's people making music for themselves and then people enjoy it as a some sort of expression, not usually as "this is garbage, let's laugh at it."  This movie would be much better if it tapped into her outsider-ness, instead of her being everyone's joke.  

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16 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

Today I learned Susan Sarandon isn't her birth name and that she was married to Chris Sarandon. 

I thought they were siblings like Julia and Eric Roberts.

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32 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

I thought they were siblings like Julia and Eric Roberts.

I'm learning a lot about celebrity relationships today because I didn't know this either.

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I totally forgot to watch this yesterday but I promise I'm gonna get to it soon! I wanna not miss this discussion!

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