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Oct 10th
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Female Troubles

film_girl‘Women in Trouble’ doesn’t quite rise to the occasion

The almost entirely female cast of Women In Trouble tend to be taut, leggy twenty- and thirtysomethings with long, flowing locks, who look great in lacy underwear and high heels. The actresses are made to look so similar in Sebastian Gutierrez's stylized ensemble comedy, it's often hard to tell the characters apart.

As a handful of random women meet, confess their secrets, and bond during the course of one day in an unnamed city (it was shot in L.A.), viewers might feel like they're watching that show on the Playboy Channel where the bunnies wander around the mansion and talk about their insular lives; it provides eye candy for awhile but it never feels like real life. A plucky Carla Gugino plays porn star Elektra Luxx (hers is "the most popular celebrity vagina on the market"), who's astonished to learn she's pregnant. On the way out of the clinic, she gets stuck in a malfunctioning elevator with Doris (Connie Britton), a woman with a secret to unload.

Elektra's co-star, Holly Rocket (Adrianne Palicki), a sweet dimbulb who keeps getting backed-into by cars, joins her call-girl pal (Emmanuelle Chriqui) on a disastrous job that sends them fleeing for their lives to a lesbian bar. En route, they pick up a therapist neighbor (Sarah Clarke), who's just caught her husband (Simon Baker) cheating with the mother of her adolescent client. (This infant savant girl is meant to be the sensible center of the story, although the actress, Isabella Gutierrez, the director's daughter, bears an unsettling resemblance to the demon child in Orphan.) Meanwhile, a flight attendant (Marley Shelton) has an airborne close encounter with a legendary British rocker (a very funny cameo by Josh Brolin).

film_women_in_trouble_ver4Gutierrez has written some scripts with Pedro Almodóvar, and Women In Trouble is very much in the vein of the latter's florid farcical melodramas. The dialogue can be amusing. (Elektra is a natural in porn, she says, because her "grandmother was a gypsy sword-swallower.") What's missing is the earthy humanism and compassion in the best of Almodóvar's films. Gutierrez's dizzy femmes careen around in an alternative universe of sexy silliness. (Only the intrepid Gugino and Britton, have enough screen time and chutzpah to earn viewer sympathy and interest.)

Gutierrez borrows the lollipop veneer of his mentor's films without providing a reason to care about any of it. His movie is Almodóvar Lite.

WOMEN IN TROUBLE ★★ With Carla Gugino, Adrianne Palicki, Sarah Clarke, Simon Baker and Marley Shelton. (R) 92 minutes.

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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