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Sep 16th
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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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A Different Revolution

Aries Moon late Wednesday and Thursday. We think new thoughts and initiate new ideas. Sun in Virgo with Saturn in Scorpio help disciples to create orderly structures to anchor and bring forth new ideas. Stabilizing Taurus moon Friday and Saturday. We anchor new ideas into form and matter, like seeds planted in the soil. We tend them, waiting for green shoots to emerge. Like the gestating Virgo Sun Madonna, awaiting the birth of the holy child, the Soul, the new light at winter solstice. Mercury and Chiron converse about what hurts and what heals.Saturday is a complex day with Mercury (communication), Mars (action!) and Uranus (revolution). Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries. Oppositions (recognizing something new appearing over there somewhere) eventually synthesize. Mercury in Libra calls for Right Action and Right Relations, especially with money. Uranus in Aries—the revolution this time must be different.  Also on Saturday, Mars enters Sagittarius. Where are we going, what are our goals, where’s justice, where’s the mountain, do we have good shoes? Sunday Venus trines Pluto—in-depth assessment of money, values and resources. Gemini moon Monday; we talk a lot, tending to tasks in gardens and neighborhoods. Cancer Moon Tuesday and Wednesday; we nurture and nourish. The stars and planets remind us.Note: William Meader, esoteric author & international teacher, will be speaking on “The Soul of Humanity Evolving Through Crisis” at Meditation Mount, 7pm, Friday, Sept. 12.

 

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