November 1998
s m u g
feed hollywood
by Brian Thomas

Bewiched, Bothered and Beloved

I was having trouble thinking of what to write about this month, so I looked up my old friend Henry. I met Henry late one night on the number 49 bus. He was just going home from work and looking forward to a dinner of some nice pork roast left over from Sunday dinner. He bragged a bit - and rightfully so - about how he worked hard at his factory job six days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day, and every penny of his paycheck was spent on his wife and children. Henry is very down to earth and knows very little about the movies, but he likes to talk about the ones he's seen. I find his viewpoint, about as far as you can get from that of your typical arrogant, jaded and cynical film critic, as a breath of fresh air. He's a hell of a sweet guy and a great source of unpolluted opinion. I asked him what movie he saw recently...

Hey Henry, what movie did you see recently?

I took my wife down to the show to see that Oprah movie.

You mean the critically acclaimed drama Beloved, based on the novel by Toni Morrison?

She's fine. I saw that book with her picture on the back and she's one fine looking woman. She's like a black Jackie Collins.

Are you a big fan of Oprah?

She's fine. I don't watch that Oprah show, but my wife, she watches it all the time. I'll say, "Hey, woman! Turn off that Oprah shit!", and she'll get mad and raise her hand like she's going to hit me. Me? I like that Springer dude. Those folks get all excited and start fighting and cussing and throwing chairs . Oprah should go on Springer and have it out with Steadman, because he's been going around with her since she was fat and poor. Now she's thin and rich and all she does is preach. She got rich and thin and Steadman still won't marry her because she's all preachy now.

From the ads I've seen, it looks like Beloved is an intelligent and sensitive drama detailing the plight of ex-slaves trying to forge a place for themselves in this country following the Civil War.

It's one a those scary spook movies, all tricked out for Halloween! that's why Oprah put it out in October, instead of on Thankgiving or Christmas. Right off the bat, some ghost is in Oprah's house busting up the place! Breaking all the dishes and furniture and beating on the dog! The kids are all screaming and running, and Oprah is trying to put the eyeball back in the dog's head! I almost had a heart attack!

You mean Oprah produced and starred in a horror movie? That's hard to believe. Maybe you got it mixed up somehow. Tell me more of the plot.

I don't know much about the plot, but I'll tell you the story. As near as I can figure anyway, because it got boring in some parts, and they were doing all that flashing back and forth, and I fell asleep for some of it. You know that movie is six hours long? It's a wonder I didn't miss the whole thing while I was running off to piss.

Well anyway, Oprah plays a slave that tries to run off with her man and children, but she gets caught. Then the white folks whip her back so she has a scar that looks like a tree. They beat her so bad she doesn't even look like Oprah anymore, and the white boys suck on her breasts - but then she got away again.

Damn! It sounds like something you'd see on Springer!

So then, Oprah runs off and she gets help from some crazy white girl in the woods, and then she gives birth to a baby in a boat, and she makes it to Ohio and finds her old granny. Her granny stands out on a rock and preaches to all the folks there, and she has lots of fans around the community - hey, just like Oprah! Then, when the white men come to capture her again, Oprah goes ape and smacks the children in the head with a shovel and slits the baby's throat with a Kaiser blade!

Are you sure you're talking about the right movie?

I'm telling you, aren't I? Then thats when the house gets haunted, like in that Poltergeist movie, and the boys run off and leave suits me. Why not come on over to my house? I've got a tape of Dolemite.


in the junk drawer:

and such
and such

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