Nov 27, 2011

My Week with Marilyn -- a review

I'm not going to give away the plot, don't worry. However, you have to be living in a black hole to not understand or expect what happened in this movie.

I have been infatuated with the idea for this film since seeing stills of Michelle Williams walking off the jet, absolutely identical to Marilyn Monroe herself. The fact of the matter is though, if you don't know much about Marilyn Monroe, you will simply see Williams as an actor, giving a great performance; not as attempting to portray the famous starlet. Instead, you'll see a character with a frail yet charming personality; charisma for days, beauty that doesn't seem to be fleeting, and a shaken, unstable past. (This is the best way to see this movie, by the way.)

I must be among the worst women in the world. I have not seen a film with Monroe in it. The information I have about her is from a book report I did in fourth or fifth grade. I remember that she had been "touched inappropriately" from the book; she also had many abortions. She was beautiful to me, but reading these things before seeing any of her glamour onscreen took away from her allure for me, which helped me go into this movie with the correct expectations.

Still, Marilyn Monroe is, in fact, the most glamourous woman who I never had the privilege of being alive with. She is an icon to many people; she is the epitome of the mere thought that women, in fact, rule the world. She could dazzle with a wink and put men in a tizzy with a giggle. 

After watching this film, I ran home, found a scarf to tie my hair with and applied some red lipstick. Yes, I am laying in bed right now, writing this, in full homage to Marilyn. She truly had that affect on people, even after death.

So here's the deal on the movie: well-written. Funny. Insightful. I think a lot of people think, "Oh! A movie on Marilyn Monroe. This will be fabulous!" Those people clearly don't read tabloids. This woman was troubled, clearly, as I had mentioned her disturbing past.

The film follows Colin Clark, a 23-year-old aspiring to break into the entertainment world. You will fall in love with him as he shows his ambition, innocence and determination right off the bat. It shows Marilyn's antics on set -- a true, original diva, making cast and crew wait on bended knee for her arrival. No matter how long the wait, everyone made sure she was always accommodated and complimented.

The saddest thing about Marilyn has to be that people worshiped her: acclaimed actors, royalty; common folk. Yet she, in her mind, was never good enough. She never felt loved. I think that is the saddest feeling of all to feel, however I cannot say I have felt this way myself, ever. It has to be a lonely, sickening emotion. 

Hollywood hasn't seem to have changed. In the movie, Colin says he left his home and family to "join the circus." And how. To this day, people are still kissing one another's asses, regardless of what might be going on. Marilyn needed someone firstly to love her, but secondly, to love her the right way. Loving someone doesn't mean giving in to every want they might have. Loving someone means giving them what they need, and sometimes, what people need isn't going to make them happy. Perhaps if someone took away her pills and her alcohol, she would have been forced to face her demons -- her insecurities -- and start living the right way. Then again, maybe she wasn't "Marilyn Monroe" without the pills and the alcohol. The movie paints her as an insecurity-ridden, needy woman, with a talent that simply can't be learned. Unfortunately, she constantly doubts herself, and nobody will be able to save her.

I remember when Heath Ledger died, and thinking that that was the first big Hollywood drug death I had ever heard of. I didn't think it was a prevalent thing, but then shortly thereafter Anna Nicole Smith died. Then Britney Spears lost her sh*t (royally I might add) and Lindsay Lohan was on her sexually confused, drug binge period: her obvious attempts for attention. I wondered how things could get so out of control in our generation. But, obviously, this isn't new. This has been happening since Marilyn; probably earlier. John Belushi, River Phoenix and many others lost their life to drugs. It's sad that nobody intervened with these people, whether it was calling the cops, sending them to rehab or just being an ally. Marilyn felt like she had none. 

Marilyn boils down to this: she had a constant need for attention. When she didn't have it, she needed to not remember not having it. She would do absolutely ridiculous things, whether it be keeping a crew for hours, exposing herself to someone other than her husband, turning on the glitz for the paparazzi, etc. Yet, once she was left alone to reflect on all of those things, she felt ashamed, and would again try to not remember any of it.

One further comment on the movie: they kept referring to how wonderful of an actress Marilyn was. I can't tell if they told her that just to raise her confidence, or if they truly meant it. I haven't seen her films, therefore I don't know. Was she? Was she one of the greatest actresses of her time? Or was she merely a mesmerizing, pretty face, with superior comedic timing? 

While Britney Spears may not be Marilyn Monroe, I feel she is one of the biggest stars of our time. I am truly thankful her father intervened in her life. I feel like if he hadn't, she would not be here today. I don't know her, but when you've seen someone consistently since you were 12, you start to care about them. (Sue me.) 

Watching this movie, I couldn't help but to make the obvious Lindsay Lohan comparison. I wish I couldn't make it, because it's obvious she strives to have that reference and takes it as a compliment. But let's be clear: nobody looks at Lindsay Lohan and wants to be her, like Marilyn. Nobody thinks she's glamourous. They don't find her as a huge star. They don't compare her to great actresses. She is maybe the greatest lost talent of our generation. The girl has "it." But she ruins her opportunities to use "it."

Much like Marilyn, she has had zero guidance. Marilyn grew up in an orphanage; Lindsay might as well have. She's had literally zero parental supervision. The overwhelming similarities in how Marilyn acted out for attention with Lindsay's cries for help (they're all obvious, so no need to state them) are uncanny. 

Hopefully, one day, someone will intervene in Lindsay Lohan's life, before she ends up living (and ending) a life -- identical to her idol's. 

PS: wasn't lying about the Marilyn garb. I feel incredibly glamorous wearing this in bed! 

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