I felt some further discussion was warranted on Welcome to the Rileys as my post on it last week was very brief. If you haven't seen the movie and do not wish to be spoiled, then do not read beyond this paragraph. If you have to wait for the DVD, and many of you have no other choice, then come back then. This post will still exist.
I live in Austin and we were in that second group of cities to get the movie on November 12th. Austin is allot smaller than Chicago and they didn't get the film? WTF?
After I saw the movie on 11/16, I emailed my friend, fanfic author "the shrew", AKA @edmett
Just saw it. Just walked in the door. You told me you would be curious as to my reaction to the "nudity"
I do not see how anyone of a mature mind can take anything sexual from this movie. They did a good job of making her perfect skin look oily, on the verge of a acne breakout. I wasn't turned on by her dirty mouth, either, not in this setting. I would have been had I heard Bella talk that way LOL
I felt paternal towards Mallory most of the time. It broke my heart that she didn't go home with Doug and Lois. The ending only gave the slightest glimmer of hope.
Are people making an issue of the 1.5 seconds, split between two different shots, that we see Kristen's bare ass? This movie certainly didn't encourage the "in the gutter" part of my brain.
This email goes on to my ramblings of how Kristen really seems to be turning Bella into a sex symbol after seeing some pictures from Brazil
@edmett replies to me
Okay, so more thoughts on WTTR -- yeah, people that haven't seen the movie, some of them still think that she looks "hot" in the movie, and that she is sexy in it. No, that really isn't the point, as you know from having seen the film. That paternal feeling is exactly what they were trying to invoke in the audience -- well, paternal or maternal. You are supposed to care for the girl and want to take care OF her. Her life is tragic, and we are supposed to want to make everything better for Mallory. Just like we are supposed to want to help Doug and Lois. Their pain is so palpable and engrossing. My heart broke for both of them as well. Lois for feeling responsible for her daughter's death. Doug for losing his daughter and blaming his wife.
BUT, the point of the film is that all three of the characters go through such a journey. They are all essentially the waking dead. Dead to the world. Dead to the good in life. Dead to human connections. Doug tried first to recapture that in his relationship with Vivian, but when she ACTUALLY died, well, I think that showed him the difference. As he tells Lois, "he isn't dead." He wanted to live. Which then set everything else into motion.
I think Doug and Lois got some closure about their daughter's death through their interactions with Mallory. I know that sounds obvious, but I just mean, I think that it helped them both to realize that with teens, there can be little control. I think it helped them see that they weren't "responsible," and in a way, they got to say a better goodbye to their daughter through Mallory.
The time that the three characters were together allowed them all to reach out again. The fact that Mallory calls Doug at the very end tells me that she still wants that human connection. She wants to have him be part of her life. She needs him as a friend. She needs him as a grown up that she can run to in times of serious need. In a way, Doug allowed her to recapture a small part of her stolen childhood. She had to learn about letting people help her, accepting it.
What do you think?
my reply to @edmett
I think your analysis is freaking awesome and I wish could have said it so gracefully.
I didn't feel enough hope, at the end. It was only upon further reflection and finally this email from you to put it in the right perspective.
Clearly, anyone thinking there was anything sexy about it got it wrong. Did they even see it? Yes, she has a nice butt (correction an amazing bodacious butt) however those scenes weren't racy and I do not think Jake Scott intended them to be. I am glad my paternal reaction was what they were trying to accomplish.
The scene at the end, the one that was trying to say "there is hope" is the one time they didn't alter Kristen's naturally stunning face. She was very pretty in that scene and it must have been for cinematic effect to contrast the mood with the rest of the movie.
My pessimistic side is what dominated my feelings in the theater at the end. Yes, she was calling Doug, but she was on the way to Las Vegas to continue working in the sex trade. I wanted her to say to Doug "so, I have never been to Indiana" thus deciding to live with the Riley's and let them all continue to heal each other. But that may have been too unbelievable, IDK.
2nd reply from @edmett
I had the good fortune to read the draft of the script that had a more "rosy" ending. People thought it was too unbelievable, and not realistic enough. Perhaps my view of the end is still with the impression that it reaches that first ending -- in which she IS living with Doug and Lois. I think they DO get there, it just takes longer. And without showing MORE of their transition and growth, then it might not have played out well on film. Reading it, it totally worked for me.
That is always what I have said, that those people who thought it sexy got it wrong. No, Jake Scott NEVER intended to sensationalize or sexualize the story. He de-emphasized that so strongly. WTTR got down to the deeper issues at play. Sure, she is a stripper and prostitute, but what does that mean? This movie delves into answering that question.
You are right about that last scene. The natural beauty of her face, it came through. She is more natural. She may be going to be a stripper, who knows? Perhaps she is only going to dance from then on? I like to think that when she leaves, she is more in control of her life, and is able to make more decisions to get out of that life.
I have been thinking about writing a fanfic about WTTR that picks up where the movie left off.
Now, what did you think about the movie? Even if it's February and you just watched on DVD, give us your thoughts below.
One more thing. I pieced this together last night and I needed @edmett's OK before publishing. I had not even thought about contributing to the WTTR fund before this morning. I hope some of you will contribute $5 or whatever you are comfortable with. I know its not a charity. I send plenty of money to good causes. This is more of an indulgence, but I think its worth the effort.