Some Girls

Posted by David On October 16, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Today I was flicking through an assortment of cheap DVD’s at a newsagent and stumbled across Some Girls.

Starring Jennifer Connelly and Patrick Dempsey, and released in 1988, I caught this gem of a film on late night TV one night about 10 years ago and tried to buy it but it proved elusive. I happily paid my $5 and watched it as soon as I got home. Some people class this as a teen sex comedy but Some Girls is much more than that.

The plot involves college student Michael, who has been invited to spend Christmas with the family of his lost love Gabriella D’Arc. He believes it is her attempt to take their relationship to the next step, but is shocked when she declares that she is no longer in love with him. Thus begins a emotional rollercoaster of a week, as he attempts to rekindle their relationship, while fending off the sexual advances of her two equally attractive sisters, as well as dealing with their stern Catholic mother and eccentric father, (who is writing a book about Pascal and spends the entire film naked, as he cannot be creative while wearing clothes). If this was all there was I wouldn’t have been able to sit through it. There are some obvious metaphors in the film, like the 3 sisters representing Botticelli’s `Three Graces’, but they are subtle enough to not worry about as you are drawn into its two major themes -Love & Lust and Life & Death.

This is explored in Michael’s various relationships with the D’Arc family, but none more so than Granny, Gabriella’s maternal grandmother. Brilliantly portrayed by Lila Kedrova, Granny is introduced when the family go to visit her after one of her many escapes from the hospital. She mistangly believes Michael to be her deceased husband of the same same and is filled with joy to see him again. At first Michael is bemused and doesn’t give it much thought as he continues his single minded quest to win back the fickle and cruel heart of Gabriella, but this soon changes. Granny once again escapes into the wilderness and Michael joins in their frantic search to find her before she freezes to death.

In the end, it is Michael who finds Granny (or rather, Granny finds Michael, trapped in a hole). They find their way to the house Granny shared with her late husband and Michael gains a new perspective on love, as he undresses the soaking wet frail old woman and gets her warm. Still confusing him for her husband they talk about their past and she has new life, radiant just being with the man she loves. I challenge anyone not to be moved by these scenes, at the pure joy on Granny’s face, and Michael’s heart opening to a new world. During my review of John Carpenter’s Starman on the podcast I mentioned that it contained my favourite piece of dialogue that explained the meaning of Love. Well Some Girls has one of the best examples of showing someone falling in Love.

Spoiler follows the More tab….

Then we have one of the few scenes in film guaranteed to make me cry – the death of Granny. In an excellent scene Michael and Nick, the boyfriend of Gabriella’s sister Irenka, are driving Granny to the hospital. The scene cuts to Granny in her finest outfit, closing the windows and drapes of her house. She is dying, and despite the frantic efforts of both Nick and pleading Michael, she passes away. Each of the family deal in their own way, but Michael is heart broken and doesn’t know how to. But an encounter with a woman who may or may not be Granny’s ghost allows him to reveal that he did indeed love her and his pain is released.

So yes, there are elements of a teen sex comedy in this film. Michael getting caught naked by the guests of a surprise party for Gabriella for example, but as I said earlier, Some Girls is so much more than that. Please, if you can get your hands on it, see this film and gain a truly unique experience.

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