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Friday, June 16, 2006

A Prairie Home Companion Review

You're gone, the trees are so quiet
When your hand was in my pocket
How they swayed from side to side
Now the meddling sky and my snowy eye
Sees a different night

So with all the movies with settings in Minnesota you’d think that we’re all aliens with the fascination with the cold, the hockey, and “yoooooooo betcha”. We kinda are alien in that we completely “get off” whenever someone says anything kind about Minnesota or especially where you’re from.

If someone should say anything the least bit bad then we just kind of blow it off and walk away mumbling,
“I will kill yooou in yooour sleep yooou god damn pretentious motherfaaaaker. I will ice the crap out of yooour sonofabatch stooooopid asss car. Faaaak yooou and yooour damn tanned face!”

So when a movie by “one of us” decides to make a movie I want to be a little biased no matter what it’s about. Throwing my biased opinion out the window, my feeling on A Prairie Home Companion is that it’s the greatest movie in the whole history of the world…and other worlds.

Actually it’s not. Actually I’m a little conflicted on the movie despite it being set in the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul.

For one I hate musicals but I love old school radio.
I love St. Paul but Garrison Keillor is from Anoka and he doesn’t talk like “one of us”.

Well, I actually thought it was a decent movie. Like I said before, I’ve never listened to the show but if this movie is any similarity to the radio show, it’s kind of nice. I picture myself sitting on a porch at sun down with Keillor’s crazy accent-thing singing about buttermilk flour and songs about duct tape.

In this movie, some Texas tycoon buys out the show and plans on destroying the theatre. It has a bit of a Norm Green moving-the-north-stars-to-Dallas type of feel but has a warm feeling to it (as opposed to egging the hell out of Norm Green’s house). It’s the last show with 40 years of shows under their belt and everyone feels the need to air their dirty laundry and find some closure to the outdated radio show.

It definitely has a certain calming quality about the music and the dialogue between the characters. In one scene a man actually dies and instead of widespread panic, there’s a bit of a “oh that’s such a shame” type of mentality to the death. It also has a great feel of the theatre and what happens off stage. On one area there’s Meryl Streep’s character talking to Lily Tomlin about the old times living in Wisconsin. I can’t remember what they were talking about but I’m sure it had something to do with drinking beer and watching the Packers lose, but it actually resembles the stuff that aunts say.

Then the there’s two cowboys who come from the range in Worthington or Alexandria or something and they are the funniest characters in the movie. They play a song called “bad jokes, we love ‘em” and the jokes are pretty good. They’re too risqué for public radio and old guys hanging out on their porch but that’s where part of the humor comes in. I slapped my knees on more than one occasion during this number.

Basically this movie is worth the matinee price but not $9 and it’s certainly a change from stupid explosions and bad dialogue.


Aliecat said...

I'll probably rent it since I'm not much of a Lindsey Blow-han fan, but I always enjoy movies set in Minnesota and try and pick out all the places I know. Another good one is North Country, although some of the actors exaggerated the accent so much it almost sounded like they were from Ireland.

Anonymous said...

saw it last night, enjoyed it, i also listen to phc though. robert altman is an oldman now and he wants to deal with his own approaching end and it's moving while not being hokey