The Safety of Objects
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Adapted from a book of short stories by A. H. Holmes, the film attempts to weave these short stories into a collective, cohesive narrative. It is a strained effort, at best. It gives an ostensible slice of suburban angst through the stories of four middle class families, neighbors in a suburban community. All have some connection to a car accident that severely injured the son of one of these families, causing him to remain in a vegetative state.
The film plods along, unraveling the accident in tortuous fashion as it takes the viewer to the final denouement. Some of the characters behave inexplicably without rhyme or reason as to why they would behave in such a fashion, leaving the viewer to wonder why. While the reasons may be of interest, there is not a clue as to such. It may simply be that the author's interrelated short stories simply did not adapt well to film, despite best efforts to make it into a cohesive entity.
Yet, a pre-pubescent boy talks to his sister's Barbie doll, believing that they have some kind of relationship, and he believes that Barbie talks back to him. A man whose marital relationship is on the brink of disaster leaves his wife and family at a critical juncture in order to help a neighbor try to win an SUV contest at a local mall.Read more ›
The film is the story of 4 suburban families who have much more in common than first blush would tell you. All of them are somehow intertwined with a the fate of one of the families' comatose sons. (One character was in the car that injured him, another was the boys lover, etc.) It is the story, then, of how each family copes in different ways with that, and a host of other suburbanesque goings on, like being passed up for a promotion, dealing with the possible kidnapping of a daughter, or fumbling, as an adolescent, through one's first sexual feelings.
While the film, as I've said before, takes bizarre (and often unrealistic) twists and turns in the manner of American Beauty, "The Safety of Objects" has a strangely likeable quality. Like "American Beauty," the characters and story lines are just quirky enough to grab you without being so strange as to let you go. None of the characters are overtly lovable or dispicable, but all of them are at the very least, interesting and at most, compelling.
Be that as it may, though, the film is still a bit too cliche to be of any but moderate interest. Too many films - American Beauty, Short Cuts, The Good Girl, etc. - portray the same type of 'off-the-deep-end' suburban situations that this film does better, and more convincingly, than this film does it.Read more ›
The actor who surprised me was Dermot Mulroney. I enjoy just seeing him on film. He usually plays guys who are pretty self-assured but this guy was going through a mid-life crisis. Even though he might have been a bit over the top, it was an endearing performance. I think it was better than anything else I've seen him in.
Parts of this film were poignant and sad, but there was also the humor of the young boy and his sister's doll. I was surpised at how much I liked this film.
In general its poorly directed, but not a bad watch if you're just looking for something new.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too many stories, all weave together, but its just too much to follow.Published 17 months ago by Riverside
Complicated, intertwined and busy. It's better the second or third time.Published 21 months ago by Leon P.
Interesting character study. Well acted. Unfortunately, it was not a very compelling plot.
Patricia Clarkson was stellar... as she always is.
This film was about a neighborhood and how the neighbors interacted with each other. I kept watching and hoping great interaction would happen.Published on February 22, 2013 by Christy J. Wrenn