Normal Life Movie Review

God bless John McNaughton. Before he gave us the decadence of Wild Things he directed Normal Life, which offers an endless parade of Ashley Judd, topless and fancy free. But nothing of substance has come from John John since 1998. McNaughton, why have you forsaken us!?

Unfortunately Normal Life is a dud from a story and pacing standpoint, as it attempts to combine Bonnie and Clyde with a sexed-up Skinemax movie, plus a touch of Girl, Interrupted. Judd is an emotional basketcase with a penchant for cutting herself (named, ahem, Pam Anderson), while Luke Perry (sure, you remember him!) is a cop who falls for the poor lass (first spotting her smashing a beer mug in a bar -- great sign!).

Over a slow and difficult hour or so, the couple gets closer, eventually marrying, only for Pam to start spending all their money (and more), slicing into her flesh with kitchen knives, and causing hubby Chris to lose his job. To make ends meet, Chris turns to crime, carrying out intricate bank robberies aided by his knowledge of police response and investigation patterns. When Pam finds out where the money's coming from, she joins him on the spree -- until eventually it all comes apart.

I can't really blame McNaughton for wanting to focus on the naked Judd in lieu of this lazy script's idea of storytelling. The first robbery doesn't occur until well over half the movie has run its course. Instead, we have to sit through endless Pam tantrums, lectures offered by her factory-job boss, and -- gulp -- group therapy sessions. When we finally get to the robberies -- well, they're no more thrilling than those in Sugar and Spice.

Really this film is recommended only for fans of Judd -- and I think you know exactly what I'm talking about.


Comments

Normal Life Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 1996

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