CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
Film Review: Hard to Wrap Head Around Misguided ‘Mental’
CHICAGO – Despite boasting the talented efforts of the always-great and tragically underrated Toni Collette, P.J. Hogan’s “Mental,” opening this weekend in Chicago, is a tonal mess. It’s a bewilderingly strange movie, the kind of thing that one might write off as being lost in translation from its Australian origin before realizing it wasn’t that funny there either.
Shirley Moochmoore has gone crazy. She runs through her backyard, singing songs from “The Sound of Music,” as her five daughters panic at the awareness that poor mom has seen the far side of the deep end. It gets worse when Shirley becomes convinced that her always-absent husband (Anthony LaPaglia) has won on “Wheel of Fortune” and so starts ordering merchandise online that the family can’t afford. Shirley is sent “on holiday” and her husband has no idea what to do with the five girls. Oh, did I mention all five think they’re going crazy as well? And at least one might be right?
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Mental” in our reviews section.|
Enter “Mental“‘s version of Maria from “Sound of Music,” a surly nomad with a dog named Shaz (Toni Collette). She is “beyond humiliation.” And she is picked up on the corner and basically put in charge of raising the Moochmore girls and teaching them that everyone is a bit left of normal. We’re all mental. It just comes down to how one deals with it.
Photo credit: Arclight Films