Anne Parillaud proves that assassins in high heels have to work a LOT harder in "La Femme Nikita"
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas
Our license finally came through and we dedicated the Chloris Sturtivant Day Care Center last week. Our motto is "Guilt-Free Toddler Dumping."
It was Ugly-on-a-Stick's idea. She wanted the motto to be "Guilt-Free Toddler Dumping for the Financially Independent Family." But I vetoed that.
"I think we should take money from everyone," I told her, "regardless of their ability to pay. After all, this is America."
Anyhow, Chloris Sturtivant is Ugly-on-a-Stick's Christian name, which she's been using ever since Wanda Bodine told her it would be bad for business to name it the Ugly-on-a-Stick Day Care Center. And here's how it works:
Ugly-on-a-Stick interviews each parent individually, and asks em questions like, "Have you ever tried to murder this child, and what was he doing at the time?"
Then she takes the answer to this question and develops an educational program for the kid. For example, let's say the kid likes to ram crooked sticks through the screen door all day long because he "likes the way it feels."
Ugly-on-a-Stick will actually PURCHASE a screen door AND a crooked stick for the kid to play with all day long.
Or here's another example. Let's say little Teresa HATES Mama's new boyfriend. Let's say his name is Arthur. And every time he comes over to take Mama out on a date, little Teresa throws Play-Dough on his silk jacket. And Mama has to say "Normally she NEVER does things like this."
And Arthur acts like it doesn't bother him. "Oh, I'm sure Teresa and I will become GREAT friends one of these days," he says.
This is where I come in. Three times a week, Chloris pays me to come down to the day-care center and dress up like various lame boyfriends of various desperate mothers. And then Teresa is ENCOURAGED to throw all the Play-Dough on me she wants, and I throw it back at her, and then we both jump into a mud pile and sling dirt all over a leather couch, and then we have a heart-to-heart conversation, where I say encouraging things like, "Your mom is probly not rootin around on the floor with Arthur right now, and if she is, she's probly not ENJOYING it."
See, the idea of guilt-free day care is that we let the kid do everything that the parent HATES for him to do at home. We GET IT OUT OF HIS SYSTEM. By the time that kid gets home, he's punched so many holes in the screen door that all he wants to do is listen to German operas on PBS. And Little Teresa has taken out ALL her frustrations against Arthur, so that, the next time the subject comes up, she can more clearly ARTICULATE her emotions.
"Mom," she'll say, "I have this problem with Arthur. Let's be grown-up about it. I don't like to see you dating a bald-headed weenie with moss on his teeth."
You can imagine the relief all the parents will feel. Believe me, we're gonna make a fortune with this stuff.
Speaking of people who can't decide whether to make love or kill people, "La Femme Nikita" is the first French flick I've reviewed since "Emmanuelle V," because everyone kept writing in to me to tell me it was a drive-in movie with subtitles. I tried to tell these people that, if you put subtitles on a drive-in screen, there will very quickly be submachine-gun holes in that screen. But, fortunately for us, Vidmark Entertainment decided to put it out on video in two versions--subtitled and dubbed--so now I can report to you:
It's a combination of The Terminator, "The Playboy Lingerie Video" and "Gidget Goes to Paris." Anne Parillaud is one of those skinny French gals who's always hanging sideways out of her clothes and shaking her head so her hair sticks out like a ragmop, and she has this tendency to fall in love with those French guys who talk like snakes and never change expressions. Are these guys bored or stoned or what? I never have figured out what the deal is with French actors.
Anyhow, she's a junkie who wears really clingy silk dresses until she gets arrested for killing a cop and thrown into the puke-your-guts-out drug-withdrawal prison and sentenced to a life term. Fortunately for her, the French government is looking for an undercover political assassin, so they make believe she's dead and start teaching her karate and how to use a computer mouse. Pretty soon she's running around in high heels and mini-skirts, blowing the brains out of ambassadors, so that all the men fall in love with her.
It's one of those "Hey! Women are people, too!" movies.
Twenty-three dead bodies.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Anne Parillaud, as the Terminator-in-high-heels, for saying "Why ain't my mother here?"
and "Mister, is this heaven here or not?"
and "I'll never kiss you again";
Jeanne Moreau, who's been in every French movie since the beginning of time, as the expert on "making her a woman," for saying "Let your pleasure be your guide";
and Jean-Hugues Anglade, as the weenie boyfriend, for saying "Stop before it's too late."
Four stars by French standards. In other words . . .
Three stars American. Joe Bob says check it out.