November 18 - 24, 2005 • Vol. 25 - No. 46

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Derailed—On the Wrong Side of the Tracks
by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

Derailed was directed by Swedish filmmaker Mikael Håfström. This film is Håfström’s first English-language film. In 2003, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film with the movie Evil. Derailed is based on a novel by James Siegel, adapted for the screen by Stuart Beattie (Collateral and Joey).
We now have to fill in as much information as we can because, if we tell you all about the film, it will spoil the plot for you. Basically, Derailed is a suspense thriller. Charles Schine is an ad executive and family man, played by Clive Owen (Beyond Borders and King Arthur). His teenage daughter, who has type 1 diabetes, is presently rejecting her third kidney transplant and takes dialysis in her home each day. His wife, Deanna, portrayed by Melissa George (Amityville Horror and Down with Love) is a teacher with as full a schedule as her husband. Between his commute, his daughter’s health needs and his wife's hectic lifestyle, there isn't much left over for Charles. So when he meets Lucinda Harris on a train while commuting to Chicago, it's no wonder that he is instantly intrigued by her. Lucinda, a financial advisor, is played by Jennifer Aniston (Along Came Polly and Bruce Almighty and, of course, Brad Pitt's ex). After a few meetings, the two decide to take their relationship to the next level. Too much more information will spoil the plot. Let's just say that adultery doesn't pay (unless you are a blackmailer or something)!

The Blonde: What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive or cheat! Interesting flick, especially for the 'darling,' Jennifer Aniston! Derailed was like the beginning of Sliding Doors meets the beginning of Falling in Love meets the entire Fatal Attraction meets Double Indemnity meets Unfaithful meets Strangers on a Train meets The Postman Always Rings Twice. I LIKED it, I really, really liked it! This film was different, with twists and turns. It kept one intrigued with a MOST original and clever storyline. The acting was fantastic and quite real. Don't go to this movie with the notion of trying to figure out the plot because you probably won't. The story builds and builds and builds. Then, just when you think you have it, the plot changes yet again—just like a relationship in your own life!

The Maven: If you spend too much time trying to stay ahead of the story, you won't enjoy the movie. Although much is predictable, there are some twists that are sadistic enough for you. Clive Owen is unbelievably sexy. I could watch him all day (and night). He was more subtle in this role and consequently his acting was better. He hid his accent well too.

Story continued on bottom

The Blonde: Oh dear sweet Maven, can we NOW bring up the Camilla and Charles visit to America! I just can't hold it in anymore! I don't know which storm was bigger, Wilma or Camilla! Or perhaps, Libby??

The Maven: Don't you think enough has been said about Camilla? I mean, how many more dogs can she compared to? As for Charles, he has to wake up with her every day, so he will suffer for many years to come! As far as Hurricane Wilma is concerned, she took ENOUGH TIME FROM ME! She was definitely worse than Camilla, just look at your roof! All Camilla ever broke was a mirror and it wasn't even yours.

The Blonde: Wilma took more than my roof—I am homeless! So, readers, if you have an extra room for The Blonde, let me know. I come with great coffee! About the royal visit, I'm sorry, seeing Camilla in the same frame as George W. Bush was just too much to take in, especially after a devastating hurricane experience! How much can a blonde take, I ask you?

The Maven: Oh come on, BUSH is so much worse. At least Camilla never killed anybody by HER actions.

The Blonde: Wow... We don't know this for sure! Moving right along, and speaking of bad guys, Vincent Cassel, who played Philip LaRoche, was one of the all time best BAD guys I have ever seen in a movie. He really stole this film in his own way. As for Jen, this was a good stretch for her! They really did a good job of not making her look so perfectly beautiful, which, in turn, makes the rest of us woman feel MUCH better—especially after seeing her so much lately, looking rather wonderful. Man, Jen has appeared on every television show that would have her on, pushing this film. Talk about exposure and plugging a movie! Clive was excellent, as well (not to mention quietly sexy), but his character was not too bright, was he? But then, that changes too! Speaking of changes, Starbucks has changed their usual white cups to the holiday season red cups. Important news flash for all to know! Now, did Tom and Katie wed this week or is this just more gossip and do we really care?

The Maven: Vincent was so truly "BAD" in this film. He reminded me of Nicholson's over-the-top performance in The Shining. Jen was great, but she was shot so unflatteringly, I thought maybe the makeup and hair people had a bone to pick with her. Maybe they were just jealous of her. She was still married to Brad when she made this film two years ago. In addition, I am over TomKat!

The Blonde: Well I am not over Tom and Kat, for they are very close personal friends of mine! I think you might be jealous since you are not invited to their big bash, as I will be! Whenever that is or will be or has been! As far as Jen goes, in spite of how harsh looking she did appear, (and she did), I enjoyed this whole film. It was perfectly cast, well written, carefully directed and simply put... suspenseful. The moral to this tale is, "Don't cheat on your mate, but if you must, don't pick a sleazy hotel!”

The Maven: Don't listen to our Blonde; that is not the ONLY moral! The other moral is to have your agent always include a clause in your contract that your hair and makeup must meet your approval. Jen should never work with those people again!

The Blonde: Mav, did it ever simply occur to you that just MAYBE Jen is not all that beautiful, that perhaps she is all fluff, makeup and mirrors?

The Maven: NO!

The Blonde: Me neither! There are more morals in this film as well. Don't cheat with Jennifer Aniston (especially with her wearing no makeup), don't forget to lock your hotel door WITH the chain, and, of course, don't get picked up on a train!

The Maven: If you don't mind being manipulated and knowing where some of the plot is taking you, this movie may work for you. If you don't like being tricked, you will NOT like this movie. The acting was great, though! The writing was substandard Hitchcock. I rate Derailed a C for "COME ON"! Is anyone as naive as Charles?

The Blonde: YES! PRINCE CHARLES! Furthermore, I do not agree with your rating for this film at all. It was different, exciting, fun, suspenseful and kept my interest! I rate Derailed a solid B! For your movie snacks, go ahead and enjoy some Twizzlers for all of the twists and turns you will be put through! Don't forget the popcorn, as well. You will need to munch a lot!

P.S.: For a lovely, old-fashioned movie experience, go see the film Pride and Prejudice. Not only was this a well acted, directed and produced film, it was beautiful to watch, with all its glorious scenery and cinematography!

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