another really great movie: "Girl 6"

Most people seem to hate "Girl 6." It's one of those movies that gets one star in the back of TV Guide. I'm not sure why. It's definitely a little pretentious, and you can argue about how much Spike Lee has to say about women's liberation from the phone sex industry. But the script is by Suzan Lori-Parks, who is one of those playwrights too daringly crazy to write any kind of proper cookie-cutter screenplay. It's beautifully shot, as most Spike Lee movies are, with a particularly, appropriately sensual palette of saturated colors and music-video compositions. It does that thing which pretty much only Spike Lee bothers to do anymore, which is show people of different races and classes co-existing in a world where they have to interact despite their beefs, because they're mainly working-class and don't live on Wisteria Lane. And there are many a piercing moment; the obvious ones such as when Judy the aspiring actress has to strip naked for an audition, or the lyrically beautiful shot of phones falling around a kissing couple on a New York street. But where some movies would satisfy themselves with a few such easy, manipulative images, the movie also has powerful intertwined themes; one of the most resonant to me is that feeling you get of being addicted to your job which is making you a whore. I'm sure a lot of people are in touch with this feeling, but for whatever reason it's one of Spike Lee's most reviled movies. And yet it has a soundtrack of classic Prince, for god's sake. The acting's all solid and none of the dialogue is embarrassing.
...It does suffer from a few too many subthemes crammed into one flick, and for that reason I chalk up its general critical and popular rejection to the David Lynch Rule (there's surely a much better name for this rule but I can't spend the time to find it). That is, people hate things that seem "weird" unless they're by David Lynch, who for some reason owns the only Weird Brand in cinema. People expect Spike Lee to be agitprop and indie, but they don't expect him to be subtextual and floaty and of all things, pro-feminist. So, because it does a few unexpected things, it's Just Bad.
....Did I mention that people are idiots? People are idiots.

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