Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise (2001)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Jim Cartwright
Starring Timothy Spall (AKA Peter Pettigrew), Michael Begley
Pete is a sad sack DJ who lives off his girlfirend's meidocre, bitchy stripping (is such a thing possible? probably). In an effort to become less of a loser and make a better life for the two of them, he becomes an apprentice door to door vacuum cleaner salesman. His "mentor" is Tommy, who pulls Pete through a frenetic few days of training and tribulation which culminate in a ceremony announcing the best vacuum salesperson of the region.
this is an hour and 15 minute movie and it took us two days, three sit downs to watch it. yes, partly because of our child, but if it was good we would have figured out a way to watch more of it the first day. it was realistic enough for me to say 'who cares'. generally i don't enjoy super realistic lives of boredom and depression. i can just look around for that shit. there has to be some hyperbole somewhere, or why make a movie? there was one mildly funny part, where peter pettigrew put in his version of an inspirational tape and it was just him yelling "fuckin' sell!" over and over and over. i guess there is some poetic thing in the ending, but once again....who cares. moral of the movie: in the illustrious words of our napoleon dynamite figurine "follow your heart, pedro....that's what i do"
This was pretty stupid from a story perspective. The most important part of the ending was telegraphed from about 20 minutes in. While the part that wasn't left me feeling nice, I'm not sure it was worth it.
While Pete is certainly the star of the story, Spall's Tommy is the star of the movie. He plays the obnoxious, anything-to-make-a-sale asshole to a tee; and I was glad to see that he can carry a meaty role rather than a bit part as a whiny traitor. He does the most with the material to the point where he appears to be applying Method: His face gets so red and his eyes so wide that I can't imagine him acting without redline blood pressure. Leaving no lasting impression, Begley's Pete was too reserved.
I spent a large portion (in fact, the first 95% until I got a jump on writing the synopsis) trying to remember why I put this movie on the queue. It turns out that it's because Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting," "Sunshine") directed it. And now that I know that I can totally see it. While the story is rote garbage the camera betrays some genius when it gets the chance. It's not as good as his A-list work, but there's thought to the way the camera is placed or moves; and the effects (such as they are) and editing play into a palpable overall asthetic. I also don't think that this script would have benefited from a larger budget.
I don't recommend this movie, but I don't regret adding it nearly as much as I did a half-hour ago.