On Thin Ice January 17, 2011Posted by H$ in 36-40, H$, on thin ice.
So here’s a question: what’s your favorite Lifetime show, and would you like for me to make fun of it? In an effort to produce more content for the new site, I want to start reviewing Lifetime’s TV shows. Unfortunately, I don’t have cable, so I could use some audience suggestions. Does anyone have anything they’re just dying to see me make fun of?
Speaking of content, I decided to review the film “On Thin Ice”, which is currently available on Hulu. Is it worth watching? Read this premise: Diane Keaton on meth.
If you didn’t immediately launch Hulu in another window, you’re reading the wrong blog.
On Thin Ice is, in theory, a movie about a single mother who starts dealing drugs and gets addicted to crystal meth, and cleans up for the sake of her kids.It’s a harrowing story of addiction, recovery, and the redemptive power of love. In theory. In reality, it’s 1.5 hours of Diane Keaton running around high as a meerkat, screaming at the top of her lungs and smoking crystal meth. Good job, Lifetime Movie Network!
Patsy is a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet. The movie starts with her slumped over asleep at a desk, where she dozed off while taking a break from her cleaning lady gig. She zooms home to an apartment in the bad part of town, where she wakes her kids up by making monster faces and screaming at them. Suitably horrified, they obediently pile into the car and are off to school and/or daycare. At daycare, Patsy apologizes profusely for a bounced check while her child hyperventilates and is tended to by staff. Finally, she makes it to her waitress job, where she loudly complains, cries at her boss, and chainsmokes while handling people’s food.
Keep in mind that she isn’t on drugs yet.
Patsy learns that the restaurant will be closing in 2 weeks. After another crying jag, she goes to pick her youngest son Kevin up from daycare. They go to the grocery store, where we get to see her son cruelly denied crunchy peanut butter due to a lack of coupons. This is supposed to be tragic, and maybe it is if you grew up in a family where a small child’s condiment whims were considered with the same gravity as law. Kevin is, of course, an asthmatic cherub who would give Tiny Tim a run for his tearjerking money. He also constantly requires medication, which makes him feel just terrible about himself. “Mommy, I’m sorry I’m sick” he pouts at the pharmacy counter. What a little angel!
Patsy meets up with her friend Carrie, who is gaily purchasing the hell out of some expensive groceries with her own sickly adorable son. She sees her friend in dire straits, and offers to buy Kevin some shoes. Carrie’s explanation for her new stack of cheddar are vague, and seem to be related to her new boyfriend, who we see hanging out in a pickup, itching foodstains off of his wifebeater and having really unsubtle conversations about crystal meth to everyone who comes up to the car. Carrie quietly offers to make Patsy a part of the action, but Patsy sensibly declines.
Shortly thereafter, Patsy covers a newspaper delivery shift for her eldest son Jason while he’s at basketball practice. For some reason I am not clear on, this causes her to throw the worlds biggest tantrum at Jason when he meets them at the car. This causes Kevin to choke on his own tongue and pass out in the backseat. The family jalopy is busted, so Patsy runs to Carrie’s place to get a ride to the emergency room. Carrie’s house is full of users, boozers, and losers- but Carrie still has the means to drive them to the hospital and even pay for the visit. This is enough to convince Patsy to become a dealer. Just for a little while, until she finds a new job. What could go wrong?
Patsy takes to drug dealing like she was born for it. She’s quick, efficient, and keeps an itemized book of receipts for every transaction. Good idea, Patsy. Keep all that evidence on you. Anyway, she’s such a super-achiever that she soon runs out of her own supply and has to go meet a supplier named Spider for dinner and a hookup. Spider says he doesn’t trust a dealer that doesn’t use their own product, and before you can say “trailer fire”, Patsy is sparking up the meth.
Fade to black. When we return to the story, Patsy is a serious tweeker. She screams at her kids, grovels for a fix from Carrie, and generally cries and flails her arms like she’s being chased by coyotes at all time. Weirdly enough, this doesn’t change her performance at all. I cannot emphasize enough how AWFUL Diane Keaton is in this film. She spends the entire time chowing scenery and screaming. You should probably just see it for yourself:
She’s a full-blown addict at the 7 minute mark. Can you spot the difference?
Anyway, her kids get fed up with this shit and threaten to move to Chicago for…some reason? The movie doesn’t really explain why this is an option for the kids, but it doesn’t matter, because their mom gets on the bus and cries and screams for them to come home. Those dumb kids follow her home, lock her in her room, and leave her in there until she gets over her addiction. Important information for crystal meth addicts: you don’t need rehab or any of that baby shit. Just get yourself a locking door and a wheezing toddler and wait it out.
Cleansed of her sins, and remarkably still fully be-toothed, Patsy tells Carrie that she’s getting out of the business. Carrie says that she’s cool, but that their crack house isn’t really a crack “home”, and she begs Patsy to take her angelic child to somewhere safe. Patsy declines, which surely will not come back to haunt her. Meanwhile, Spider get angry that Patsy’s threatening to leave the game, and comes around to threaten the kids. He mentions someone is skimming off the top, and he definitely wouldn’t mind shooting some kids to find out who it is. Patsy cries until he leaves, then cries some more. The kids go back to school or whatever, and she pays a visit to her friend’s house to let her know she’s clean and available to babysit. In a truly gruesome scene, she discovers her friend and her friend’s dealer/boyfriend/whatevs drowned in the bathtub with “thief” and “thief’s wife” scrawled on their backs in blood. She also finds her friend’s son dead in his racecar bed. Yeesh.
Scared out of her wits, moron Patsy does what she should have done all along- turns state evidence to protect her family and bring Spider down. She leaves her kids alone with a shotgun (?!) and heads up to his charming drug bungalow to get the info to bring hm down. There’s some confusing chase kinda thing, and the cops sort of give up on her. She goes back home to check on the kids, and they’ve been kidnapped- but the shotgun is still there. Time for Patsy to get some payback.
Patsy tracks down her dealer and her kids at the old meth mill. She waves her arms and screams wildly while firing a gun in the air. She’s really a master strategist. The cops, no doubt summoned by everyone in listening distance of the 30 gunshots that were fired, tell Patsy not to shoot him. She agrees, and then shoots him in the stomach. That’s how Patsy rolls.
The film concludes with Spider being rolled into an ambulance and Patsy taking her kids home, assuring them that no matter what happens next, things will be better. I’m sure she was just trying not to think of the fact that her screaming and shooting outside of a meth producing facility was a pretty good tip to everyone inside that she was a narc, and that everyone saw the police come and get Spider, and that she will no doubt be held responsible by the multitude of gun-happy criminal low-lifes to whom he owed money or drugs before he was arrested. Sleep tight, Patsy!
If you have Diane Keaton smoking crystal meth and gunning people down in your movie, it’s awesome. That’s just science. That’s just facts.
Star Power: 10
Did Diane Keaton run a bus full of Special Olympics kids off of a cliff, or something? Is she atoning for her own meth habit? There must be some ugly skeletons in her closet if she’s doing a movie like this.
The moms make terrible decisions in this movie, and we see a child’s corpse, so I am going to knock a few points off here. Still, she tracked down her dealer with her women’s intuition. That’s worth something.
36. It’s on Hulu. You’ll probably enjoy it!