Invisible Child September 20, 2011Posted by Rusty in Uncategorized.
Wow, five weeks since our last post. Even in the bad times, that’s a pretty bad stretch of inactivity. Truth be told, the inactivity was especially unplanned. I started watching Invisible Child two weeks ago. But I couldn’t finish it. It’s not just bad, it’s a special kind of bad. Drop Dead Fred bad. Awkward. Not good awkward. Bad awkward. Just a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach for two hours.
So now that I’ve set the stage, let’s do this:
We meet Annie Beeman posting a help wanted ad at the local college for a nanny. She has three kids and needs some extra help.
A British student, not Louise Woodward, just shows up at the Beeman house a few days later and asks for the job. That’s right, our nanny, Gillian, just appears at this house looking for work. Shows initiative, I suppose.
But lest you think Gillian is a nutso, wait until you meet the Beemans. The architect dad, Tim, has no idea that his wife was looking to hire a nanny. Oh, and one of their kids doesn’t exist. Not even a little bit. This isn’t a “pretend the dead kid is still alive” dealio, this kid is a straight-out invention courtesy of Mom. The husband and the precocious 10-year-old daughter (Her?*) play along for the sake of keeping the family together. The four-year-old son is convinced this fiction, Maggie, is real.
Gillian is way too comfortable with this and takes the job immediately. As in, she moves into their crazy home right away. The mom posted this position in secret a few days ago and they already have full nanny quarters? That is weird? And she immediately starts giving an invisible child a bath! What is going on here!?
So, not to skip ahead, but obviously the nanny is evil. OBVIOUSLY. None of this fazes her and she keeps doing weird things. Her only previous nanny experience is raising her siblings, but she refuses to discuss her family under any circumstances. And she keeps undermining the whole charade! She keeps giving the fake kid seconds on its food knowing that the 10-year-old (Her?**) is going to have to eat it (and it’s always vegetables, not, say, a hard boiled egg and mayonnaise packet***). And, then when the 10-year-old starts to crack, Gillian tries to get her to move to England with her! It’s as 10-year-old as the nose on plain’s face**** that the nanny is crazy!
**** You get what I’m doing here, right? I can stop. Please let me stop.
When the 10-year-old refuses to move spend Christmas in England with her nanny’s family, Gillian goes to a shrink who confirms the effed-upness of the situation. Next step: Social Services! Social services is very interested. Too interested? They start asking too many questions. Green card talk is bandied about. Gillian leaves. Probably because too many questions will reveal her background as a kidnapper, right?
It turns out the movie was playing it straight all along. Gillian is normal. Annie is crazy for some reason that is purported to be legitimate (it is not), so she isn’t looking to cause any problems. The husband just loves his wife so much that he won’t do anything to break the spell. The kids? Well, fuck the kids. They don’t have to deal with adult shit yet. So, if everything is so great, who’s the bad guy?
Social services. They are the bad guys. They show up at the Beeman’s with armed officers. They need to speak to the kids or they will be taken away! I am pretty sure this is not how that works, but, why not. The dad’s lawyer even confirms it.
Gillian admits to being the snitch, but because she is such a good nanny, the family (sans Crazy Mom) decides to work around it. They set up a meeting with social services and deny everything. Gillian even claims she never brought up an imaginary child to the county in the first place. The daughter even goes as far as to claim the imaginary child is like Martin Luther King: She isn’t alive, but she lives in our hearts. The black social service worker is very impressed. (In case this wasn’t clear, that was not a joke. There really is a black case worker who sympathizes with the Beemans once they mention MLK.)
Coaching a pre-teen to lie to the authorities works and they all high-five in the street. The mom is so inspired by her family and nanny working together to trick people dedicated to look out for the welfare of children that she pretends her fake daughter died of a fever in her sleep. THE END.
(What’s amazing about this ending is that there are all of these horrible scenes where the mom is pretending she has an extra daughter and it is so awkward. Hospitals, schools, the boardwalk, etc. But when she “dies,” fuck protocol. THEY BURY IT IN THE BACKYARD.)
I was intrigued when I thought that the nanny was evil. Once that went by the wayside, woof. I repeat, this movie took me three weeks to watch. It’s that bad.
HEY! IT’S THAT GUY!: 10
The Beeman Dad is the ultimate “that guy.” Ladies and gentlemen: Victor Garber. BOOM. Mid-level parts in Titanic, Legally Blonde, and Milk? Garber is in the That Guy Hall of Fame.
Annie is played by Rita Wilson. She is married to Tom Hanks. More importantly, she is in one of my favorite movies of all-time: Now and Then.
Obviously the daughter is Ann from Arrested Development. That was clear, yes?
Surprisingly un-Lifetimey! The demonization of local authorities is pretty spot on, but the movie is about a married young dude and a younger, suspicious nanny teaming up for something other than kidnapping or adultery. That’s nuts.
GRAND TOTAL: 15
Just watch the trailer. It tell you all you need to know and you can save yourself 98 minutes or so of misery.