The Telefile
HBO’s <I>Grey Gardens</I> Not-Remake is Surprisingly Awesome It really is. If you've never seen the original documentary, you're totally not going to get it, but if you have, and particularly if you're one of the crazies like myself (and Drew Barrymore, clearly) who has seen it a million times and does your own Little Edie dances on a daily basis, you're going to love it. It was like watching a really well done, high budget version of a YouTube fan tribute to the original. Everything the fans will want to see is pretty much in here, and it's all hilarious -- Little Edie's legendary "best costume for the day" monologue, all the raccoons, the "Tea for Two" scene, even Big Edie's famous boiled corn was included! There were some minor diversions, but one of them was for the better: the "that cat's going to the bathroom behind your portrait, Edie" line was said by Jackie fricking O (played marvelously by the lovely Jeanne Tripplehorn) instead of one of the filmmakers, as it was in the original. That, my friends, is a fabulous upgrade. I died.

The only quibble I had was that the film really doesn't treat the Edies' relationship as messed up as it clearly must have been. They're shown to be co-dependent and eccentric, but not overly so, and I mean, c'mon -- there's co-dependent and then there's sequestering yourself together under a pile of garbage for twenty-five years. Obviously, these women were insane, and the movie's efforts to humanize them and make them sympathetic was noble, but it eclipsed that pretty important issue. On the other hand, I still can't believe they found room for Big Edie's corn scene!

And if you're not a fan of the original, but are a Jackie O enthusiast, there is a kickass face-off between her and Little Edie towards the end that I had to rewind and rewatch about three times before I could move on. I think it's probably the best thing I've ever seen Drew Barrymore do, if that counts for anything.

And Jessica Lange is unrecognizable as Big Edie and fantastic throughout as well. I highly recommend it, but again, only if you've seen the original!

Grey Gardens airs on HBO, Saturday at 8 PM.




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The Telefile

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