Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"You stole Gram Parsons!" 

I went to see Grand Theft Parsons today - Lorna later reminded me that I'd said I'd see it with her, but breaking this promise did mean that I was able to see the film alone with just four other people in a big screen, all of whom were obvious Parsons fans, which kind of made it worth it...

It's a sweet film, getting funnier as it goes along, and with quite a few good lines in it. Gram Parsons' road manager, Phil Kaufman, has made a pact with Gram that whichever one of them dies first, the other will make sure that his body is burned in the Joshua Tree National Park. So Kaufman seeks to steal Gram's body after he dies, using the hearse of a random hippy he's tracked down. What follows is essentially a buddy/road movie. It could have been more than that - the true story alone is certainly grist enough to have made this a proper cult film - but with low expectations I found it pleasant enough. There's a winking cameo appearance from the real Phil Kaufman towards the end, playing someone coming out from the county courts, just as actor Kaufman walks in, and the music (mainly Parsons' own) provides a lovely background throughout. None of the actors are up to much, though, and Christina Applegate in particular did absolutely nothing to convince me that she has ever had any other character than her moody dumb blonde from Married With Children.

Compared to other films out this year - better than American Splendor (another half-true-to-life film). Worse than A Mighty Wind (another music-heavy film).

Altogether, though, not bad and worth a look - especially if you're a geeky alt.country fan surrounded by similar.

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