Adapted from the lauded feminist novel, I LOVE DICK is set in a colorful academic community in Marfa, Texas. It tells the story of a struggling married couple, Chris and Sylvere, and their obsession with a charismatic professor named Dick. Told in Rashomon-style shifts of POV, I LOVE DICK charts the unraveling of a marriage, the awakening of an artist and the deification of a reluctant messiah.
Most of the action is set in and around the town of Marfa, TX, a minimalist art mecca in the high desert. The real-life Marfa (population 1,981) is a popular arts destination home to Building 98 and the Marfa lights. It is famous in popular culture for the "Marfa Prada" sculpture, a permanent installation erected in 2005 about 26 miles NW of the town by artist Elmgreen and Dragset. See more »
I Love Dick starting with its wink-wink title, rubs its fingers together in your face.
I didn't much care for I Love Dick. Great writing, superb photography, tour-de-force acting - what's not to like? For one thing I couldn't stand the husband and wife - I shudder to imagine that at my next art event I might find myself sitting next to that duo at dinner. I'm sorry, you have to have some empathy for the main characters even if they are diabolically evil. We loved Tony Soprano; we loved the Chicken Man in Breaking Bad. I also thought Kevin Bacon was miscast. He was the opposite of charismatic, and his love scenes seemed robotic instead of comedic.
But those are minor issues. What I viscerally disliked about I Love Dick was its snide cynicism. The creators not only know what buttons to push, they revel in their knowledge. Not only do they manipulate you they make sure you know you're being manipulated. Like Transparent which I also didn't like, they trot out every trendy social issue and eviscerate whatever's meaningful about those issues with their pandering. This kind of sour cynicism lurking beneath a bright veneer of virtuoso craft is the bane of many an American visual production. You notice it when you see a foreign film or video comparable in quality. Real values emerge; instead of cynicism you get sincerity and a passionate belief in the validity of what they are attempting. Last on their list is the potential audience, the numbers, or the box office and it shows. And that is also true of the very best American 'extended film' videos like The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, True Detective and Fargo. These series are cinematic art at its best. They say important things about the human condition. For all their surface brilliance I love Dick and Transparent are mostly concerned with profit and manipulation. I Love Dick starting with its wink-wink title, rubs its fingers together in your face.
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