Since Precious, the Mariah Carey movie that I’m dying to see is not going to be shown in Manila theaters anytime soon, and which might be shown mid-2010, by which time I would have already died from anticipation, I re-watched Wise Girls, a small movie that would have showcased the acting talent of the greatest diva of our time. Wise Girls tells the story of a certain New York-based, mob-run Italian restaurant that serves more than just pasta. Mira Sorvino, Melora Walters and Mariah Carey, who is not bad, play the waitresses. And if you really want to know what it’s about, go to IMDB because what I aim to examine and expound on is how Mariah is not at all a terrible actress as Glitter would have you believe.
Mostly I’m more interested in the experience of seeing a movie than the movie itself and I could say without reservation that Mariah would have been spared the breakdown had this movie been shown ahead of Glitter. If something as reputedly bad as Glitter can be shown in a third world, THX-equipped cinema, months after Rotten Tomatoes and just about every web traffic-hogging blogger had already proclaimed it to be bad, then an indieish movie such as Wise Girls can too, not because we have truly progressed as an above average appreciators of superior films nor because our local distributors never cared much for profit, but because and only because in the year that it was shown, 2002, Mariah was as popular as ever, and any movie that has at least one recognizable name in it will be shown, no matter how marginal the movie’s following is in the States or wherever. And so Wise Girls, the would/should-be launching vehicle of Mariah’s film career was shown here but in stinky SM Manila cinema, a telling sign that we were not going to see her in anything anymore.
I’m more concerned about critics’ assessment of movies so when I watch a movie that has her in it, and there aren’t many, I Google them and forget for a minute that I’m supposed to be doing other things in my life and I make searing commentaries such as this. And rewatching Wise Girls made me conclude, wow, that she isn’t so bad an actress after all. Even though I’m moved to mention her real life capacity for comedy, I could say with only the slightest bit of prejudice that she has put to great advantage her great comedic timing which she is supposed to have in real life. And even without having to say everything I’ve just said, I could never see her as anything but a wonderful human or actress.
I’ve seen this movie in the exact number of times that the average Mariah fan is supposed to watch it, which is to say, countless times, and the scene where she walks in the middle of the restaurant, gets her ass grabbed, and delivers what could have been THE career-shifting dialogue of her acting career, never fails to elicit a fawning, admiring gasp that can only come from someone who has had the nerve to bring his girlfriend to see Glitter and not be ashamed of his skin after pretty much giving away his real nature. And speaking of Glitter, is it really so awful? I think what paved the way for the tomato-throwage was that one corny scene where they were in a club and Max Beesley hands her a mic, done in a hazy, corny, slow motion sequence and she starts to spontaneously sing to the random beat being played. Apart from that scene, what else was so bad I just couldn’t see. Someone remove the blinders from eyes!