Kissed (Lynne Stopkewich, 1996)
[originally posted 23Jul2001]
Stopkewich, a production designer by trade, took a doozy for her first project behind the helm, an adaptation of Barbara Gowdy’s “We So Seldom Look on Love” called Kissed.
Lifetime Original Movie veteran Molly Parker plays Sandra, a necrophiliac who gets her dream job—working as a funeral home assistant. (I’ve found no conclusive evidence that Gowdy’s story is based, however loosely, on the life of Karen Greenlee, but really… how often does this happen?) Early on, she finds herself pursued by Matt (fellow TV-flick veteran Peter Outerbridge), whose obsession with Sandra deepens as he attempts to understand and identify with the necrophiliac urge.
Outerbridge probably wasn’t the best actor for this role, but the rest of the movie is quite well cast. Parker is wonderful, as is Natasha Morley (Hideaway), who plays her younger self. The funeral home’s janitor, Jan (James Timmons, in his first and [to date] last film role), steals every scene he’s in with impunity. This man needs more work, pronto. Similar to the casting, the script has its flaws (the main one is a decided overuse of voice-over narration), but there’s a lot to like in it, anyway. Parker is excellent at deadpanning great lines; one can almost forgive the endless minutes of narration given Parker’s voice, and the earnestness of her character. One wonders how many actresses could have pulled it off this well.
The movie’s main problem is its pace, which is jerky at best. Long, languid scenes that stretch thirty seconds beyond where they should are followed by whirlwinds of activity without transition and vice versa too many times. After a while, the viewer begins to feel the existential version of motion sickness.
Much to like, much to not like. The individual viewer will decide which wins out. *** ½
The full movie, currently available on Youtube.