We watched several movies this week while our son is away. On the DVD front, we rented Far From Heaven and Fido. Both movies have similar surreal 1950s settings.
Far From Heaven is about the seemingly perfect and shallow lives of an American family, where things are not as they seem. The husband, played by Dennis Quaid, is struggling with homosexual feelings while the wife develops a taboo friendship with a black man. In the homophobic 50s, it was still better to be gay than to cross racial lines.
In Fido, an average American family's life is complicated when they try to keep up with the neighbors by getting a domesticated zombie. This is far from your typical zombie movie. It's more like Leave It To Beaver meets Shawn of the Dead. Billy Connolly is fabulous as Fido, the zombie. Carrie-Anne Moss (of The Matrix and Disturbia) is wonderful as the very proper mom. The side characters are great as well, including a neighbor who treats his female zombie as his girlfriend and the little girl neighbor who hates ballet but is an excellent marksman. The later is key when you have zombies outside the town in the 'wild zone' and when anyone who drops dead will turn into one in a flash.
While watching Far From Heaven and Fido as an in-home double feature has its merits, Fido probably would be better paired with Shaun of the Dead.
Speaking of Shawn of the Dead, we ventured out this afternoon to see Penelope, which included a minor appearance by Shaun of the Dead's Nick Frost ('Ed'). We really enjoyed Penelope. A nice and light uplifting flick. Poor Penelope was literally cursed at birth with the ears and snout of a pig. Supposedly, the curse can only be broken when one of her own kind accepts her for who she is. When she reaches adulthood, her parents hire a matchmaker to find her a suitable blue blood mate. Every one of the potentials runs from her on sight. When a reporter hires a down-on-his-luck blue blood to get a picture of the poor girl, the real romance begins. But, all is not as it seems in the relationship or the curse department. The flick has a satisfyingly happy ending.
All three movies are recommended.