Good Song/Bad Movie – The Virgin Suicides/Air

Ever have one of those days where nothing much happens? You go to work, university, out for some shopping, whatever it is you’re doing, you get the stuff done, but it all just drifts by. Little of note takes place. Sofia Coppola’s adaptation of The Virgin Suicides is the cinematic equivalent of just such a day.

Based on Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel, the film should by all rights be a frenzy of sex and death. It tells the story of the Lisbon sisters, stopped from seeing the local menfolk by their overbearing parents. Of course, they go and see the men anyway. Should be good. Bit of rebellion, some teen angst, bingo-bango.

Instead, The Virgin Suicides floats by, almost as if someone covered the whole film in a lace throw and motored it along on the back of a hovercraft. Things are happening, you know this because they’re happening in front of you, but it’s all a bit distant and, ultimately uninteresting.

Put it this way, if you were to fall asleep in the middle of this film then wake up and ask your fellow viewers what you had missed, they would struggle to fill you in.

Not good. However, the score by French electro-poppers Air is one of the film’s redeeming features. While it does contribute to the floaty and limp nature of the film, when taken alone it sounds great. Summery and laid-back, it creates a mood conducive to a good sit down with some kind of cocktail, while wearing a straw hat and flip-flops.


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