There are some things in life I don’t understand. Take this movie for instance, a total befuddlement.
Virtuous is a 2015 movie from JCFILMS out of Lynchburg, VA, that is geared toward the Christian market. They were doing a P.R. tour at churches today and I caught one of the showings. A Director of JCFILMS was there as was Jessica Lynch, who I will write a separate blog post about as she deserves to be treated as a total different topic.
As for the film, bring a pillow for the first 1/2 hour. It is a snooze fest. It is unclear what is going on and how all the sub-plots relate to each other. Literally at the 25 minute mark, every single person in the small showing I attended (35 people) was fidgeting and scooting in their seats and whispering. They were as bored as was I.
The cast isn’t the problem in the movie. The script and directing were. That was the clearest point about this movie and there was no need for it to be that way.
For starters, I thought the script was horrendous toward women when it was intended to be the opposite. Apparently, to be an actress in this film you had to have the ability to produce a flood by crying. Every single major female character breaks down in tears – and I mean full out losing it – during this movie. That was to force the audience to feel the drama but in movies that is a death wish.
The filmmakers clearly believe that women take second place to men for men dominated their lives and the audience heard lame lines like, “that’s why I love my man!” Puke.
There was even an insulting fat joke about a nurse (who probably was the best actress in the movie) being overweight. My eyes rolled when I heard that, for I couldn’t believe someone put it in the script let alone approved the line.
In what was clearly a ploy to ride the back of Jessica Lynch’s fame, there was some weird story about a female soldier being captured. I was actually very angry at the way this was portrayed.
In the script, the soldiers are ambushed. Except, an ambush to the director meant people looking like Arabs – even though it was suppose to be Afghanistan – jumping out from nowhere and halting a vehicle and dragging everyone out. No firefight, just a simple “Halt! Get out!”. I don’t know if there was no money for a battle but it was farcical. And then the parents aren’t notified of the soldier’s capture for five days until she is rescued. Even then, it is the soldier who informs her parents with a phone call (not even a cell). That’s not how it works over at the Defense Department.
Truth is, this whole sub-plot could’ve have been cut from the movie and not changed one real thing. It was a waste of footage but was clearly included solely to manipulate Jessica Lynch’s saga, which frankly, deserves better.
There were black actors in the movie. But there were only a couple and it was insulting how the racial disparity was so obvious in this movie. Two of the black actors went to a church service. If you looked at the rest of the church, you realized they were the only black people there.
I know this is an indie production so budgets are tight but the sets were cheezy, I’m not sure there was a single locale I actually believed was realistic. The sound editing needed work in places and apparently, no one involved in this production has slummed it in a while because even the bad parts of town were pretty nice places to live while most of the houses etc. were more fitting for the 1%. An audience will never relate.
Most of all, there was no focus in the script. I still can’t tell you WHO this story is about. They tried to fill the backstory of all half-dozen major characters and consequently never scratched beneath the surface on anyone. The script also repeated the obvious 50x over. Seriously, how many times do you have to tell me the guy is mega rich or what the crimes are that a person has been charged with?
The actors were fine with the material they had. The script needed – I would argue cried out for – at least three more rewrites if not more. This movie may end up on Hallmark or a related channel, and it will probably play okay to Christians of senior citizen age but for anyone else, it is a one solid dud. 2 of 5 on the rating scale.