Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Grown Woman

As Mary Jo Buttafuco and Twitter Queen Mia Farrow can attest, 1992 was not a banner year.  There were exceptions -  despite a muddled production, Alien 3 was a good time and Dracula is still the best gay date movie ever and Hellraiser 3 was the first time I ever copped wood thanks to a scary movie (straight guys get an endless parade of boobs, it was about time they threw us gay boys a boner).

Through all this, there is one movie that still stands above the muddled fray...

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

Thanks to Annabella Sciorra, 1992 marks the beginning of my relationship with feminism. Annabella was a feminist role model in every way - the kind of woman who, despite being seven months pregnant, still woke up an hour before her family to make them fresh-squeezed orange juice, self-possessed enough to let her eyebrows grow un-plucked as Goddess intended. 

In the first ten minutes of the documentary, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Annabella finds a wandering, mentally handicapped man stumbling around her backyard.  Unfettered, she introduces him to her husband and her daughter (trusting that he won't spill coffee on her newborn when the time comes).  Without missing a moment of Sally Jesse Raphael, she puts him to work building a white picket fence for their gorgeous, newly restored pre-war house.  Practical.

"Don't fuck with me, retard."

Much like Tori Spelling years later, in hopes of helping other expectant mothers, Annabella allowed the cameras to follow her to her ob/gyn appointment with Dr Q.  After Dr Q sexually molests her in the stirrups (with his BARE HANDS), Annabelle powers through an asthma attack and she presses charges before setting the table for dinner that evening.  Powerful. She's so busy building her own green house and getting her daughter into a charter school that she can't even bother changing out of her over-sized hunting jacket for weeks at a time.

Well, when that lecherous Dr Q winds up killing himself, setting off a chain of events that leads to the miscarriage of his own child, Annabella takes in his widow, Rebecca DeMournay.  This was a time when Ms DeMournay couldn't get arrested in Hollywood, and despite the protestation of Julianne Moore, Annabella opened up her home and hired Rebecca as a Nanny. Philanthropic.

Unlike Annabella and Yolanda Foster, Rebecca DeMournay has never been a "girls-girl."  She's one of those girls who makes it tougher for everyone else.  Rather than be empowered by girls like Annabella and all she's accomplished, Rebecca is jealous.  She can't find happiness until she makes a mess of everything for everyone around her.  If she's not spilling Annabella's favorite perfume (an indulgence), she's murdering her friends and seducing her husband.  You just can't help some people.  That's why I still refuse to get a housekeeper.

1992 was a hard bitch.  Diana got divorced.  10,000 Maniacs broke up.  I was still a chubby monkey - but it's always darkest before the dawn.  The next year, we moved from Gloucester to Rockport where I could skip through the square to the bookshop to buy wonderful stories of beanstalks and ogres and where I could walk to the IGA supermarket that had The Addams Family cereal boxes that came with free flashlights.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about that time I maybe accidentally ate horse in France and turned anorexic.

1 comment:

  1. Boys, you don't want to run into ME in a dark alley..