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Xzyliac avatar 7:59 PM on 03.22.2010  (server time)
The Greatest Awful Film; Or The Film That Taught Me How To Love: Gracie's Choice

There comes a time in every human being's life when everything is changed radically. Everything you ever once knew has been blown into bits, the bits have been smashed into dust, the dust particles have been radiated into oblivion, and what now stands before you is a beautiful work of art. A painting painted with the brush strokes of brillance and the paints of epiphany. You never really know what it is that will set off this chain of events. It could be something as somber as the death of a loved one, as dangerous and brutal as a violent act thrusted upon you, or as moving and captivating as knowing you've found your true love. And of course all that lies in between. It can happen as a child, a teen, an adult, even as a babe. It can happen anywhere as well. On a bus, in your home, in your dreams, in a crowd, or all alone. For a second, for an hour, for years, or for a lifetime. Somewhere, someplace, somehow, your life will change forever.

That day, for me, was today. At 12:00 PM on the dot, in the San Jacinto building of the downtown Houston Community College campus Rm. 327 where I watched, nay experienced, the cinematic epic Gracie's Choice.

Not unlike Mr. Sterling's obsession with Deadly Premonition Gracie's Choice is a film so incredibly bad it's fucking adorable. However unlike Deadly Premonition Gracie's Choice totally expects you take it seriously which is just makes it that much more absurd. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

Gracie's Choice is a Lifetime original movie which should already preface how low budget this film is. And like most Lifetime movie's it stars a respected actress long before she actually deserved it. Enter, playing the role of main character Gracie Thompson, Kristen Bell. Bell stars alongside a laundry list of actors and actresses who I can't really say are "bad" but I can definitely say certainly aren't trying. In every "emotional" scene all I could see in the expressions on their faces were "I'm not getting paid nearly enough for this farce." Bell is accompanied by several B-level actors (and people who I swear they just picked off the street) including Shedrack Anderson III of Hook fame, and that chick from that terrible 90s flick we like to pretend was memorable I Know What You Did Last Summer, Anne Heche as the mother. I can say this much about the cast though: everybody is smokin' hot. Seriously I think the casting director easily said "Screw it. Just hire whoever's hot," because with maybe the exception of Grandma and the kids (the kids are cute but I'm not a pedo) I'd probably do everybody in this movie. Fuckin' A!

10/10 for eye candy.

The actually plot of the movie is simple enough Lifetime fodder with a twist. The movie follows the true life story of Gracie (names have been changed) as she fights to keep her brothers and sisters together while protecting them from the dangers her drug addict mother brings into their lives. Eeventually the mother is jailed and it's up to Gracie to raise her little brothers and sisters all while juggling grades, a job, and the heart of her love interest Tommy. Of course Gracie is a independent womenz so she can do anything, and everything, at the some time. Probably while performing heart surgery too. Oh, and the twist? FUCKING EVERYBODY IN THIS MOVIE IS EVIL! With the exception of Gracie and the kids everybody in this film is a bitch out to ruin Gracie. I'm not gonna ruin any plot twist (and there are some...okay one) but everybody in this movie is fucking evil. It's like the writers took the "All men are evil," template Lifetime gave them and cranked it up to 11. This movie is proof that nobody can be trusted. Not even Grandma!

One of these people is an ass. The answer? ALL OF THEM!

The actual writing of the movie is pretty cheesy as well. Every once in a while you get a good burn but really it's just a lot of overly dramatic bullshit. I swear this movie is so poorly acted and so unneccessarily intense you will punch all of your loved ones before the credits roll. From beginning to end there's nothing but girls crying, girls screaming, girls beating up each other, girls calling each other names, I never knew there was so much tension in the female jungle! Everything is a moment with these ladies! Is life supposed to be this dramatic!? Clearly I'm doing it wrong!

Which isn't to say the script writing doesn't have it's holes to let the light shine through which is one of the reasons I love it. When the script shines it shines. Some of those one liners? Classy as fuck.

Example: Rowena [mother]: I should send you to hell! | Gracie: I was born in hell!


Almost everything about Gracie's Choice glows F-A-I-L. The acting (especially), the music, the writing everything. So why do I love it? I don't know! It's just so bad it's good and as it continues to dig itself deeper and deeper I love it more and more. As Gracie and her love interest grow closer and the lines get more and more teeth grinding the more I want to watch to see just how bad it can truly get.

Before you ask; yes. Every adult male in this movie does is in fact a sex driven douche.

Which isn't to say it doesn't have it's positives. If you've ever taken a film analysis class you will finally find a film worth your analytical eye. There is a ton of symbolism, alliteration, and foreshadowing in this movie. At least one of these writers was trying to make a good movie because the literary techniques are excellent. For example, a constant theme throughout the movie is an affinity for stray animals both dogs and cats. It's obvious the animals represent the children, never painfully obvious, but always playfully obvious. They sneak little bits in that hint at it. For example when Gracie and her little sister are talking about the abuse they've been through they mention the abuse one of the dogs they leave behind in the beginning of the film had been through at the hands of one of their former fathers. It's not a segue though. It's kind of just thrown at you in the blink of an eye. Little bits of literary techniques like that actually make the film really fucking cool. Whoever put that stuff in there is a genious and almost carried anything positive the movie has going for it all by themselves.

And the movie does mix things up I have to say. In between all the drama are happy moments that really will put a smile on your face and halfway through you have to be a real heartless bitch to not be rotting for Gracie. I don't know why but I found myself totally into it. Maybe it's me but I was captivated.

Seriously the best predictable ending ever.

All in all Gracie's Choice is a terrible, terrible, terrible, movie even by Lifetime movie standards. The acting will frustrate you, the writing will haunt you, the plot will make a mockery of your intelligence, and the environment the film puts on will jerk your heart from depression to joy and back down again with no in bewteen. It will rape your idea of how bad a movie can be and the only thing that will keep your eyes from bleeding is that Kristen Bell is actually pretty hot (short hair FTW).

And somehow in the midst of all this I found myself loving every second of it. The film, unlike most good bad movies, actually does take itself seriously but that doesn't ruin it somehow and for that I applaud whoever the hell directed this wonderfully polished turd of a film. If you enjoy lovably terrible movies, can laugh off exagerrated drama and crying women, and you're a sucker for film analysis this film is right up your alley. It's a niche audience for sure but it's a rabid audience nonetheless.

The movie cut up in parts on YouTube.

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