Buoyed by my enjoyment of "Captain America," currently in theaters, I rented "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond," a "new" screenplay by Tennessee Williams that stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Evans, aka "the Cap'n" of the aforementioned action movie.
I anticipated enjoyment. I did not anticipate swelling boredom.
Let's just say that the affection Tennessee Williams and director Jodie Markell have for the problems of selfish, self-centered, self-indulgent poor little rich girls far exceeds my own.
In a nutshell, Poor Little Rich Girl Fisher Willow -- and if that isn't a twee name I've never heard one -- is the heiress to two fortunes, and her rich aunt has ordered Poor Little Fisher to come home from the Sorbonnes to make her debut in Memphis society.
In the meantime, however, Poor Little Fisher's Ebil Daddy -- and he's never shown in the movie and never weighs in on Fisher's choices so must considered pointless at best -- has blown up a levee and inadvertently caused the deaths of two men.
Her date of choice for the Memphis society season is James Dobyne V, the grandson of a Tennessee governor who has fallen on hard times, what with the mentally ill mother and the drunken daddy of his own who works for Poor Fisher's daddy. Poor Fisher explains to him because Poor Fisher is rich and has a mean daddy and is sarcastic, nobody likes her. Poor Fisher does not pursue the thought that people dislike her because she talks about herself and her problems and her money a lot in an annoying way, which was my reading of her social interactions.
Poor Little Fisher persuades "Jimmy" that he would be the perfect escort for her debutante outings, in spite of their class differences, especially if she pays him. Really, thinking about it, it's hard to see why people dislike Fisher so. It MUST be because of her Ebil Daddy.
After a few parties where Poor Little Fisher makes herself even more disliked, she ends up at a "Halloween" party where she makes a complete drama queen of herself after losing an earring. Thus, the conflict of the entire piece. Almost the entire last half of the movie is spent at the party where people talk about whether Poor Little Fisher lost her earring or hid it so as to frame Jimmy for its theft.
I swear. That's the big drama. A lost earring.
Bryce Dallas Howard plays Poor Little Fisher with a lot of red lipstick and beautiful costumes. Chris Evans plays Jimmy with a lot of stalwart uprightness and some handsome tuxedos.
Jodie Markell directs a languid production with the idea that Tennessee Williams' name, pretty costumes and antebellum architecture are enough to carry a movie.
"The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" opened to six screens, IMDB tells me. It went to video thereafter. Rent at your own risk.
P.S. Sorry, guys. Can't figure out how to fix coding so this entry doesn't take up 552 lines.