epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Movie Review: The Ref (1994)

Gus (Denis Leary) botches a burglary and so takes Caroline (Judy Davis) and Lloyd Chasseur (Kevin Spacey) hostage. They have a marriage made in hell, an evil spawn son named Jesse and a flock of appalling relatives (Glynis Johns, Christine Baranski and Ellie Raab of ’Poison Candy’) who are enroute for Christmas Eve dinner. Gus is overwhelmed by the Chasseur’s screaming matches about Caroline’s emasculating adultery and Lloyd’s patronising disgust. The inept hypocrite Gus yells and demands order. Caroline has no sense of personal responsibility and Lloyd has a propensity for deep seated rage. Everything is very brown.

Blame is flung around and a breathless portrayal of martial discord and stagnation is on view. Gus only accentuates the problem and the situation deteriorates. A cop and a drunken Santa have dull subplots. Lloyd and Caroline’s demon seed fugly son shows up. The plot hinges on outdated technology. Gus yells down the phone at his drunken vagrant imbecile sidekick. Ugly clothes are worn.

Jesse’s military academy master (J.K Simmons) shows up as do the extended family. Dinner is produced from thin air. I think chunks were cut out of this film. Gus pretends to be a marriage counsellor. Flaming candle wreaths are worn. Lloyd’s awful smothering mother berates Caroline until Caroline yells at her about Lloyd: “Lady, why don’t you just sleep with him?” prompting a rare moment of silence.

Caroline is full of self pity, Jesse is an awful whining brat and Lloyd finally lets his anger out. This prompts him and Caroline to reunite. Gus escapes and gets away with all his crap. The ending was reshot apparently; in the original ending Gus was arrested. They should have kept that ending. This was okay but nowhere near as funny as it thinks it is.

Best Lines:
“He just wants me to wear a red A on my chest and sleep in the basement.”
“Is that so unreasonable?”

“I’m miserable and you’re content?”

“Who would catch a criminal and then let him go free?”

“Satan mom.”

“That adulteress and her delinquent son.”

“I hope they get into a fight like they always do.”

“We’ll just say we’re being affectionate.”
“Tied up, with an armed man in the house?”
“Works for me.”

“Humans get frightened because they have feelings. Didn’t your alien leaders teach you that before they sent you here?!?”
“I suppose you’ll use this drama as a reason to have another affair. I feel sorry for the next deliveryman that comes to this house!”

“I have a gun. It’s loaded. Shut up.”

“You were sent there because high schools wouldn’t enrol you anymore.”

“Mom, the TV’s broke. What are we going to do all night?”
“Celebrate the birth of Christ!”

“My mother was Irish.”
“And your father?”

“You think death scares me? You forget buddy, I’ve been married to him for 15 years.”

“A nasty selfish woman.”

"What the hell am I eating?"

"Because it's quicker."
"Not the way you drive."

“Gag your grandma.”

“Grandma’s eating through her gag.”
Tags: movie review

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