Fun little upbeat slice-of-life comedy
where some nice southern folks
learn some fun things
together about friendship and the blues
. Memorable for the scene where Samuel L. Motherfuckin' Jackson plays an electric guitar in a thunderstorm
, even if for no other reason.
In real life (aka not Sarcasm Mode
), the 2006 film is about a cantankerous former Blues singer/guitarist named Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson
) who has fallen on hard times. His wife leaves him for his brother and his faith in both God and other people is rather low. Then he meets Rae (Christina Ricci
): a nymphomaniac struggling with her sex addiction and other psychological problems now that her boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake
) has gone off to the military. Lazarus finds her beaten and unconscious in the road near his home and decides to "cure" her: cure in this case standing for chaining her to a radiator. However, after much friction, Rae slowly starts to listen to what Lazarus has to say about life through his music and through learning how to deal with her problems.
A polarizing film, it made quite a splash with its controversial subjects that include but are not limited to rape, sexual addiction, parental abuse, anxiety disorders, and religious outlooks.
Provides examples of :
- Above the Influence: Mercifully, Lazarus refuses Rae's initial advances to have sex with her in favor of helping her deal with her condition.
- Abusive Parents: Rae's mother was content to just let her partner rape Rae while she was young.
- Bad Ass: Lazarus (but then again, it's Samuel L. Motherfuckin' Jackson so that goes without saying)
- Contemptible Cover: Both Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci have mentioned that they're not fond of the film's poster and how it overblows the potential Fetish Fuel at the expense of everything else.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Rae's hypersexuality is so out of control that literally the minute Ronnie's truck is out of sight she falls to her knees and is visibly trying to stop herself from masturbating right there in her front yard. She cries "no" to herself several times as her hand keeps gravitating to her thigh, and finally gives in. Cut immediately to her being pounded from behind by Tehronne.
- The Deep South: Tennessee
- Dyeing for Your Art: Christina Ricci ate a diet of fats and starches to give herself an unhealthy appearance for the film, and wore an actual 40-pound chain for all the scenes with it.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Lazarus hosts a wedding for Rae and Ronnie and begins to form a relationship with the local pharmacist, having finally banished hsi inner demons. Thanks to his influence, Rae is able to quell her hypersexual urges, leaving her in a better position to help Ronnie deal with his anxiety disorder.
- Fan Disservice: Christina Ricci ate a diet of only fats and starches to make her skin look pale and pasty for her role. It worked a bit too well.
- Fanservice: A sexually frustrated Christina Ricci chained up and struggling for release.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Lazarus and Rae are generations apart, but they do eventually become form an emotional bond.
- Intimate Psychotherapy: A version of this is used. Rae and Ronnie pretty much keep each other sane by being together.
- Jerkass: Ronnie's "friend" Gill, who savagely beats Rae for refusing his advances, dumps her body in the road, and then brags about it when Ronnie comes back, effectively crossing Moral Event Horizon.
- The Kindnapper: Lazarus kidnaps Rae with the intent of helping her heal from her sinful ways and doesn't intend to let her go until he does so.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Both Rae and Ronnie are both warped individuals who need each other to keep their anxieties at bay. Things quickly go downhill for Rae when Ronnie leaves for deployment at the beginning.
- Ms. Fanservice: Deconstructed with Rae. She dresses in skimpy clothes and is compulsively-driven to have sex. This is all a result of her hypersexuality disorder that came from a lifetime of sexual abuse and her proclivity is shown to be self-destructive.
- Musical Nod: To the Mississippi Blues movement.
- My Girl Is a Slut: But she honestly can't help herself.
- Never Trust a Trailer: All the advertising and posters for the movie make it appear to be a sexy, gritty, grindhouse film centered entirely on the aspect that Rae is a sex-kitten slave in chains. When really, she was barely wearing the chain for a third of the film.
- Really Gets Around: Rae
- Sex Is Evil: Both played straight and averted in this movie. It acknowledges the importance of sex with someone you love while highlighting the danger of having sex irresponsibly, all without being too Anvilicious.
- Stress Vomit: Justin Timberlake's Establishing Character Moment in this film is him vomiting into a toilet, showcasing his crippling anxiety
- The Tease: Rae, in the beginning of the film. She gets better.