The Life Before Her Eyes, the latest film by Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog), opened this weekend in limited release. In part as a response to the negative reviews by a number of critics, Perelman said recently in an interview that he's decided that it's better for audiences to know the ending going in (I did confirm with Perelman that he actually said this, because I was rather surprised that he would). And while I understand Perelman's desire to counter the critical response to the film in this way, I decided to take a look at what the negative reviews actually say.
First, I'm going to largely ignore the reviews (good and bad) that came out of the Toronto International Film Festival last year, because the cut of the film in theaters now is different. So let's look at what critics have to say about the current cut. Let's look at one titled (ever so objectively) "Hollywood and the War on Women", by Prairie Miller over on News Blaze. Miller starts her "review" of the film with a five-paragraph rant that tries to tie films about the Iraq war into a perceived "war against women" in Hollywood, going so far as to make the accusation that this war is fueled, in part, by male directors and producers whose coffers are being drained by alimony and child support payments. Uh, what?