So, Shame finally
darkened my doorstep showed up at an area theater and I knew it would probably only last a week, so I quickly ran out to see Fassbender’s giant schlong it. Sitting in a darkened theater in the late afternoon and knowing a little something about the film’s subject matter, I felt kind of ashamed, myself—and with good reason (mega-porn!). But I’m not here to review the film; Joanna already did a fine job of that. I’m here to rag on Carey Mulligan question why Carey Mulligan can’t seem to find any happiness on film. As I sat munching away on some overly salty popcorn and my pocket stash of dark chocolate Raisinets, poor Miss Mulligan dragged all five of us through the most depressing rendition of New York, New York I’ve ever heard. By the end of the movie, I couldn’t blame her character for what she’d done—we all sort of wanted to do it, ourselves. I walked out into the night air, relieved to be free of Sissy and Brandon’s darkness and mulled over whether I’d ever seen Carey Mulligan play happy. Even when she has seemingly had a moment of film happiness, by the end of the story, someone or other has crushed it.
Come on now, you little dimpled, pixie minx, let’s take a look at what you’ve been up to and why you need to make a violently happy movie.
*Warning: Massive Spoilers Ahead.
5. Jenny in An Education
Sixteen year old Jenny longs for her life to be more interesting and falls head over heels in love with worldly (older) David who wines and dines her, charms her parents and proposes marriage. Only one problem stands in their way…oops, he’s already married! Hey, that is an education.
4. Kathy in Never Let Me Go.
Kathy and her two best friends spend much of their youth in a love triangle; the best friends have an affair that breaks Kathy’s heart. When finally she gets a chance to be with the sniveling, little asswipe it doesn’t matter anyway, because they are part of a group of clones created only to be organ donors. Everyone dies. Fun times!
3. Irene in Drive
Irene is married and has a son, but her husband is in jail. While he’s away, she falls in love with Baby Goose—but he hasn’t got time for love, so all she ever gets is a kiss before he drives away. Oh, and her husband gets killed. The end.
2. Sissy in Shame
Sissy has no real job, no place to live, a brother who (rightfully) considers her a burden and nothing much to live for. She does what she has to to get attention, including cutting herself over and over and over. At the end of the film, she cuts herself again.
1. Daisy in The Great Gatsby.
Yes, in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann adaptation, Mulligan will play the unhappy wife of Tom Buchanan (also unhappy and cheating), again involved in a miserable (but beautiful) love triangle.
Okay honey, we get it. You wanted to show us your depth and didn’t want to get typecast as a perky, romantic comedy actress. As someone who loves dark, twisted characters, good on you and all that—but now it’s time to lighten up a little. Give yourself one happy film. Maybe snap that Baby Goose back up and pop out a kid or two or run off to the Caribbean and raise a family of otters. Do a goddamned cartoon, will you? Even Kate Winslet knows how to give the sad a rest once in a while.
Cindy Davis is way up high, high.