Hey world! It's Tim The Yeti reporting for duty. Before I get to the review at hand, I should like to briefly throw out some links to the Yeti crew's Twitter pages. I don't know that we advertise our own product near enough, and hopefully will ride that line between charming and informative without ever getting pushy. Read our blog. Read our blog. Read our blog.
I don't know if Zach has a Twitter feed and don't know who else is part of the team these days. Anyways, if Zach gets or has Twitter going, we'll surely push it more. Read our tweets. Read our tweets. Read our tweets. Enough of that self-aggrandizing jargon. On to the reviews!
I'm still a bit unsure about how I feel about Bitch. This movie came out last year and I watched it tonight on Netflix. If I come across a film or show that has people in it that I like, I tend to watch it. Sometimes it's "oh, they're pigeonholed" and others it's "wow, what a different role". Jason Ritter would be what drew me to Bitch. After watching the first season of Kevin (Probably) Saves The World, I decided I like Ritter. He's been in some other roles obviously but he's the main character in Bitch. Let me kind of explain the story. Basically, a mother of four and wife to a philandering husband has a nervous breakdown and ends up thinking she's a dog. That takes up very little of the movie, despite it being what the movie is about. Okay, it's not about that but that is one of the minor thematic elements. I guess the film focuses on the husband trying to survive in the wake of his wife, children's mother, all-around caretaker going off the deep end. Maybe it's about how their world falls apart without her as the support structure. Maybe she switched bodies with an actual dog in a Freaky Friday scenario. I digress. We get a small glimpse into the husband's world pre-breakdown as he's having an affair with someone at his work. He's a shitty person through most of the film, to say the least. Back to Ritter momentarily, in that this is a weird role for him. I've seen him as the "nice guy" in most everything he's been in. Hell, I get the impression that he is a "nice guy" all of the time. He says "fuck" a lot in this film, which I don't think I've ever heard in any of his other roles. Just to cement his shitty philandering persona, the first scene of the movie is him coming up for air from between the office affair lady's legs. Not a bastion of honour, to say the least.
I don't think the shittiness stops there though. The couple have four children and as the movie progresses, it's unclear where the motivation lies with them. They're clearly reckless and have zero boundaries in some scenes, but in others are quite the opposite. While it might have been the intent of the writer/director (also the actor playing the mother turned dog) to suggest that these children don't know how to operate without their mother, it's a pretty thin premise. Their father not being able to care for them in any way, shape, or form for most of the film seems curious as well. He's so detached, he doesn't know where their schools are or their teacher's names. These children are so lost without their mother that they resort to attempting to eat dog food within a matter of days (if the one kid can open the sealed aluminum can with a knife). It's clearly a disaster because we're told repeatedly that it is. All the while, the children go back and forth between making antagonizing comments about their mother's mental state (barks and woofs for laughs) to being in tears. It's tough to actually understand their motivation. I'm no expert on children, but it seems to me that adding in all of this to increase the dramatic effect of the mother having her meltdown actually takes away from the film because they're bratty petulant assholes the moment she's out of the picture.
The wife's sister shows up after a call from Bill (Ritter). He begs for her help. She helps the family out, obviously. Well, sort of. She mopes around a lot and argues with Bill about getting Jill (dog lady) some much needed psychological help. This plays into him being a shitty person because he's really worried about how it would appear to outsiders if his wife was sent away to a looney bin. We meet the sister's husband for a moment. He's in AA and we know that because it's told to us for no reason other than to really drive home how selfish and shitty Bill is. "You know I don't drink," he tells Bill after being offered a beer. "I've told you about my sobriety many times," he continues. Yup, Bill is a shitty person. Got it. Still got it from before. In a weird instance, it's mentioned that the children are out of food and haven't eaten in days but following that the sister is mentioning how she's dressing the children and buying groceries. Is she buying groceries for herself and Bill? I don't get it.
While Bill is trying to piece his life together, his job is on the line. It's mentioned that he's an executive, and there's a running "joke" about people waiting in the conference room for him. Not funny. The place of business is clearly in turmoil as an entire floor's worth of staff is terminated, including the lady Bill is having an affair with. So, she shows up at his house claiming to be "worried about him" after "hearing people talk" and not hearing from him. If you recall, she was fired. I'm unsure who she's hearing talk. Maybe she hangs out at the water cooler reading the job ads. I don't know. So, Jill's sister sees Bill clearly trying to get her to leave the house, and the sister flies off the handle. Insert more proving of how Bill is a shitty person. The movie starts to wind down with Jill's parents getting the law involved to take custody of their dog daughter. Bill is fired from his job with three month's severance pay. He and his four children move into a smaller apartment. We fast forward some time to when Jill spends the night with Bill and the sister and her husband take the children. After a physical altercation with Jill barking and scratching at Bill, they subside in a pile on the floor. he wakes up next to him in bed the next morning with a big smile and he sees. Maybe she's back to being a human? Maybe not. Roll credits.
So, it was a weird movie. The dog aspect was in my opinion completely unnecessary. I feel like the same story arcs could have been achieved if the mother character had simply run away. There might be something I'm missing with the lady-into-dog storyline, but am I though? Am I really missing it? The movie was up and down, trying to be a drama all while inserting intentionally funny moments (the denouement of Bill's initial meltdown in the van is pretty funny) and random ones (Bill talking about his penis for absolutely no reason is beyond me). I'd say the characters were unlikeable and their motivations weren't clearly defined. The drama-for-drama-sake aspects of it didn't wow me either. I think the redeeming factor was Bill getting his shit together and being a proper adult. Needing to care for his four children (clearly four too many) should have been high on his list the whole time, but again, Bill was a shitty person. Jason Ritter is pretty good in it but I'm probably biased after coming off the Kevin (Probably) Saves The World high. Actually, his Bill character gives me a Kevin (pre-incident) vibe. I think the "their world falls apart without the matriarch" storyline wasn't sussed out well enough as there was a "she thinks she's a canine now" distraction. On a final note, Bill and Jill? Really? Coupling 101: Don't have rhyming names, you weirdos.Not a great movie overall, but you know–they can't all be winners. Hopefully as I delve more into Ritter's catalogue, I find some better things to write about. I could always write about how amazing Kevin (Probably) Saves The World is, but you'd know that if you read my Twitter feed...