You guys might know writer/director Todd Haynes for Velvet Goldmine or approximately 900 Julianne Moore movies. But did you know he got his start in film school by making a movie about the life of Karen Carpenter?
With barbie dolls?
I saw this years ago but had forgotten about it. I am surprised it is online, given a hard copy is extremely difficult to find. Richard (the closeted gay and less talented) Carpenter sued (like he does–a lot) over the musical rights, and now it is highly sought after on the black market.
It is creepy and hilarious, yes. Simply writing it off for being creepy is too easy, though. There is also a touch of sincerity and depth in the film that actually pays homage to Karen instead of mocking her. It is clear Haynes has a respect for Carpenter, and his use of their music is appropriate. The scenes following her confrontation by her brother over laxatives, spliced with television footage, are genuinely haunting. The cinematography is inventive and the dialogue–though bad–isn’t as bad as you would expect it to be. You just have to get over the fact that you’re watching a movie featuring barbie dolls.
Check it out. It’s not a bad way to spend 45 minutes. And do it quickly, before Richard Carpenter sues you.