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Charlies Angels | movie | review | Lollipop

Charlie's Angels

by Jamie Kiffel

"Please," I begged my friend Larisa, a tall, voluptuous Russian with a torrent of hair that envelops her hips in charcoal bolts, "anything but that. Please!"

She raised an eyebrow, adjusted her black, leather hair cord and crossed one high-heeled boot. "Nope," she smirked. "C'mon, we know it'll suck, but that's the whole point."

Whether I liked it or not, I was on my way to see Charlie's Angels. I'll be paying $8.50 to see Woman as viewed through the penis of the American Male, I thought gloomily. (That was confirmed for me when a male friend confessed that he had a soft spot for Lucy Liu's eyebrows. "They're hot," he shrugged. Only a penis could be so dumbstruck by a stunning woman as to glitch into eyebrow obsession.)

Nonetheless, after a full day of heavy food, shopping and female bonding, I found myself racing through the hyper-fluorescent local mall to the theater, where the fabulous Miss Larisa and I would meet several other members of the "Tits and Hair Club" (so named because each of the members has an abundance of the title prerequisites) - Eileen, Joy, and member-in-training, Kelly (Eileen's ten-year-old niece, a.k.a. D'Artagnan).

Before we go further, I thank D'Artagnan for simply existing. Young D., whose relatively new front teeth are adorably oversized in her neuter, bright-eyed and stunning little face, was impressionability personified. She opened her mouth and ears and eyes and nose and breathed in every influence we sent her way. Eileen said, "pissed," and I could see the neon thoughts burning across her forehead: My aunt says "pissed"! Pissed pissed pissed! Wow, cool! The T&H club is generally nicotine-sex-and-devil stained. I, for my part, just have dirty thoughts. Raunchy woman power emanated from our collective grins. So it was that we washed this devil-may-care attitude of female kickass over all who surrounded us, and hyped it up yet another notch to show off for Young D. Coincidentally or cosmically, Charlie's Angels met us in our purpose of impressing her young form with the code of Woman Whoopass.

Charlie's Angels proved to be the ideal coming-out party and chick initiation rite for young D'Artagnan, a fact so empowering and enjoyable that I will forever hold the movie in my mind as a high point in my career of femininity. And now, whatever you may or may not want to know about the film's acting talent, cinematography, dialogue or plot, know this: the film is a visionary's guide to being a superchick.

Here's how it works. This movie was not made for men. Men may view it, but we will laugh at you behind your backs. Whatever you may say about Lucy's breasts or Drew's hips or Cameron's abs, face it - they're not displaying them for your fun and amusement. They're doing it so they can kick more ass. Batman has his Batmobile. Spiderman has his spider suction. Charlie's Angels, like real women, have weapons of style. Dressed in the slickest, cutest, sexiest duds, the ladies wield their hot clothes like ninja stars. Suited up in pleather and stiletto heels, they confidently spin through the air with a triumphant, "Bonzai!" Every comically drawn-out fight scene gets fifteen points for each of Batman's seven. These aren't Supergirl spin-offs but prime movers, sexing it up with violence and clothing just like every Versace-wrapped woman on Wall Street. For all you men who wondered what women were really about, watch this. We choose hot clothing. We seduce you. We do backflips over your head. We play with you. And if you two-time us, we kill you. Slowly. Then we reapply lipstick.

Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore, and Cameron Diaz do it brilliantly, lusciously personifying the many faces of woman. There's the brainy intellectual who can disarm a top-security government office but privately dreams of creating the perfect soufflé; the sweet girl-next-door with the heart of a porn star, sometime vindictive bitch and loving daughter; the dance hall queen who bares all for strangers but runs into walls and trips over her own feet when not practicing expert karate, and hundreds of variations on all of these. All the ladies change hair colors and lengths, not to mention styles - from bellydancers to pleather-clad spies to sexy Swedish dancers to gala crashers - bringing out an arsenal of self-confidence poised to attack. Yes, they wear skimpy clothing. That's skimpy clothing that'll dizzy any man stupid enough to give the ladies the opening they need to slip in and boot him in the face. (That's all of them.)

Plus, the Angels are funny. To speak like a scholar, the film is self-aware. It's a campy romp through superhero TV land, a world of absurd body slams, thousand-foot jumps that end without a single scratch, and women who fight each other in skin-tight black plastic. To speak like a person, it's a female Austin Powers. The women even make fun of their breasts. In almost every scene, someone is dangerously close to full frontal nudity, usually for no apparent reason. There's even a scene where they all gratuitously get naked (but calm down, we only see their backs from the waist up).

Cinematically speaking, there are many bright, beautiful shots of beaches, race tracks, mansions, dance clubs and women's asses. There are slo-mos of bullets firing, hair flipping and glass breaking away; jump kicks and apocalyptic explosions that blast right at the screen. The movie takes the basic elements of the TV series and hypes them up to where everything gleams with sparkling sex appeal and pyrotechnics. It's so intense, it's huggable as a breast implant.

There is plot here, as well. It's good, quick, sharp comic book writing, and there's no point in giving it away here.

As sexy as this film is, I think the experience was very good for our young D'Artagnan. She learned that, whatever boys may say, we girls don't buy make-up and cute dresses because we wish to seduce them, or worse yet, because we're "girly." We do it because these are our secret Code of Girl Weapons of Force. They are what give us the power to control the male species. You heard it here first, guys. Ignore it if you like, but D'Artagnan already knows it's true. When the show was all over, we went en masse to a bar (Young D. had a non-alcoholic drink, but we did encourage her to hit on the bartender). Then, after a few cigarettes, swears and make-up adjustments, we purchased matching glittery barrettes. And then we body-slammed the salesman. D'Artagnan hitch-kicked his son. "Gimme that look again and you won't have a face to do it with," she chirped brightly. Smart girl. Fast learner. Great movie.


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