(8 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Please note: This essay is cross-posted from imdb.com (Internet Movie Database, but it’s also posted on firefly-dreaming.com.
At the end of last month, I managed to obtain a copy of the regular DVD version of The Town from our local public library, and I watched it for the third time this week. As much as Doug and his crew really are not nice guys, and Fergie and his bodyguard, Rusty, are quite vicious, I began to think that Claire is her own worst enemy.
Claire seems like a total phony, with her constant pasted-on smile, her pretentiousness, and her always playing “the babe”. Hey…if I were a guy, I’d keep my distance from her, because I think she’s undoubtedly a real bitch who cloaks her bitchery in a mantle of totally fake charm and charisma, pretending to be an all-out fun gal to have around. Scratch that surface, and I’d be the first to bet that Claire is rotten to the core underneath it all despite the fact that she seems so “normal”, spontaneous, communicative, gentle, serene, smiling, sunny, interesting and interested. Not surprisingly, when her idyll turned bad around the edges, she ends up crying a lot, and I find myself thinking; aha….that’s what Claire gets for taking up with a career criminal and a wanted fugitive and then lying to the Feds about her and Doug’s romantic relationship.
So, Doug and “Jem” broke into some guy’s apartment in the housing project, beat the hell out of him and permanently crippled him for supposedly having thrown bottles at Doug’s Lady Claire, who’d been stupid enough to walk through a rough and tough housing project at night in the first place (Claire obviously has no sense, or she would’ve realized that no woman in her right mind would take a short cut through a tough housing project alone at night.), and then Doug shot and killed his and Jem’s crime boss, Fergie the Florist and his bodyguard, Rusty, all in revenge for trying to hurt, or threatening to kill Claire, and partly out of revenge for the death of Doug’s mother, who “Fergie” the Florist got addicted to drugs to shut her up, and she ultimately committed suicide, although Doug’s father doesn’t tell him that when he visits him in prison. My, my how touching! Lady Claire must feel flattered that she’s got criminals Doug and “Jem” rushing to her defense. Imho, Claire should’ve known from the beginning that she was flirting with serious trouble when she took up with and continued to date Doug MacRay.
Claire’s disgusting overall demeanor , excessive flirtatiousness, “playing the babe”, her bitchery, which is covered by obviously fake charm, charisma and pasted-on smiles, total breakdowns when her absolute stupidity finally comes around to bite her in the ass, the overblown and totally unrealistic North End and Fenway Park scenes, Claire’s tipping off Doug to the FBI’s presence in her Charlestown condominium with a “sunny days” code that she invented(due to her younger brother’s having died in a hospital on a sunny day), thereby obstructing justice, the vapid ending where Doug makes it down to Florida and stands in a boathouse overlooking a bayou and getting off scott-free thanks to Claire, and the fact that Claire kept all that dirty money that Doug left her and spent money that wasn’t hers to spend, really, on the renovation and dedication of a seedy hockey rink to her criminal boyfriend’s mother that she never saw or knew, are all what really and truly killed this movie for me. Oh, and I also might add that Doug’s buying his Lady Claire an expensive diamond necklace with his ill-gotten money also helped turn me off to The Town.
I sympathized with Claire at first, because she was traumatized by something that occurred through no fault of her own..having her bank robbed by four Townie toughs wearing ninja outfits and scary-looking Hallowe’en masks, who forced her to open the safe at gunpoint, blindfolded and took her hostage and drove her to a beach and made to walk to the water. As the movie wore on, however, I began to become annoyed, and then unsympathetic towards Claire. Not only did she get herself in that situation for continuing to date Doug even after she learned that he’d orchestrated all those robberies, including the one in her bank, and then lying to the Feds about her relationship with Doug (which the Feds learned about through a recorded phone conversation between the two of them), but I lost all sympathy for Claire when it became clear that she’d brought all this down on herself, thereby becoming her own worst enemy.
Don’t get me wrong, folks. I’ve seen plenty of films about Boston that I’ve liked a great deal, but I think that Ben Affleck went way overboard on this one.
Let’s face it, folks; The Town is entertainment, but it’s still garbage all around, and I’m inclined to agree that this film doesn’t represent everybody in Boston’s Charlestown section.
The DVD of The Town that I borrowed went back to the library exactly a week later, and, after that, I resolved to not borrow it any more. I’ll stick with the great, golden oldie keeper of a (real) classic film, West Side Story and some other films of that period. I gave The Town the old college try, and really tried to see the message, but the only message I saw was a lesson on how people make stupid choices, totally screw up their lives, and cause other people around them, as well as themselves tons of suffering and trauma. Claire is that kind of person, and she’ s her own worst enemy, as far as I’m concerned. She got herself into this mess by taking up with a criminal and a wanted fugitive, obstructing justice, and spending “dirty” money that wasn’t even hers to spend for renovation of a seedy ice-skating rink.
After all is said and done, what do you all think?