as nearly everyone who knows me knows, i love me some crap made-for-tv movies. camilla & charles whatever love means! william & kate: the lifetime movie! women of camelot! hell yeah. i even love the really, really crap made-for-tv movies. princess in love! a woman named jackie! diana: the last days! omg, so good.
but jackie bouvier kennedy onassis, shit. the word crap is too kind for this.
jackie's life story is a story that cannot be told in under two hours. and yet, that is what this movie attempts to do and, in doing that, it somehow trips the time/space continuum so that the 113 minutes of its duration feel like LIFETIMES.
no joke. it took me three and a half hours to watch these 113 minutes.
i aged during that time. severely.
jackie bouvier kennedy onassis is the only movie in the world slower than there will be blood.
so let's begin at the beginning. this was the dvd title page:
one should never encounter this much pink outside of a victoria's secret store.
and here is our jackie, played by val kilmer's ex-wife joanne whalley- who also played scarlett o'hara and is, therefore, the destroyer of multiple american icons.
and our jfk, who looks nothing even remotely like jfk.
if jackie bouvier kennedy onassis is worthwhile at all it is for this moment: the cameo appearance by the biographer. a moment that likely means nothing to anyone else but, nonetheless, gave me a jolly good laugh because it was so unexpected and deeply awkward.
a totally unbiographical marital reconciliation in front of the washington monument.
so here's why the jackie story should never be told in under 4 hours: because the first half of the jackie story features a whole hell of a lot of obstetrical difficulty. a miscarriage, a still birth, the death of an infant. spread that out over a 4 hour movie and it's somewhat tolerable. condense it into the first 30 minutes of 113 and it's pretty much all death all the time and a prolonged series of scenes of people hugging awkwardly in hospital beds:
true to the formula of every kennedy miniseries ever made, the obligatory cutaway to rfk's lunch at hickory hill and the revelation that jfk has been killed.
jackie at parkland, flashbacking to actual footage from the assassination, which is extremely confusing if you're not familiar with oliver stone's jfk and extremely annoying if you are.
ARI!!! so virile. so wealthy. so scandalous.
fyi- every one of these made-for-tv-movies has one gratuitously tasteless scene. the tasteless scene against which all other tasteless scenes in the made-for-tv-movie are measured against and found to be somewhat tasteful in comparison.
this is that scene for this movie: an actor playing rfk fumbling a football as the audio of the ACTUAL assassination of rfk plays in the background.
dear whoever thought this was a great metaphor, it actually really wasn't.
so, rfk is dead. jackie must marry. jackie and onassis: the wedding night!
ari is sleeping with callas! 70s jackie is pissed!
every jackie movie does at least one thing really well. this one captures the balls-to-the-wall craziness of ari onassis lurking around the cemetery at skorpios after his only son's death. for that, i give it a tentative bravo.
um... ari is dead? jackie is an editor? it's the 80s? 80s jackie looks like marlo thomas???
maurice looks like pavoratti!
JACKIE IS DEAD. and we are back to this...