The Ro-Beastress is out of town which means it's time to sneak Diane Lane movies up to the top of the Netflix queue. Following my bizarre obsession with seeing every Diane Lane movie in existence, I have today been led to Descending Angel.
Oh yeah, SPOILER ALERT (as if you'll ever see this film).
Descending Angel is not part of the Hollywood Hooker Angel franchise (Angel, Avenging Angel, Angel III: The Final Chapter, Angel 4: Just Kidding About the Final Chapter Business) but bringing it up does allow me the chance to say "angel" 7 times in one sentence--a BaTR record! I'll be honest, any time I see the word "angel" with a lower case "A," it looks misspelled. I don't feel the same way about "angle." In fact, when I see "Angle" with a capital "A," that looks misspelled. Funk dat!
Yeah so Descending Angel is like Meet the Parents but instead of Ben Stiller finding out his soon-to-be father-in-law Robert De Niro is an ex-CIA agent, it's Eric Roberts finding out his soon-to-be father-in-law George C. Scott is an ex-Nazi. Foreshadowing, an important element in successful screenwriting, is used liberally in the first half hour of the film. Another fundamental building block of clever cinematic storytelling, showing Diane Lane's boobs, is deployed within the first minute. I'm not too far into the movie yet, but I'm pretty sure I know what's going to happen. I just hope Diane Lane doesn't get killed in the inevitable Man-vs.-Man's Girlfriend's Father showdown.
Technically speaking, I've seen way worse Diane Lane films. The one about chess with Christopher Lambert (I can't believe she married that douche IRL) was fucking terrible and I think the entire audio track was dubbed. I feel like there was a Baldwin in that one too. Eric Roberts at least has some charisma, though he's always seemed like an overactor to me (yes, even in Best of the Best). The version of Descending Angel that I've rented is not widescreen (which bugs the hell out of me) and the film quality is a little cruddy but at least the movie was made with no genetically engineered ingredients. Oh wait, that's my Bearitos all natural unsalted tortilla chips made with organic yellow corn.
There's a line of dialogue delivered by a snotty bookstore clerk that is funny. "Uh, excuse me, we'd appreciate it if you left the books with the covers facing out!" he says in a huff as Eric Roberts carelessly rushes out of the store. The line really serves no purpose in plot or character development, so I feel like it was thrown in with the intention of being funny, but it wasn't executed in a particularly funny way. I think that made it funny to me! So does that make the line unintentionally funny, unintentionally unintentionally funny, or unintentionally intentionally funny? I defer for an official Semanticman ruling.
Wait, hold on... saxophones! And you know what saxophones mean, right? Nipple discontinuity, apparently. I guess you could still get away with that gross negligence in 1990. That decade also marked the unfortunate demise of pivotal microfiche revelation scenes, but behold, one is presented here in all its glory. It's just not very dramatic these days when characters discover things on the internets (unless it's Diane Lane tracking a cyberpsychokiller in Untraceable, which I will pretend is thrilling when it floats to the top of my queue).
I admit that there were two camera shots that I liked a lot (that didn't even involve boobs), but all in all, Descending Angel is pretty corny, predictable, and a total rip off of Meet the Parents ten years in advance. This is basically Eric Roberts' stab at Sleeping With the Enemy (one year in advance).
Speaking of sleeping... the 3rd act. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The 3rd act features running! And pushing! And a soundtrack! And a gun! And...
Yeah, I fucking called it an hour ago. Diane Lane dead.
Wait, saxophones again? Uh, you guys are doing it wrong.