We watched Agnes of God and How to Get Ahead in Advertising during the same day. Ahead gets 6.6/10ths stars while Agnes gets 6.3/10ths. Not a huge difference except I would have made it about 3 stars worth. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Agnes because I did. I love Meg Tilly. I love her when she’s airheady and wacky and I loved her serious and troubled. But I didn’t love the therapy/psychiatrist character played by Jane Fonda. Sure, she tugged at my heartstrings all the way through the blood spontaneously spurting out of Meg/Agnes’ palms but it was such an unrealistic portrayal of how real therapy works. Especially the hypnotherapy scene. The fact that it’s an almost 20 year old movie is the only reason I give it any merit at all.
However, Ahead, written and directed by Bruce Robinson (In Dreams , Killing Fields), is so clever and funny and stupid–just like real life–that I was drawn in immediately. Richard E. Grant (Henry and June, The Portrait of a Lady, and best of all, the British series The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Denis Dimbleby Bagley is brilliant. The ending was a little hollow when he gets all speachy but it’s great that the wrong ‘head’ lives on instead of a nice and easy pat ending. And the therapy scene was much more true to reality. How do you beat a story about a giant talking zit?