Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green
And Crystal Bernard plays a preacher who’s pretty
Oh, won't you please take me home
Oops... wrong picture.
There. Much better.
I was doing my daily search for any exciting news from the Crystal Bernard camp when I saw that her new movie Welcome to Paradise was recently released. Direct to DVD, but that’s just because she’s too good to put up with that Hollywood crap and sell out by taking a role as Matt Damon’s sidekick in the Bourne Calamity.
I haven’t seen it yet. I’m not sure if it’s available at my local rental store or if I’m going to have to purchase it somewhere, but that’s not going to stop me from reviewing it between bites of my leftover Blue Cheese Burger from Blackie’s. Not bad, but I think I’ll stick with cheddar next time. Or the Blackie’s Burger with bacon and grilled onion. But I digress.
From what I gathered after reading some background material and a few other reviews out there, our fetching Crystal plays Debbie, a preacher at some snooty church in Dallas. Hey, I lived in Dallas so I can relate. So far so good. Then she gets kicked to the curb for her liberal ways and somehow ends up in a small town called… yep, Paradise… with her dyslexic son who can’t figure out why Mom has dedicated her life to Dog.
Paradise, it seems, is not filled with slutty teenage girls and Romanian prostitutes as one would expect, but instead it’s like Mayberry. Where a stranger’s arrival is met with both excitement and suspicion, but instead of having Sheriff Andy Taylor to guide the townsfolk Welcome to Paradise has Brian Dennehy. He usually plays a sheriff in the movies, but like I said I haven’t seen this particular movie. I’ll assume he plays the sheriff or some sort of controversial townie who either supports Crystal before she wins the town over or is eventually won over after initially being her arch nemesis. Either way, he’s great in the role. I was reading some Brian Dennehy trivia and it’s claimed that he worked with Martha Stewart a long time ago before they were famous and they’re still friends. Pretty cool, huh?
But back to the movie. So Crystal’s presence tears the town apart like a chicken in a Tyson plant. One side digs the new chick because hanging around the Dairy Queen waiting to get knocked up is no way to live and the other side doesn’t want her kind around because if hanging around the Dairy Queen waiting to get knocked up was good enough for them then it’s good enough for, um, you know, I guess, the rest of the town. As Ella Fitzgerald said, or sang, “Something’s gotta give.” Sinatra sang it, too, but I’m not sure who had a bigger hit with it. Leann Rimes also sang it and given the rural setting of this film, perhaps that is more appropriate. I’m not saying that rural folks are rubes that can only relate to a singer in blue jeans and a pair of boots, but anytime I drive through those towns I can only get country stations on the radio. Now where was I? I guess the next part could be a spoiler, although I’m not sure how much of a spoiler it really is if I haven’t seen the movie. But you’ve been warned.
And you’ve obviously chosen to ignore that warning. Just like when the doctor told you to watch your cholesterol but you ordered that Blackie’s Burger anyway. You’ll just take the stairs instead of the elevator when you get home and that should even things out, right? Until you get there and that really cute guy is waiting for the elevator so you decide to forego the stairs and ride with him – why do you live that way? Hey, it must be the money. Well, call me Nelly, but I’ve digressed again. He might have asked you out but you smelled like bacon and he wants his women to smell like sex and candy. Like disco lemonade.
Again, back to the show. Now, remember, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but as I understand it a homeless woman spontaneously combusts on the back porch of the church which burns down immediately because it’s made out of balsa wood, and Crystal gets blamed for it because she should have known that homeless people are notorious for spontaneously combusting, which is how they end up on the streets to begin with and the reason that most shelters are made out of brick.
So now Crystal is standing there with a pile of church ash at her feet and has to decide whether to go back to Dallas and work as a stripper or rebuild the church. From what I’ve read, the plot doesn’t quite go the way that I would have preferred; however, it kept its PG rating and received the coveted Dove Foundation Seal of Approval.
And if it’s good enough for the Dove Foundation, it’s good enough for me. And if it’s good enough for me that generally doesn’t mean much, but go rent it anyway.
I want to go, I want to know
Oh, won't you please take the DVD hooooooome….