When Paul first posted about an HBO remake of the cult-classic documentary, Grey Gardens, everyone at gaycondo was skeptical – especially since Drew Barrymore would be playing the role of little Edie Beal.
After so many classics being remade to death – and poorly at that – it just seemed like another opportunity for Hollywood to exploit and ultimately destroy an important part of film history.
However, my curiosity got the best of me and I managed to watch the movie online in it’s entirety and I must say – it was actually very good! On top of Drew Barrymore nailing the real Edie Beal’s New Yawrk accent and mannerisms the movie was a lot more than what I had expected.
While the film did attempt to recreate classic scenes (ie. Edie giving the documentary film makers fashion advice, the “staunch daugher” schpeal, the infamous flag saluting dance and Edie’s confession of her lost dreams of showbiz filmed as she sunbathes on the beaches of East Hampton) the film mostly created a hypothetical back story flashing back to the days of when the Beales were wealthy show stoppers and then follow them to their ultimate demise. I’m not sure how much fact the storyline was based on but it definitely allowed me to connect to the characters and better understand the origins of their corrupted, co-dependent mother daughter relationship – dare I say more than the original documentary itself.
The real Beale