So being the movie fanatic that I am, and momma and my new son Grayson tucked in for the night, I decided to celebrate my son’s birth by seeing a movie in the theater anyway. I went to see TULIP FEVER, the only new film out this week. Out of my joyous day, this film was the only really really stupid thing about it. Tulip Fever is mind stakingly dumb, treats the audience as if they were idiots, has the worst acting coming out of some of the best actors working today, has an unearned ending, all surrounded by a stupid plot of love triangles, pregnancy deceptions, dumb tulip bulbs, and has dialogue that makes William Shakespeare spin in his grave.
The film centers around a time in Victorian past where tulip bulbs were like Funk Pop Vinyls and Beanie Babies, people obsessed and paying way too much for them. An old rich dude, played by Christoph Waltz, is looking to make an heir to his fortune, since his wife and children died during child birth. He purchases a woman out of poverty, played by recent Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander, to make him an heir, and they try for years without her getting pregnant. To distract his disappointment, he hires a painter, played by Dane Dehane, to paint a portrait of the married couple, which takes some time. Soon, the wife is having an affair with the painter, who gets interested in tulip bulbs to try and get rich quick and get out of that life. Add to that a love story involving the housekeeper and a fish seller, deceiving a fake pregnancy, and a dumb drunk Zach Gilifinakis, and you have one of the silliest and cheesiest movies of the year, and not in a good way.
This movie is basically Casanova starring Heath Ledger, but on a shit ton of steroids. While Casanova was fun and embraced its silly tone, Tulip Fever doesn’t know what tone to take, goes from silly, to serious, to silly, rinse, and repeat, and it doesn’t transition well at all. The plot is unbelievably predictable and bad, with no true antagonist to sneer at, and unlivable protagonists that you don’t want to cheer for. The dialogue is so bad it makes all the actors terrible in this, and strike two for Mr. Dehane, who is not having a good acting year with this and Valerian. And Alicia Vikander must really like taking off her clothes, I’ve now seen her naked more times than I did Kate Winslet back in the late 90’s. she’s not good here either, no one is.
The ending is unearned and insanely dumb, Zach Gilifinakis is truly out of place here, and Judi Dench being there screams paycheck. This film feels like a Lifetime channel film that Lifetime even rejected. It’s laughably bad and will be in a $2 bin somewhere by Christmas. This serves me right for seeing a film right after the birth of my son. Thank goodness it wasn’t IT right? Seeing Tulip Fever won’t make you obsessed with anything this film provides, and it will sure give you a headache that makes you wish you stayed home sick.