Night Two of Rosemary’s Baby was a little better than Mother’s Day’s burnt offering, but not enough to warrant it being made. Why would a network like NBC, which has to appeal to middle America and the bullying of the god-fearing, even try? They can’t include the parts of the book that make it special, they can’t really offend. Why didn’t they leave it to someone who could? It’s not that Polanksi’s adaptation was a definitive version that should never be tampered with. NBC stole the option to a work they can’t make and robbed us of what could have been a good movie.
Screw the plot, you all know the plot. They stuck to the plot, but moved it to Paris and updated it. Kind of. This is fifty years later and there are things like sonograms and advances in medical and birthing science that they could ignore. Like the feckless faithful ignore evolution. Rosemary’s Baby, the TV Movie, is at its heart a medical soap opera. I wish they had that old timey organ. It certainly moved slow enough to be a soap. You could feel the screaming of the celluloid as it was stretched beyond agony. Except the scene where Rosemary figures everything out with the Scrabble pieces. That scene was a second and a half.
Oh and they added a cop. Leave it to television. Everything on TV has to have a cop in it. Here we have a book where the authorities are not in a police force, they are in the medical field and while there are a lot of medical dramas on TV, there are three times that many cop shows. Law and Order has a daily marathon on the Sundance channel, besides every other channel, and Sundance is supposed to be a bastion of independent cinema arts. That’s the true devil. The true evil is that we have lost our capacity for originality and have to stick cops in everything. Every cop is a criminal and all us sinners, saints. The Prince of Darkness is the least of our worries.
And then there’s Patrick J. Adams as Guy. You know how they say someone like Peter O’Toole can read a phone book and it would be interesting? Well Patrick Adams could read the best of Shakespeare and you’d slit your wrists in a phone booth like David in An American Werewolf in London, a horror comedy that had more thrills than Rosemary’s Baby. What the fuck is up with him? Guy Woodhouse with doubts? He’s a self-indulgent self-important wannabe artist who gets a kick out of whoring his wife to the devil. And then Guy gets upset that the kid’s not his? That his wife was screwing around? That he was a cuckold? Who does he think he is, Joseph the Carpenter in The Bible? Oh, the devil fucked my wife. Poor me. And Adams couldn’t even commit to that.
Jason Isaacs finally gets the chance to play he who shall not be named, or is it he who should not be played? Roman Castevet, the devil himself. Though, I did like how he smoked a cigar, don’t know if the writers know anything about Santeria. Carole Bouquet played Margaux Castevet on the second night like she’d exhausted herself the night before.
Zoey Saldana was fine. But what did she do, really? She was skinny. That’s about it. She was really really skinny. If Robert De Niro could get props for gaining fifty pounds for Raging Bull, let’s give Zoey Saldana’s ribcage an Emmy.
The atmosphere left nothing to the imagination. Nothing. No suspense. No creepy crawlies that we couldn’t make out. Not even any popups. The only time I was even remotely wary was when Rosemary raised the knife over her head to threaten the baby. And even then, I didn’t buy it.
I’d write more, but why? Rosemary’s Baby already went on too long. Oh and why waste time on sex scenes when you can’t show anything? For all the work that went into this, it should have been a personal vision to at least one of the people involved, not a sanitized corporate committee version. Ave satanas, irrumabo, qui matres.