I think enough time has passed that I can admit to having kind of a rough childhood. Daddy and I simply could not get along. The animosity between us sprang from one very simple misunderstanding: “no” does not mean playing “hard to get.” After flipping through the TV channels and reading a few hundred celebrity biographies, I’ve come to realize that EVERY child in America has experienced this problem with their fathers. Well, when an entire population can agree on something, that something needs to get turned into a movie pronto cause there’s money to be made.

So, Magnolia. Where to start? I get confused just thinking about it. The motifs are so thick, it’s hard to tell one character from another. I believe a list is in order. You people like lists, right?

1. Two old guys dying of cancer. A) guy who is dying very rapidly, and B) guy who just found out he’s sick. 1A owns TV game show. 1B hosts TV game show. Both cry.

2. Cock-respecting motivational speaker Tony Little. 1A is his dad, but they don’t get along. He will fucking drop-kick your dog, so watch out. Seizure-cries.

3. Some orderly guy who’s taking care of 1A as he dies. Order-lys some delivery porno. Cries.

4. Gold-digger-turned-actually-in-lov-er of 1A. Suffers from Tourette’s presumably given to her by abusive father. Tries to kill herself, then cries.

5. Wife of 1B. Finds out that 1B cheated on her a bunch. Doesn’t mind. Finds out that he might have sexually abused their daughter. Cries. Star of Harry and the Hendersons.

6. Daughter of 1B. Does coke for sex. Remembers how her father might have sexually abused her. Falls in love with a lovable teddy bear. Screams and cries.

7. Lovable teddy bear. What a goofball! Loses his “gun”. Falls in love with 6. Okay relationship with dad. Constantly on verge of crying.

8. Middle-aged loser. Won big on TV game show as a child. Parents took money along with virginity. Drives car through windows. Wants braces because male bartender he’s in love with has braces. Decides to steal money for complicated adult braces operation. Cries blood from teeth.

9. Young-aged loser. Just about to win big on same TV game show as Middle-aged loser. Pressured into it by rotten father. Will history repeat itself? No. Quits TV show. Tells dad to be nice. Doesn’t cry.

10. Frogs. Sent from heaven by the ultimate father to get these people to wise up. Leads to some complicated emotional problems because their lives are being forfeit and no one asked their opinion.

Everyone is fucked up and not getting much better. 1 character dies. 2 attempt suicide. 2 begin a shaky relationship that won’t last 2 weeks. 1 guy is gonna need braces. 1 kid blew his chances at big bucks and will someday turn into Clay Aiken. 1 guy is going to dry his tears and go back to taming cunt. 1 guy is going to dry his tears and go watch some other old fart die for three hours. And 9 of them enjoy a telepathic karaoke experience applauded by hack-professors everywhere. Plus we’ve got all these frogs to clean up!

What does it add up to? Don’t ask me. I was just throwing shit on the wall. It takes a long time to watch a three hour movie. By the time it’s over, most people can’t even remember how it began, much less scour their memory for faults. And even if they were on the verge of figuring out how shallow the pool really is, FUCKING FROGS BITCH! I’m sorry…what were you saying about redundancy?

The point of the movie is simple: “Dad. Stop being a jerk and/or trying to emotionally/sexually abuse me and/or lowering my allowance for not doing my chores/homework or mom/other dad and I will make you watch Magnolia again (and we’re gonna fast forward past the frog part).”

(three stars)