Looking for a drama that doesn’t bog you down? Erin Brockovich is a light hearted drama about a single mother with three kids, two ex husbands and needs a job. After losing a case, she goes to work for her lawyer and finds unusual medical documents in a real estate case. She goes out on a limb to investigate and discovers a small town wronged by a huge water company.
Julia Roberts steals the screen (and wins the Oscar) as Erin Brockovich. She’s tenacious. A woman like Erin is full of bold, opinionated spunk that can lash out when she’s wronged and can be more subdued around her kids. One of the greatest qualities presented by Erin is the fact that she just needed a job. Not a mission. She could’ve turned a blind eye and continued on without a second thought, but that’s not who she is. It’s her level of involvement and commitment that is most striking. And no offence, we usually don’t put those qualities with women who show up to the office in short skirt leopard print with a side of cleavage.
Against Roberts, there are no other real characters. There’s lawyer guy, biker baby sitter and a slew of small town sad stories. I was disappointed when I realized that biker babysitter was Aaron Eckhart. Where was that ability to shine we loved in Thank You for Smoking and The Dark Knight? I guess it hadn’t developed yet under that dopy beard.
There are hundreds of takes on David and what’s his name, and this tries to be one of the better ones. It’s got the right story, but falls short. My main reason: the big bad company, Pacific Gas and Electric are not scary enough to be a real villain. The details we get about the families suffering illnesses caused by PG&E’s pollutions are the only extent of the monster’s claws. Yes, they’re sad stories to hear, but this isn’t about kids battling cancer. PG&E needs to materialize beyond documents, stories and a couple guys in suits and present a real challenge to Ms. Brockovich, one she has to do more than shake a boob at to win.
The moral of this story is that boobs will always conquer paperwork and suits.
Watch Erin Brockovich if you’re a Julia Roberts fan or need some motivation for some obstacles ahead. Or just heckle it, that’s fun too.
“-What makes you think you can just walk in there and take whatever you want?
-They’re called boobs, Ed.”