Can You Ever Forgive Me?
I wish I could forgive myself for being hoodwinked into seeing this movie. I didn’t like it and will only be giving it a 3 of 5 on the rating scale. It isn’t that movie is badly made, it isn’t. I didn’t like it because there’s nothing to like about it.
One rule in writing is to make sure that your hero - when they do something horrible - doesn’t come across as a tyrant without redeeming qualities. By the time I got to the end of this movie, the lead character of Lee Israel, portrayed by Melissa McCarthy, still had no redeeming qualities to me. I was glad to be rid of her off my screen as I am sure people were to be rid of her in real life.
Lee Israel was a real writer who wrote those scandal type biographies of celebs and did okay for herself until the booze became more important than the blank page waiting on her to put something down. She apparently had zero friends because she hated people, treated them like dirt, and was a drunk.
When she went broke, she stumbled upon a scheme to forge literary letters and sell them to collectors. She even stole documents from archives. (Tell me when you find a redeeming quality here). Enlisted to help her was a homeless drug addict who she befriended - sorta - more out of necessity than friendship. After being arrested, she wrote a book about her crime spree and made a bunch of money off it. Thus, this movie.
By the time this movie got to the part where the lead character is facing the judge, I was wanting the judge to throw her into solitary confinement for life and toss the key. The acting is the only thing that carries this movie - thus the 3 of 5 and not a lower rating - but it isn’t enough. If you have an option, just rent something else. Plenty of better movies out there so choose something else.