Domestic Disturbance

By Mark Ramsey | 2001/11/05

Well, you can tell by the way he used his walk, he’s a woman’s man: no time to talk. Music loud and women warm, he’s been kicked around since he was born. He’s John Travolta, and he handcrafts wooden sailing boats. Why? Because whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother you’re sailin’ alive, sailin’ alive. I guess John really does float my boat.

Unfortunately nobody wants to buy handcrafted wooden sailing boats anymore, and it seems somebody already stole John’s other great idea for a portable telephone without wires. Bummer.


t was during shooting of Travolta’s latest movie, Domestic Disturbance, that co-stars Vince Vaughn and Steve Buscemi decided to make life imitate art as they got embroiled in a domestic disturbance of their own – a bar brawl on location. Buscemi was stabbed in the melee (which, I believe, is just south of your left butt-cheek) while Vaughn and some townies were hauled to jail, thus proving wrong the contention that Vince’s career is so stalled he can’t get arrested.

Folks, I’d like to call Domestic Disturbance “run of the mill” but no mill runs this slow.

Steve Buscemi, whose leatheresque jacket has been condemned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Polyvinyl Chloride, is that human unmade bed whose last dental cleaning inspired a documentary on his hygienist: “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Plaque.” Steve brings his patented snaggle-toothed smirk of disgust to these proceedings, and who can blame him?

After a brief stint in the slammer, Steve’s teeth were released on their own recognizance, whereupon they each went their separate ways – all in the same mouth.

Vince Vaughn is a shady racketeer hiding his true identity until John Travolta’s son sees Vince kill a man. Unfortunately, despite an extensive criminal investigation, the cops turn up nothing on Vince, so Travolta does the impossible and searches for his name on the Internet! Hey, Officer Krupke, why didn’t YOU think of that? A few clicks later, voila! Photo! Alternate identity! Criminal record! Sexual relations with Joey Lauren Adams!


This is one of the funniest unintentionally funny movies you’ll see this year:

John’s ex-wife, Mrs. Vince, realizes her new hubby is a bad guy when she’s sees him in an open doorway soothing the burns from the fire he just started to kill Travolta. Repeat: Open doorway! Indiscretion cleverly disguised as gross stupidity, Mr. Super-Criminal!

Now clued in, Mrs. Vince is running for safety when she ingeniously locks Vince outside the house behind a patio door – an ALL GLASS patio door. Whew! Time to breathe easy. No way he can get through glass, huh!?

Most ominous shots of threatening, scary Vince are from a low angle. That way his boyish good looks say “I’m going to kill you” instead of “hey baby, you’re money.”

Creepy Vince threatens John’s boy by lurking in the doorway in a super-scary white shirt and tie. Excuse me, but it’s tough to be frightening in an outfit that shouts “I’m married to Samantha on Bewitched.”

In the climax, Vince is about to kill Mrs. Vince and John’s kid when into this L. Ron Hubbub bursts wild-man Travolta. John’s in a Saturday Night Fever – he’s Danny Zuko-Man, human greased lighting!

There’s not an unpredictable moment in this movie except for the moment, quite early, when I realized there wasn’t an unpredictable moment in this movie. And even that I should have predicted.

Domestic Disturbance is disturbing all right: Disturbingly bad.

John Travolta, if you value your career beware the prescient lyric: Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me. Somebody help me, yeah.

Photos Copyright ©2001 Paramount Pictures


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