Virgin Suicides Essay, Research Paper
In an ordinary suburban house, on a lovely tree-lined street, in the middle of 1970s America, lived the five beautiful, dreamy Lisbon sisters, whose doomed fates indelibly marked the neighborhood boys who to this day continue to obsess over them. What happened to the Lisbon sisters is a tale at once darkly funny and deeply poignant, a story of love and repression, fantasy and terror, sex and death, memory and longing. It is at its core a mystery story: a heart-rending investigation into the impenetrable, life-altering secrets of American adolescence.
The sleuth in this mystery is Tim Weiner (Jonathan Tucker), who grew up amidst the bewitching spell of the five Lisbon girls – Therese (Leslie Hayman), Mary (A.J. Cook), Bonnie (Chelse Swain), Lux (Kirsten Dunst) and Cecilia (Hanna Hall) – and still seeks the answers to their spectacular demise. The girls were everything desired and unattainable: gorgeous, luminous and completely off limits due to their parents’ (James Woods, Kathleen Turner) strict household rules. From afar, the boys watched the girls through half-opened window shades, binoculars and the haze of fantasies. Then, they witnessed something that would shake them to their very souls: angelic Cecilia plummeting from her bedroom window.
In the wake of Cecila’s shocking act, the Lisbons go into a deep, cold storage, shutting out the world and retreating into their own secretive inner sanctum. It seems they will never recover until Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett) – the town’s preeminent jock, hunk and dream date – begins to pursue the impossible Lux Lisbon, with whom he is dangerously smitten. Then Trip does the unthinkable: he asks Lux Lisbon to the prom, allowing all the remaining Lisbons to venture for the first time to a school dance.
For one brief evening in paradise, four boys, including Tim and Tripp, get as close to the Lisbon sisters as anyone has ever been. But when Lux and Tripp get a little too close, events spiral out of control,. The Lisbon girls are locked away for good, taken out of school, incarcerated by Mrs. Lisbon.
Lux descends into an outlaw promiscuity, which provides endless nights of binocular bliss for Tim and his friends. But the boys no longer want to just watch the Lisbon girls. Now they want to save them . . . and by extension their own doomed youth and innocence.
Based on Jeffrey Eugenides’ acclaimed novel, The Virgin Suicides is a dark, grown-up fairy tale carved out of the funny-sad fabric of suburban teenhood. The film is written and directed by Sofia Coppola, who makes her feature film directorial debut.