Neil Postman, author of Amusing Ourselves to Death, said that "Charlie's Angels," which ran on ABC from 1976 to 1981, was basically a show about hair. Seemed insightful at the time, but I wonder what Postman would say about the new movie version, which stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as the feather-haired, though hardly feather-brained, private investigators. Directed by music-vid whiz McG, Charlie's Angels is basically about hair, clothes and--to quote Barrymore in one of the movie's stellar action sequences--"kickin' ass."
Our intrepid trio, who go through guys like they were either lollipops or punching bags, bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "wham, bam, thank you ma'am." I'll leave it to you to decide whether this display of ballbusting T&A is empowering or exploitative, but I will say this: It's a hell of a ride right up to the moment when you wish the damn ride was over. McG, who did that line-dancing Gap commercial to a Dwight Yoakam song, directs like he's afraid we're going to switch the channel, but the movie's a lot of fun. A lot of fun. By the end, I was amused to death.