“Cecelia was the first to go” was the first line of the opening scene of The Virgin Suicides and the title itself can give you an idea of what the film is about. Based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, is about five girls from a strict catholic family, led by their parents. The father is a schoolteacher, and his wife is a stay at home, mother. The novel adapted into a film that was written and directed by Sofia Coppola.
Released 21 years ago on April 2000, the Virgin Suicides, is a tragic tale of five girls who live in the suburbs of Detroit in the 1970s. The tragic tale narrated by Giovanni Ribisi is about five sisters who were the subject of beauty, being viewed as sexual beings, and only mesmerized by the mystery that will haunt the boys years later.
There is more to this film than it’s self giving title. The film is about how the boys didn’t understand the girls and, regrettably, should have tried harder. With the title being The Virgin Suicides, not all the girls were technically virgins. Lux Lisbon played by the iconic Kirsten Dunst. If you don’t know who she is, she played Claudia in Interview with the Vampire and Mary Jane in Spiderman. Lux did, in fact, lose her virginity. She had more sexual encounters on the roof of her parents’ home as a way of rebelling against her parents. There were a lot of scenes that had easter eggs on what is going to happen.
In this scene, the boys call the Lisbon Sisters playing a song. They call the boys back, but the song they were playing was interesting. The song is Alone again, Naturally by Gilbert Sullivan. The song is about expression of grief and contemplating suicide after being left at the altar. Lisbon Sisters chose this song as a way of warning the boys of their intentions rather than as an expression of how they feel.
The Scene that creeps me out
I’ve seen this scene plenty of times, but this still creeps me out. The Lisbon sisters went to the homecoming dance. This would be the first and very last time the girls had freedom. Starting from the left, Lux (Kirsten Dunst) looks like she’s holding a cigarette. Lux was the last sister to be found. She died in the garage by carbon monoxide with a cigarette in her hand. Therese (Leslie Hayman) took sleeping pills, she was the first to die. Mary (A.J. Cook) stuck her head in the oven and Bonnie (Chelse Swain) hung herself. However, the still frame shot was another hint or “easter egg” in showing how the girls were going to die.
Amazing cast like Kathleen Turner, James Wood, Josh Hartnett and a great soundtrack, The Virgin Suicides, became an instant hit and a memorable classic. It’s completely obvious that one theme was about mental health crisis. Another theme is sexuality. As I mentioned in the beginning, the boys sexualized the Lisbon sisters and regrettably didn’t understand them as people. The Virgin Suicides is a gorgeous film with one of best high school dance film scenes in film history.
Rating: IMDB- 7.2/10 Rotten Tomatoes- 77% Metcritic- 76