Okay, it’s been on my dvr for over a week and I’m finally watching House of Versace starring Gina Gershon. My very generous boyfriend said, with no hint of irony, “Wow, they’re getting big stars for Lifetime Movies these days” when I told him about the movie. I hope that Gina Gershon heard that compliment, in whatever dive bar her band is playing in tonight.
I read before it even aired that the Versace family says it’s fiction but what are they going to say? That this is exactly what happened? I will believe what I want, rep for the Versace family! (read article here)
E! did a side by side with real Donatella on the left and Gina Gershon on the right:
WAIT A SECOND, who is Veronica Mars’ dad playing?? Versace?!!? Hold the phone, why didn’t I know this already?!! He and his sister argue about sandals for some runway show (she hates sandals so I immediately feel a certain kinship to her), I’m not really paying attention. Are they showing the real clothes from this particular runway show? That would be a great detail.
I know very little about Versace from a fashion perspective because it’s so outside my interests- a bunch of bright silks and “Miami” looks. I also know that in Showgirls it’s a “Verse-ace” and she’s super psyched when she buys the fancy dress she can’t pronounce. And when Maya Rudolph would play her on SNL. That’s pretty much it. They’re really happy that Madonna has signed on to be the face of Versace next season.
They’re all acting with hilarious Italian accents that I will type “to my broh-ther, and seester!” (a toast) Gina Gershon’s accent is better than Mr. Mars’.
I didn’t realize that Donatella has a daughter. She’s cute and her mom has to miss her dance recital because Versace needs her to work. Hmmm, the whole family seems to have issues with him and his ego.
A sweet scene of Donatella teaching her daughter about lipstick and how it’s how every woman should start her day. Then she has her daughter pick out her shoes for the day. It’s sad and a comment on the fashion world but very thin actress Gina Gershon is much bigger than actual Donatella Versace… scary to think about.
Donatella is at some party/club thing and the reason is vague. It seems that she’s being interviewed by Vanity Fair but why did that have to happen at night in a club? She is talking about her brother being a genius. She says that they created supermodels which I did not realize. Is that true? I had no idea.
Donatella walks through the fashion floor and says “it takes a sexy man to make such a sexy shoe” to some guy who works there. He laughs and she says he can take a pair home to his wife but that if his mistress wants some she has to buy them. She thinks this joke is hilarious but no one else does.
Versace is dressing his niece for her recital and telling her that she’s a woman and has to command respect. Donatella comes in and is informed they’re taking her daughter to get a new Picasso. Wow. Also, she tells her brother that Vanity Fair wants to interview her and not him and he pretends he’s not super pissed about it.
I had no idea she was so involved before he died. She goes and directs a photoshoot that could easily be a Fanta commercial or apparently $1000 dresses for Vogue.
She and the photographer do some coke and talk about what geniuses they are.
A montage of beautiful places in Italy to convince us that they’re filming in Italy while we hear an argument about money over it. Now brother and sister are being interviewed together for some tv show I assume because they have a camera.
He says that their mother was an amazing seamstress who taught them. “I am always looking for ways to make a woman feel more beautiful” and then he says that he relies on Donatella for the female perspective. They come off very funny together in the interview, which I assume is supposed to be the opposite of the truth. Yup! The interview ends and they start fighting immediately. He thinks she gets too much attention and is too famous and she wants more than 20% of the company. He says that she cannot design her own clothes and she says that she’s a woman, something he’ll never be. He’s an artist, something she’ll never be. I don’t get why they don’t agree because it’s clearly always been this dynamic. Why not give her more than 20%? I say this like I’m super even-keeled and logical all the time. Hahahahahhaha, yeah, right.
Versace does not want to go public but his brother wants to and says that he’s supposed to be running the company but no one will let him. Versace doesn’t want to go public because then people have a say over his creativity. He says he doesn’t like some jewel tones he picked out and then some dress that has taken days to make. Donatella just rips a sleeve off of it and he’s all “That took two days to make! YOU’RE A GENIUS!” because he loves it.
Ummm, then he nuzzles her neck he’s so happy. Are we supposed to be getting the creeper vibes from this?
She says they should send the dress to Elizabeth Hurley and her brother (I think?) is all “we give more couture gowns away than we sell!” and she laughs him off saying it’s free publicity. Ew, now her brother is picking her up and spinning her around and laughing. Ummmm, yes, definite creeper vibes.
The daughter already wants to party and not go to school but to her credit she tells her no and that she can’t miss more school.
Donatella goes to some club in a bondage dress and dances and does more coke and wakes up doing it with her husband? Some dude? I can’t keep these guys apart.
Have we seen her husband yet? Versace calls her in bed because he’s pissed that she’s not at work already. Some press says that Donatella is his muse and a guy at work (Versace’s boyfriend?) is all “you thought she was out of control before!” Is Antonio his boyfriend? An assistant? He’s going to Miami with Antonio and wants to take her daughter but she’s all “you’re the uncle, don’t confuse the two, she has school.” She wants to show him some of her designs when he gets back and he’s all “I’m the designer.” I assume that’s a no.
She walks around the workroom changing necklines and stuff… Versace calls her to tell her to put boots on the models and also that they should be fierce. She hangs up on him and tells him to play with his boyfriend. Okay, so Antonio is definitely his boyfriend then. He keeps calling but she tosses the phone away because she’s pissed.
As he walks up to the gate in front of his house it turns into actual crime scene footage and they add a sound effect of a gun. He’s been shot and they hear about it in Italy. Everything is in slow motion.
I remember when this happened and that no one knew why or who did it. I just looked it up and they found the guy who did it and he killed himself and they never found out why he did it… so messed up. Granted, this is Florida police that we’re talking about but still. He killed six people so they termed him a serial killer apparently. They’re mixing in actual footage of models at his real funeral with the filmed stuff for this movie.
Okay, the guy in bed with her before is her husband and the brother who runs the company is their older brother. I think that settles all these mystery men. Everyone is mourning like Italians… because they are Italians.
They don’t know what to do at work and someone says they should get Karl Lagerfeld to come in but that would change everything for the label. Brother asks Donatella if she can do it and tells her that if she can’t everyone will understand. This movie is far more balanced than I expected. I wanted a circus like that Liz Taylor movie. She says that she has to do it.
Good lord, this movie is so boring. I’m bored. I just started playing Candy Crush because I forgot I was watching it.
Donatella and one of the employees argue about a dress and she asks him why he keeps arguing with her. He says that he was with Versace when he created the fabric and that he knows how it’s supposed to look.
She wants it super tight whereas the design is supposed to be more flowy and Grecian. She wants it so tight that it will “show her pubic bone” and he tells her that she is wrong. She fires him. He doesn’t take it well.
RAQUEL WELCH IS IN THIS MOVIE! Is she playing their mom? Their aunt? Donatella tells her about firing that guy today and that he has been with them since day 1. Seems like a bad move, Donatella.
She is going to sleep for a few hours and then go back to work. She does a little coke but then her daughter wakes up to say hi. Why do coke BEFORE you go to sleep?
At the will reading we find out that he left his fortune to his niece. He left money to his boyfriend and also any residence of his choosing in one of five cities (I would take the Lake Como house). Nothing to his brother or sister. Art collection to his nephew (who we have never seen and may be a baby). The brother and sister are pissed about Antonio getting stuff and not him. He apologizes to them and says he didn’t want any of this either. He says “I wish it had been me” and Donatella says “so do I.” Ouch. She then says “did you tell them ” and I think it’s “you did it” but I have no idea. I have listened to it 5 times. He says “she knew” and she gets super pissed and says to stay away from their family. I wish I knew what made her so mad.
Donatella tells her daughter that she’s her executor. The daughter doesn’t understand and says she just wants her uncle back. The internet says that she got half a billion dollars when she turned 18 in 2004. Raquel Welch comes in and Donatella is all “did you know?” but she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Does this have to do with the unclear convo from the previous scene?? Just spit it out, people.
Donatella’s husband thinks they should leave and move to NYC but she thinks she can’t let everything whither away with the company or no one will inherit anything. Or they could hire Karl Lagerfeld I guess?
She’s signing things at work and asks if they’ve replaced that bearded guy and her assistant says they have a few people interested and one is a young English hot shot- she wants him. She does some more coke. Then more coke at home. This is a montage of her doing coke. Her husband catches her and tells that she needs to work less and she says that she’s fine. She tells him to take care of the kids because she’s too busy to handle them too and he says okay. She ends the convo with some prescription pills and some drawings that she hates.
She is making all the clothing super tight and short at work- is this supposed to make women feel more beautiful? Ew. The crotch on the dress form is showing… Antonio, says the meanest thing he could have said to her, comes through the work room and is all “no matter what, your show will be compared to Gianni’s” and then leaves. Well played!
Raquel Welch comes in and tells them that Princess Diana has just died. Young daughter says she was just at the funeral and asks why everyone is dying. Heartbreaking.
The show happens and everything is really light gray and super short and tight. Are these the actual dresses? A picture of Versace is put up in memoriam at the end of the show and everyone applauds so it’s unclear if anyone liked her clothes or just missed him. She assumes it’s the photo of him getting applause, to her credit.
In a very American Beauty-esque scene a white butterfly flutters and she has a moment of thinking this damn white butterfly is the soul of her brother or something… gag me. “Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world…” blah blah blah.
Her husband says he died 3 years ago so I guess we’ve flashed forward. He’s saying she’s been drinking and doing coke everyday for the three years and he’d prefer her to be a wife and mother for them sometimes. The paparazzi is harassing their daughter at school. He tells her that she’s the only woman he ever really loved but that the Donatella he loved is gone so he’s leaving and moving to New York and the kids can come with him or for the summers and she is completely emotionless about the whole thing.
Her daughter says that she just wants to get away from everything, including her mom. The kid was not aged at all by the last 3 years. Donatella is all “you can go with your father I guess.” Wow. I’m surprised her family lasted this long.
She cries when she says bye to them but it’s very brief. The husband hugs her and looks at her pityingly while she wears a giant, bright magenta robe thing.
In their absence she just drinks and does more drunks so I guess it’s like they never left?
Here’s a picture of Raquel Welch from THIS YEAR:
Has she made some kind of deal with the devil? She’s 73 effing years old!
Her brother is freaking out because their business has gone down 60% and she’s all “blame September 11th, not me.” He says that she’s making trashy clothes and that’s the problem but she says he doesn’t understand vision. He tells her that she’s a joke to the press and that she’s destroying their family legacy. He says that they’re facing bankruptcy and she’s all “eh, you’re the banker, I’m the designer so you’re supposed to deal with that” like it’s nothing, like her husband just said he’s leaving her.
She’s with the old shoe man from the beginning and she’s ripping apart the shoes and throwing them in his face saying that a hooker wouldn’t wear them while he says that it’s exactly what she ordered. Nothing like making an old man cry. A woman there says she’s leaving the company and says she’s watched Donatella ruin herself and the company for six years so maybe this is three years after her family left her?
Donatella is at home dancing and breaking wine glasses while wasted. I think the kids have been re-cast with older kids now.
Raquel Welch, meanwhile, still looks the exact effing same just like in real life. Her kids look the sad looks of kids who hate their mother.
Donatella smokes and smokes and draws and draws and does more coke. Her brother says that the creditors have asked him to step down. She is all “so what, it’s not my fault.” What a peach. He says “No, of course not.” She says that for seven years she’s known that she will never be as good as him and that everyone just despises her for trying. He points out the VERY obvious that he lost a brother too and that she is selfish.
The company is 120 million in debt and she’s all “it’s not like you can take our house.” The creditors are all “yes, we can” and also she owes 5 million dollars personally. She has no idea how debt or money works.
Her daughter comes into the meeting with a financial advisor and says she wants to take control of her shares. “You told me to always lead, never follow.” Nicely done, daughter.
Donatella freaks out on her ex husband and says her daughter is not strong enough for this and he points out that she’s stronger than her mother. Touche. She weeps and looks like a hot mess.
They have a sort of intervention over birthday cake. She screams at Raquel Welch that she knew about him cutting them out of his will and didn’t tell them. I guess this is the secret argument from earlier? Again, Raquel Welch says that she did not know. Why would that be worse than HIM DYING?!!? No wonder the real her distanced herself from this movie. They want her to go to rehab and if she doesn’t go they will all cut her out of their lives. Her son says “mama, please don’t make us go to another funeral” and that does the trick.
The kids go visit her at rehab and she does seem a little bit better. Allegra says she’s applying to college in the US. She says she has not had a drink or drugs and she’s giving up partying in general. Teary scene of familial love. Snoooooooooze, so boring.
Welcome back party at work. I guess they’re not totally bankrupt despite the last scene about money? This is confusing. They’ve stayed open for the months she’s been gone at least. She tells a lady at work that “giving up her heels was harder than giving up cocaine” about the rehab dress code.
She and her brother (wait, it’s not him but some guy who might as well be him) are nicer to each other and they meet with their creditors and discuss their next show and how they will make money. The creditors look at her drawings… do these bankers have a lot of fashion knowledge? They say they will back them through the next show and if the orders come in they will stay in business but if not then the company will fold. No pressure!
She apologizes to all the people in the work room for her shitty behavior and yelling in the past but reminds them that she was crazy before the drugs to lighten the mood. Hahahahah, “I know we can do it, but I need each and every one of you…” speech straight out of a sports movie comes out of her mouth. They only have six weeks but she knows they can pull this together. I wish I was exaggerating, but it’s the exact script.
She and Raquel Welch make up.
She tells a seamstress that this is the first stuff she has designed just for herself without thinking about what Gianni would do so if it fails it’s all on her. Her daughter is going to college for acting, ugh. After saying the fashion world is so stupid and she hates the paparazzi she’s going to school for acting?
The brother comes to the show and says that he likes the collection. She admits to him that she yelled at Gianni and hung up on the phone just before he was shot. He tells her that’s how they showed love so not to feel guilty about it.
The show happens and I still hope these are the same clothes from the actual show. It’s a montage to Cece Peniston’s “Finally” being covered by someone less good than Cece Peniston.
Here is a video that is more entertaining than this movie:
Good lord. I need to watch something amazing about teens sexting to get this dud out of my mind.