What is it: A semi-autobiographical musical based on the life of singer songwriter Peaches.
So let’s just get this out of the way; Peaches Does Herself is pretty terrible. It is a performance that thinks it’s rebellious and influential (and in some ways, it can be applauded on the message it tries, key word being tries, to put out) when it is in fact a collection of ever increasing destructions of social taboos to the point of parody. Avoid it.
The reason I haven’t just ended the review there was because I wanted to get my real view out of the way before I explained why I personally feel that, despite the summery, I am kind of glad I still saw it. See, I am a guy who gets twitchy about matters of a…sexual nature so to speak. Ask my friends, they will tell you I am right. So when Peaches Does Herself starts off with Peaches getting her rhythm and leading to a giant choreographed orgy, the alarm bells rang in my head and I was ready to squirm. It never happened, instead I found myself laughing loudly at points simply wondering how my film writing lead me to this point.
As it progressed further and further, I found myself caring less and less about being prudish and offended and almost willing the film to go further. Do you want to progress from choreographed orgy on a pretend bed that looks like a vagina? Sure, go ahead. How about a long winded song from a 60-70 year old former stripper singing about how much she likes ‘dicks’ with a black dildo and doing unspeakable stuff to it? No problem. The fact it escalates further from those two things listed to downright ridiculous territory just plain didn’t bother me. And believe me, it goes crazier. Much crazier.
To give Peaches credit, inside the exterior of a sexually charged woman who sings about gender, sex and not giving a crap, there is a really talented artist who has a way with words. There are genuinely catchy songs and some even going further then that at being somewhat memorable. The big problem is that, lyrically, the songs do not co exist well with the imagery. In fact, they are a hindrance to the point where you wonder whether it was intentional to make those songs represent them or not in some kind of controversial statement about how we look at the world. Again, almost admirable but it takes away much more than it makes.
In all honesty, I appreciate the fact I saw the film. Heck, I am really tempted to see if I can get into her performance at Sundance London this weekend. But would I encourage others to see it and go through what I did? No way. Not even close.