After a week’s hiatus, Bad Movie Friday returns with a vengeance, in the form of the made-for-TV Rosie O’Donnell vehicle Riding the Bus with My Sister. Perhaps Ms. O’Donnell reckoned that her star turn as a mentally handicapped woman would be critic proof, as no one wants to be accused of insensitivity. But she didn’t account for the sly critical genius of Virginia Heffernan, who set upon this stinker like a 13th-century Mongol horde upon a defenseless city on the steppe:
This underhanded movie makes Ms. O’Donnell into an appalling cartoon only to pretend innocence – or, no, moral superiority – when the viewer is appalled. Is Beth’s voice deafening on your television set? Is her lumpy form in a Tweety Bird T-shirt depressing? Is her nascent sexuality hard to contemplate? You must have no heart. And you will have to come around to her innocent wonders…
The viewer, meanwhile, is sure to cringe – and often. This is another inexplicable effort by an actor to overplay a slow, strange character and teach everybody lessons. The sanctimonious old stunt is not fair to viewers. This is a deeply – even thrillingly – embarrassing movie.
We’re curious to know how many of y’all can watch the entire clip above. We made it to the 1:36 mark, then had to look away in horror.