After sitting through the apparent true story of what went on behind the scenes of Full House I, like much of America, am struck with more questions than answers about this very iconic show where three guys are raising three girls in San Francisco. Now, I already knew one of the big problems with Full House, thanks to several friends who live in San Francisco, that the house was very unrealistic. Too wide and just not okay but in this movie there were other problems that made me question humanity and also other things but mainly that so yeah, that’s what I’m going to talk about.
Anyway, here are my issues and take from it what you will:
Jodie Sweetin apparently has no loved ones
Okay, I am going to go out on a limb and say this is definitely not true. I do not know Jodie Sweetin personally but, you know, judging by Instagram and Twitter alone….she seems like a lovely person with many loved ones. In the movie, however, she has no parents. We see Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s parents, Candace Cameron’s mom and if I were to take this movie at face value, Jodie Sweetin had no one. Also, according to Jodie Sweetin’s book, Unsweetined (which I think is the best title ever and the fact that she called her memoir that makes me a fan of hers forever and ever) this is a woman who suffered tremendously and has overcome a lot to get to where she is at this point. She admits in her memoir that she got drunk at Candace Cameron’s wedding and had to be carried out. That was not even referenced in the movie which ends with the cast at “Candace’s” wedding. Not that it needed to be a huge plotline but given how public Jodie has been about her issues and people know, it felt a little disingenuine to have it glossed over with a simple exchange between “Candace” and “Jodie” with “Candace” asking how school was going and her saying she hates it. Maybe they could have alluded to it? Shown the character with a glass of wine in her hand or something to foreshadow what was to come for her? It would have matched up with the end narration of the movie where “Dave Coulier” talks about everyone having ups and downs. I’ve always been a fan of Jodie Sweetin, Stephanie was awesome, but I felt they just dismissed her and given the fact that there was probably a lot they could have drawn from, it just seems strange.
2. Details Shmeatails
The movie is UNAUTHORIZED. Did that mean they couldn’t use the actual house? Or build a set that actually looked like the Full House house? Anyone watching the movie is watching for nostalgia. They’re watching because they remember the show and love it and can also probably sing the theme song word for word, the house was the wrong house! There’s nothing really that reminds fans of the show they remember so fondly. The house is not the only problem. These Lifetime movies seem to make it a point to cast actors that look nothing like the actual people they’re portraying, but this went even beyond simple genetic similarities. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were cast at nine months old. Nine months. Now, having taken a few child development courses in my life and also because I have eyeballs, I can say that the two actresses chosen to play the Olsen Twins at the beginning were not nine months but instead looked more like real quiet toddlers. Other details? In the first season of Full House? Jodie Sweetin’s hair was curly. It wasn’t straightened until later seasons and at the end? DJ’s prom dress was gold. There was also no Comet, the dog and no Smash Club or Jesse’s band and also, no mention of Jesse and Becky’s wedding or children.
3. Wait, that happened?
So Bob Saget got divorced? That came out of nowhere. Dave Coulier’s sister passed away and that was out of left field as well. Things that should have been delved into a bit more were just casually mentioned. Jodie Sweetin mentions in her book that the Olsen twins were mean to her. Nothing about that. There were moments that could have used a little fleshing out. Everything seemed to just be touched upon or given a little mention. Dave Coulier got a divorce? Bob Saget’s marriage ended as well and with the line that it had been coming for awhile. It had? In fact, most of the big moments were just talked about and not really shown. The importance of “showing and not telling” is essential to a lot of good writing but this had none of it. I’m assuming they had to verbally refer to things because otherwise we’d have no idea. Also, yes it is well known that Bob Saget is a comic that thrives on more blue material but the fictionalized version of Bob Saget seems kind of whiny and immature and yes, it probably was difficult for him at times to play a character who was known for being pretty straight-laced. That said, having listened to him be a frequent guest on The Kevin and Bean Show for years, the real life Bob Saget comes across intelligent, funny and has a lot to say, more than just a dirty joke. Also, referring back to the death of Bob Saget’s sister, it’s also pretty well known that the tragic death of Gay Saget had a huge impact on his life. He is even on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation but the movie seemed to just use the death as a plot device to show once again that the cast was close because they all bonded together during the funeral. Everything was used as a plot device to show that the cast was was close and a lot of dirty jokes were told.
4. Anything I Need To Know, I Can Find on the Internet
Just a quick glance at the Instagram pages or Twitter feeds of any of the original Full House cast members and it’s instantly clear they love each other. They’re even filming a new version, “Fuller House” together. So why did the movie need to go into showing how they got along? We already know. I learned more from the Beyond the Headlines special they did after. The movie read like a really bad fan fiction or a first draft where you just list ideas. I learned nothing new and I would have liked to know something I didn’t know before and I would have liked to have been shown it, not told in clunky dialogue. Was there drama between the Olsen parents regarding Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s sky-rocketing careers? It was briefly shown in a quick scene but I would have liked to have known more. That must have been difficult for two six, seven-year-olds to suddenly become household names. How was it for the rest of the cast? I guess showing any feelings or emotions would have made it authorized, but all they did was repeat the same things over and over. What about Dave Coulier and the Alanis Morissette song? How did he feel when he heard “You Oughta Know” for the first time? I kept wanting to ask how they felt and kept wanting to yell, “show me, don’t tell me” at the screen.
I feel like this could have been so much more. This was a cast that enjoyed each other and were there seemingly for the best and worst moments of each other’s lives but instead all we got was a 120 minutes of “hey, look how close they are” and “hey, Bob Saget is not like Danny Tanner”….oh and fart jokes.
In an interview given to The Wrap, Tanya Lopez who is the senior vice president of original movies at Lifetime compared their “Unauthorized” movies to the Sharknado series on the Syfy network in that they’re supposed to be silly but I think the difference is that the “Unauthorized” movies are dealing with real people who have gone through some real life moments that have played out publicly. No one is watching Sharknado for the moving stories, but people are watching the “Unauthorized” movies to learn something about the actors they’ve grown to be fans of and while I will admit to watching them, I keep wondering if the silliness is at the expense of real people. No, people aren’t watching the Unauthorized movies for award-winning writing but it would have been nice to learn something I couldn’t have found out with a quick Google search.