The Price of Milk
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The Price of Milk starts off as a beautiful (though, granted, somewhat odd) fairy tale...

Once upon a time, a happy couple named Rob and Lucinda lived together in a dilapidated shack in the middle of the New Zealand countryside with their one hundred and seventeen dairy cows and their agoraphobic dog, Nigel, who refused to come out from under his big cardboard box. Rob (played by Karl Urban, a strange, scruffy mix of Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and my friend Mischa) and Lucinda (played by Danielle Cormack) loved to frolic in the meadows together and wash their dishes while taking a bath in the tub outside their house. In fact, they were so contented with their life together, that Rob proposed, and Lucinda happily accepted.

But that’s when things start to get a little bit...strange.

Lucinda, who’s excited to marry Rob, is also a bit apprehensive. But, then again, who doesn’t get a case of the jitters before getting married? So she goes to her best friend to ask for advice. What can she do to keep their relationship fresh? When her friend suggests that a good fight every once in a while is just the thing to spice up a relationship, Lucinda starts to stir things up a bit. She brings Rob a beer—then purposely spills it. She goes swimming in a vat full of milk, costing them $1,500. And when those things don’t seem to work as well as she had hoped—and Rob still appears to be more attentive to the cows than he is to her—Lucinda gives the cows to a strange old woman (and her equally-strange, quilt-stealing nephews) in exchange for a quilt. Then Rob flips out and goes to live in his friend’s barn, and Lucinda realizes that she may have gone a bit too far. Instead of causing a little argument to bring the two of them closer together, her plan backfires and breaks them apart. So she tries to get the cows back, only to discover that it’ll cost her the thing that she loves the most.

The Price of Milk is a bizarre and mystical fairy tale that only gets more bizarre and mystical as the story continues. What begins as a captivatingly quirky storyline becomes absolutely peculiar and hard-to-follow by the end. And, like Lucinda’s attempts to improve her relationship with Rob, it just goes too far. The imagery is beautiful—as is the boldly symphonic soundtrack—but the story takes one step too many over the line between fun eccentricity and, well, furrowed brows and migraines.

If you can handle the fact that you’ll be totally perplexed and somewhat troubled by the last half hour or so of the movie—or, perhaps, if you’ve already had a few drinks—The Price of Milk is worth watching. If not, stick with a more comfortably eccentric fairy tale, like The Princess Bride.

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