“Permanent” tells the story of a small family trying to overcome their own insecurities and obstacles. It takes place in 1982, where big feathered hair is in and everyone adores Farrah Fawcett. It stars Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) as Jim, a retired Air Force One steward who has up-rooted his family and is trying to obtain a scholarship, so he can get into pre-med school. It becomes quickly apparent that he favors his toupee, which he wears to cover up his balding head, over his frustrated wife, Jeanne.
Jeanne, (played by the marvelous and truthful Patricia Arquette), has now become the breadwinner and is working at a dead-end job to make ends meet to support her family. Jeanne feels ostracized by her family who are becoming increasingly annoyed with her corky behavior.
Their daughter Aurelie (Kira Mclean) has to deal with the fallout of being the new kid at school, and in order to better fit in and be “beautiful” she begs her parents to get a permanent or perm. Jim and Jeanne trying to make peace with their daughter and save a couple bucks take her to a beauty school to have the perm done, though things don’t turn out as planned. Aurelie is left with a frizzy curly disaster (a new kid’s worst nightmare) and is bullied mercilessly because of it.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, it has a positive message about not letting your insecurities bring you down from achieving your dreams, success, or just living your daily life. One of the more moving parts of the film comes at the end when Aurelie’s black friend Lydia (played by the wonderful Nena Daniels) reads an original poem to the entire school during an assembly. The same school that puts her in slow classes because they think she’s mentally retarded because of her skin color. It’s a beautiful and moving poem that not only proves to the school that Lydia is brilliant, but also proves to Lydia her own inner strength, intelligence, and that Aurelie truly values her friendship.
I felt that the acting was pretty good. Kira Mclean did a wonderful job as Aurelie, and watching Rainn Wilson was like watching an older less quirky Dwight Schrute. Patricia Arquette did a great job as well playing the truthful lonely mother. One of my favorite scenes with her is when Aurelie is complaining about wanting to get a perm so she can be beautiful, and Arquette tells her that unfortunately all she’ll ever be is cute and that’s good enough because you can go pretty far by being cute. It’s the kind of truth bomb that is reminiscent of my own mother.
I wish the film would have made Lydia and Aurelie’s relationship a little bit more of the overall plot. It was only mentioned a handful of times and it felt like a majority of it was glossed over until the very end. The film was still a joy to watch and it leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling, knowing that no matter how hard life gets your family will always has your back as long as you’re willing to have theirs. But don’t take my word for it see it yourself!
The Blu-ray is jam backed with extra goodies such as deleted and alternate scenes, Rainn Wilson exploring the making of “Permanent,” a theatrical trailer and much more!
“Permanent” comes out on Blu-ray April 3rd 2018.
Video: Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (21.98 Mbps). Resolution: 1080p. Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Discs: Blu-ray Disc, Single disc (1 BD-25)
Packaging: Slipcover in original pressing
Playback: Region A