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  • Samantha and Anthony are not a good couple, and their fate at the end of the film may not be the ending anyone is looking for. But in between, the film and the actors give a very gritty turn at how hollow and empty the singles sex scene can be, especially if it is fueled by too much alcohol and too many drugs. The attempts at introspection are handled very well, allowing the characters to develop their own special shallowness and frailty, and the action does a great job of showing how a few indiscretions can snowball into an empty and emotionally sickening life. Even if you have not slept with these kind of people, you have probably met them, and the film does a gritty job of slipping you into their uneasy, fragile and emotionally unsatisfying lives. This is a very good first flic, and hopefully more will follow.
  • In relationships, the worm always turns. We've learned this from a million clich√© Hollywood movies. What they so rarely portray is how the damage inflicted along the way, to oneself and one's lover, is so often irreversible in so many ways. Very few movies deal with changes of heart as well as this one does. It's written with a golden ear for dialogue, and it's acted out with the kind of naturalism that can only come from what appeared to be a two-weeks-straight shoot in which the DV camera was probably never turned off for more than a couple hours. You get the sensation that this film was shot very, VERY run-and- gun. I doubt they even got the permits to shoot at LAX for that hand-held scene. I was nervous for the filmmakers while I was watching it. But they pulled it off beautifully. As an aside, there's a certain visual style, including jump-cut editing, wide-angle shot choices and lighting that ranges from extremely flat to extremely beautiful, which arises from on-the-run DV production where poor shot quality on the set is made up for by the sheer quantity of cuts to choose from later. It allows for a lot of improvisation. At one point, a character points to the sky and shouts, "full moon!" and panning up, we actually SEE the moon in the shot...the real moon. Ah, DV. The result of these liberties is a strange mixture of very fine performances and a severely jangly look that can work both for and against the film. In this case, it mostly works. But it reflects a directing style completely unlike traditional film directing, taking advantage of the super-low costs and shooting without setup, rather sloppily at times, and it may be less of a stylistic choice than a reflection of the medium. In any case, we'll probably be seeing a lot more features like this in coming years, as the costs plunge even more. In terms of script and character acting, this movie strolls over ground that others fear to tread. It reminds me most of Eyes Wide Shut, only the choices are real and their repercussions can't be undone. It's brutally honest, especially in dealing with how, often, the one who ends a good relationship is the one who suffers more, and punishes themselves more, and becomes more of a disaster than the one who was hurt and moves on.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If a film could be truly described as 'hand made' this would be it. Sam is heading towards thirty and wasting time. Her relationship has gone stale, and so she walks away and embarks on a series of almost meaningless encounters in a desperate attempt to find what she wants. As the relationship wreckage begins to pile up, you get the sense that this young woman really needs to find a reason to love herself first. As her partying starts to catch up with the other people in her life, her inability to make meaningful connections with someone, anyone, for a moment in time and then stick to it, effects how her friends see her. From the one who got away, her stable and stale relationship, to guys that she randomly meets at parties, nothing ever seems quite satisfying. This is a brilliantly observed slice of life. Everything about the breathless pace, and unscripted feel of each encounter brings an immediacy and a realism which is hard to beat. It certainly lives up to expectations. This is tough stuff, confrontational and emotional. It isn't the easiest film to watch, but it's raw and honest, and that makes up for some truly unsettling moments.
  • "Some Body" is one of the most realistic portrayals of dating (if you can call it that), sexual relationships and loneliness that I've ever seen. The character of Samantha is a standout in relationship-movies simply because she's so flawed and, well, human.

    Sam dumps her exceptionally nice boyfriend, Anthony, because she feels that their relationship has become stagnant. She's basically right, but she also reinforces the notion that the more decent the man, the more cruelly women will treat him. Sam then sets out on a sort of quest to find out who and what it is she wants.

    Sam is an amazing character because of her imperfections. She loves to party, but always drinks just enough to embarrass herself. She breaks up with Anthony, but then tries to keep him close (and then flips out when he tries to cut her off entirely). She enjoys sex, but gives herself to the wrong kinds of partners. The film crucially does not judge Sam for her promiscuity, it merely observes how her own insecurity leads to mistake after mistake. And yet, it also makes it clear that Sam is not a hopeless case by any means.

    Initially, I was afraid that this film's video verity style would be too Indie-gimmicky and distracting. In fact, it has the desired effect of heightening the realism. But the film would not be a success without the outstanding performances of its cast, notably Stephanie Bennett (also co-screenwriter), brilliant as Sam, and Tom Vitorino, perfect as Tony T., one of Sam's hapless suitors. And special geek-kudos to the filmmakers, for using a building about a block away from me as the location for Sam's apartment. ;)

    Chances are that "Some Body" will affect you, either because you know someone like Sam, or because you ARE someone like Sam.
  • I have never seen so much talent rolled into so few people. This story not only addresses a fact of life that too many people are experiencing but does it in such an artistic way. Ms. Bennett is fabulous. I was even more impressed to see that she had a hand in the writing and directing. How can so much talent be in one person?
  • This is a fantastic film that was inexplicably overlooked by the judges at Sundance.

    Some Body is a documentary style drama about a young elementary school teacher in Los Angeles who is on the front lines of the modern dating and sex wars. She may, in fact, be a casualty.

    Shot on a couple of DV cams, SOME BODY breaks though numerous tired conventions of dramatic film-making. The performances are shockingly honest and realistic- Using a combination of scripted and improvised material, the actors are able to deliver performances that are so convincing that you often feel as if you are watching a documentary.

    This film captures the essence of many modern relationships with shocking accuracy. Numerous times during the film, I winced from recognition of events from my own life- Awful things I have said to women and instantly regretted, things that have been said during a relationship that I am still p***ed about. This movie is right on target without ever engaging cliche.

    It is the true successor to Sex, Lies, and Videotape.

    Special praise goes to Stephanie Bennet- her performance is honest and courageous- but the acting in this film goes beyond these superlatives. The acting in this film frankly exposes the artifice of what modern film acting has become. I was convinced that Stephanie would receive the special Jury award the festival gives out annually- it went to Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkenson in "In the Bedroom"- which, I admit, I did not see.

    I did see "The Believer" and I can say without reservation that Some Body is a far superior and important film.

    My only gripe is the film's title- "Some Body" may have significant meaning to people who have seen the film, but none whatsoever to those who are considering seeing it. [crass marketing suggestion for a new title- "Slut" or "Easy" - ya gotta get sex into the title, guys]
  • This is a Looking for Mr. Goodbar for the new millennium. Director makes a wise choice shooting it on digital video. It has the look of a documentary, allowing the viewer closer inspection of Samantha's life. Some of the dialogue is humorous and out of place but it lends to the realness of the film. Some women could be offended by Sam's behavior - she doesn't always make good choices - but this also gives her validity. She's in charge of her life, right or wrong, even as she clutches the nightlife on a trip of sex and drugs. It may not be easy for some viewers to watch. This film is real, challenging and never looks for the easy answers. Lead actress, Stephanie Bennett, is very engaging. She's also a co-screenwriter.