1 April 2007 | ChicagoGirl16
Truly Bad in an Interesting Way
This movie fails, but it fails in an interesting way.
First of all, it's not a film. It's an unsuccessful attempt to permanently record a stage play, masquerading as a film. The director seems to have no clue to the techniques, nuances and flexibility possible with film.
Instead, 90% of the "action" takes place on two very contrived stage sets. The characters are merely stereotypes. The "action" consists of each character delivering a long soliloquy on their philosophy regarding sex. However, the writer is so self-absorbed that every point of view is that of a young male "player." Ultimately, this is a few hours of audible naval-gazing. Instead of presenting different points of view, this feels like an inner dialogue from one really immature, boring guy.
The female characters are especially shallow and unbelievable when they talk about sex, which is all anyone does in the movie. They are clearly women speaking words written by a clueless man who is developmentally about 25 years old.
The director also doesn't trust his actors to convey complex emotions on film. That's unfortunate, because there are some fine actors in the film, who are capable of much more. Instead, the performance are so "big," the gestures so exaggerated, that they seem a parody of stage acting. Only Sean Astin's nice-guy character manages to escape this curse, appearing understated by comparison.
Whenever the script calls for strong emotion on screen, the director goes into a series of cartoonishly distorted quick cuts. Again, this indicates a lack of trust in the actors, or respect for their abilities.
If any of these tactics worked, they would be interesting artistic choices. Unfortunately, they don't, and there's nothing interesting about this movie.