24 April 2009 | prodbabies
All This Talent......But It Did Not Amount To Much!
Well I just saw this film first thing Friday (opening). I was seated near a gentlemen who was having quite a reaction to every scene, and in one scene (not a good one for the acting - but I will get there in a minute) he literally started waving his arms and shaking his head. I look over and the man was tearing up and I though he was nearly about to breakdown in full tears. Seeing such a powerful reaction to some very early scenes in the movie, I thought to myself, "Maybe this is the guy who wrote it??" The novel I thought, unaware at the time who wrote the screenplay. So immediately upon my return, I googled Bret Easton Ellis pics and reviewed many photos. I would bet my life it was him next to me today. Hair a little longer and darker than in some photos, but same nose, and face and exact same eyes. Again he was right next to me so I was not seeing him from across the theater. I asked (whispering) if he was OK. He said yes, then a moment later (after another reaction) quietly got up and moved to the back of the theater. A while later he exit in the middle of the film.
Now, for the film itself. This is no "Less Than Zero" which would be the closest genre comparison of the Ellis filmography.
While some of the veteran actors gave decent performances the material seemed more shallow than the LA socialites the film was following. But after watching the film I suspect this is much more the fault of the directing than anyone else. It takes the proper hand and understanding of Ellis material to make it work on the stage or film. Unfortunately, two of the lesser performances came from actors we see much more in the film. Foster and Raido seemed like actors "acting" like the types rather then being the types. While the veteran actors seemed to add depth to their performances (beyond the material presented) these two "acted" on a very shallow level, as though trying to imitate the type of person they thought they were playing. Apparently giving their character little thought.
The movie sets up many broken and damage relationships and a couple of potentially heated situations, before it suddenly ends.....What??? The entire film ends up being a slice of life (many tragic life's) type of film, with little story or payoff as the ending comes abruptly. At the end I could care less about there problems or issues and the story and directing doesn't help those feelings.
Now I am not a person who goes to films to see naked women (a little to old to make that the priority and was unaware of this one), but when the movie was over all I could think was "at least Amber Heard was naked / half-naked a lot and she looked good!" In the lala land of skinny, to outrageously bony women, this one has nice curves. But its sad when you leave a film thinking "where was the story" and you know you will only remember the girl who looked good in "THAT FILM" cause the title and film itself will be forgotten quickly! Now I have not read the Ellis novel, but he did help write the screenplay. Based on his reaction, I can't help to feel this film is not what he imagined it would be. It certainly was not up to what Hollywood has been able to do with some of his other works.
To Ellis (as I am sure it was), remember the feeling you had while watching the film. And make sure the next time you sell your story to Hollywood to get paid enough money so you can take it a little easier when the "Filmmakers" butcher your work (who likely did not want you interfering with them cause THEY know how to make films, not some writer)! Or in this case, they at least produced a very unsatisfying film.