Sometimes you just want to slap people silly.
In a week when the rich and famous spend millions they consider tip money to get their kids prestigious degrees that they had no intention to work for (or work after), leaving behind far more qualified candidates who WERE willing to earn what they're worth, Showtime --- during their free preview weekend, thank you very much --- airs "Tribes of Palos Verdes", based on the book of the same name.
It's actually a pretty watchable movie, with spectacular Palos Verdes scenery amid the surfing cliff-front peninsula of an insulated community that forbids apartments; fast-food joints, WalMart wear, and outer walls that go unpainted for more than 3 years.
Maika Monroe, of 'It Follows" and currently seen in "Greta" --- picture the bland-faced youngest sister of Julia Stiles, Chloe Sevigny, and Brie Larson --- and Cody Fern are the teen twin brother and sister children of Jennifer Garner and Justin Kirk, owners of the blufftop, oceanfront home that enables Garner and the kids to while away the perfect sunny days aggressively doing absolutely nothing except surfing and bemoaning their trust-fund lives. No jobs. No education. No future plans.
They're like Lori Loughlin's daughter, boasting on social media what she'll do at USC: "I don't think I'll spend much time at class, but I look forward to game days and parties."
Kirk is an affluent heart-transplant surgeon who wooed Garner and the kids to move well out of their Michigan comfort zone and midwestern values to enjoy the daily-combed sand of the beach below and the manicured, deep green lawns while bemoaning the surfers whose surfboards flatten her ice plants and the roaring ocean waves that keep her awake at night.
She is clearly a woman on the brink, refusing to wear makeup to compete with the Botox queen trophy wives at the Tennis Club (like Elisabeth Rohm from TV's "Law & Order") and ordering a greasy cheeseburger and fries when the Ladies Who Lunch for a living at her table order salads with dressing on the side.
Her husband's welcome-to-California affair with a Real Housewrecker of Beverly Hills (Alicia Silverstone) sends her flying truly, madly, off the deep end, soon followed by her sensitive son (Fern), who makes up for her fleeting company and support by desperately seeking street cred from the much older, trespassing "bad boys" who rough up surfers who poach on their turf.
When Fern's always-supportive sister, (Monroe) takes up with a new boyfriend (Silverstone's son), and Garner seeks to flee any reminders of her husband and his lifestyle, Fern feels abandoned, adrift next to the ocean, alone in a city of 10 million strangers, and suffers it in the worst way possible.
The damning "regulations" of the town, spoken in voiceover by Monroe, properly bookend the movie, with a stunning final scene.
The best part of the film, to me, is its score, with music from Adam Topol, Braden Miller, Ty Segall, Bahamas, Shannon Lay, and Jack Johnson.
One gathers from "Tribes of Palos Verdes" that the author of the book, and the scripter couldn't wait to get the hell out of paradise. Then again, when you consider what most men most wish for: Wealth; fame; power; and a beautiful wife....which one man, who has all four, immediately comes to mind? Would you really want to be him?