2 November 2015 | ekorling
Pretentious, Immature, and Painfully Dull
I watched all of the Project Greenlight episodes leading up to this film and found that I was as disappointed as I had expected that I would be. Jason Mann struck me as a film school prima donna, and his inability to be practical during the pre-production, production, and post-production of this film in borne out by the final cut of the film that I watched this evening (November 2, 2015) on HBO. One of the key demands he made and stuck to during pre-production (while he was also struggling to come up with a script, filmable or not) was that this simply had to be shot on actual film for artistic purposes. There was nothing about the final cut that in any way necessitated the cost (monetary or otherwise) of film over digital. The actors did as well as they could with such a "precious" and pretentious script concocted by a newbie director who is far too artsy-fartsy and far too little practical for his own emotional and narrative immaturity. There is no sense of emotional investment or payoff with any of the characters, and the look of resignation and sadness of the main character's face as the film ends is perhaps more honestly a reflection of the actor on the disaster that was the shooting of this little nothingness called The Leisure Class than it was some deep or meaningful realization of the character himself of the situation of which he has agreed to be a part. One simply does not care that he has won the girl by jointly selling out his and her love to have the material wealth the was wrung from the desperate hands of her legacy-haunted father. Nothing deep or meaningful worth speaking here. A plodding, dull, insipid attempt at being artsy rather than engaging and entertaining. It is a combination of a pubescent indulgence in inanity with the pretense of sophistication that comes from watching one or two Masterpiece Theater shows. Jason Mann has proved himself to be too big for his britches, and if he does get another chance to direct something with someone else's money, it would be interesting to see if he has learned anything about being a practical rather than a pretentious storyteller.