Film Friday #143

Bel Ami

Robert Pattinson plays George Duroy, a “handsome” but unrefined young Frenchman of humble beginnings who uses a former military contact (Philip Glenister) to launch himself into Parisian society. Once there he spends his time seducing and marrying the wives of his contacts in order to get ahead and there is some or other sub-plot about Morocco. The wives are quite impressively played by Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Kristen Scott Thomas… but Pattison’s acting still seems to be stuck in this weird state where all he can do is gurn in a way that makes you wonder if he has shit himself. I was fortunate enough to watch this with my friend Lucy, who brings out the silliest of my silly side, which was the only thing that got me through. That and the fact that once she pointed out that R-Patz’s face looks rather a lot like a naan bread, I couldn’t stop laughing. I think the whole “point” of this film is to reflect whether good looks can make up for having no discernible talent whatsoever (oh how art imitates life) but the plot is belted through at such a rate that there’s not much time for pondering. I probably wouldn’t bother with this one… unless you’re a Twilight fan with a hankering to see Edward Cullen cutting a prostitute’s hair. 1.5/5

I'm sorry dear, but I appear to have shit myself

I’m sorry dear, but I appear to have shit myself

Red State

In a departure from his usual slacker comedies, Kevin Smith brings us a rather odd commentary on fundamentalist Christianity. Three idiot teenage boys answer an online add from a woman (Melissa Leo) claiming to want to have sex with three men at once. She drugs them and they wake-up trapped by a crazy church fronted by a charismatic preacher (Michael Parks) that is very obviously modelled on the Westboro Baptist Church. When they try to escape both local law enforcement and the Bureau Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, fronted by Joseph Keenan (John Goodman) get involved. It’s then implied that the US government would rather have everyone involved killed rather than questioning any witnesses and it gets a bit weird. Parks and Goodman are both really good and it’s a very interesting a current topic… but the execution rather loses its way in the last third. Also… no Jay and Silent Bob. 2.5/5

No... I don't want any snootchie bootchie nootchies

No… I don’t want any snootchie bootchie nootchies

Can’t Hardly Wait

On graduation day, Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) discovers that Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt), promi queen and the object of his secret love, has been dumped by her jock boyfriend, Mike Dexter (Peter a Facinelli).  He figures he has one last chance to tell Amanda how he feels so he drags his best friend, disaffected loner, Denise (Lauren Ambrose) to the end of school house party. Here Preston finds all his attempts to talk to Amanda thwarted, while Denise finds herself locked in the bathroom with her former friend and resident wigger, Kenny (Seth Green) and Mike has to face the fact that high school might be the zenith of his achievements. This 90’s teen classic is absolutely steeped in cliché, including an uber-geek (Charlie Korsmo), a bad band and a girl who just wants her year book signed. It’s absolutely open about what it’s trying to be though and this makes it cute and charming in an unchallenging way. It’s also packed with future stars including Jason Segal, Breckin Mayer, Donald Faison and Selma Blair. Watch if you were a teenager in the 90’s. 3/5

Steam punk, hip hop yoga?

Steam punk, hip hop yoga?

Kissing Jessica Stein

Neurotic, straight, New Yorker, Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfeldt) is searching for Mr Right with little success. When she reads an enticing advert in the personals section of the newspaper she works on she is compelled to reply, even though it’s in the women seeking women section. When she meets free-spirited bicurious, Helen (Heather Juergensen) they are instantly drawn to each other but their burgeoning relationship is beset with trouble, not least of all Jessica’s squeamishness about lesbian sex and her reluctance to tell her friends and family about Helen. The fact that the two protagonists in this film happen to be women is interesting but not central to its themes of whether love is more important than sex and how your relationships with others can change and define who you are as a person. 3/5

Just keep drinking, if American college movies are anything to go buy you'll fancy some fanny fun at any moment

Just keep drinking, if American college movies are anything to go buy you’ll fancy some fanny fun any minute now

7 Comments

  1. Only seen Red State out of those, and liked it about as much as you. Had high hopes, love John Goodman 🙂

    1. Abbi

      John Goodman is a great actor. He’s had some amazing roles. Some of Kevin Smith’s films are amongst my favourites but over the few years it’s all gone a bit wrong and I had heard this was a return to form so I think I might have over hyped it for myself.

  2. theipc

    I plan on Giving Red State a go sometime soon – will report back : )

    1. Abbi

      I’d be interested yo hear your thoughts. It’s an interesting one.

  3. Hahaha! Fanny fun! Kissing Jessica Stein was okay – a bit forgettable. Same as Can’t Hardly Wait (as I can barely remember a thing about it now). I actually don’t know a thing about Red State which is odd as it’s Kevin Smith – sounds strange! And, ugh – Robert Pattinson… I don’t GET the thing with him!

    1. Abbi

      I guess Kissing Jessica Stein was quite something when it came out but 12 years on I think people are a lot more relaxed about questions of sexuality and so it’s a lot less memorable. I can’t quite decide if Can’t Hardly Wait is really derivative or if loads of other films are really derivative of it. I think it lacks the heart of something like American Pie though. Red State is very odd. It could have been a great social commentary but Kevin Smith can never quite resist going full retard. I don’t get Robert Pattinson either. Maybe we’re too old. 😛

      1. Nah – we’re not too old. We just have good taste! 😉

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