Hahaha "what you are describing is a playboy or operator move" has got to be the best line of the year.
This is probably not a great movie (the story is stilted and in general not very well told) but it's more than enough to suck a bit of the cynicism out of me, which is always welcomed.
A goofball trifle but I had a lot of fun. Seems to take place in its own universe almost as much as a David Lynch film (and the dance sequences wouldn't be out of place in a Lynch film.) I liked the guy who just discovered colors and the extremely roundabout way of describing anal sex (?) unless I completely misunderstood that.
Just a lark, really, a deceptively feather-brained fantasy of our collective slide down the slippery slope from modernity to inanity, Damsels follows its own giddy illogic with dedication and indefatigable energy. The glee it takes in its fecund absurdity lands us nowhere very interesting in the end, but it's infectious; and perfectly pompous non sequiturs keep Stillman's contrivance in the air longer than expected.
"When you have problems, it's great to hear someone else's idiotic ones." "Another was to slide her hand across her forehead trying not to touch her hair or eyebrows on either side, also repeating it 10 times. Any niggling thought she'd touched the hair, she'd start over." (does it remind you of Amelie? Yes it does. I love these details.) Don't forget the soap that the cure for deppression (salute to Fight Club).
People looking for some kind of reality in this stuff will be disappointed and, frankly, it's a silly search. Meanwhile, if this shit was black and white and in French, all those people would be eating it like fucking pizza. Another delightful work that marches to it's own beat once again. Fits in wonderfully to his oeuvre. And I loved everyone in it!
Deadpan deliveries, lacklustre musings and speedy walk and talks segues undermine any real sense of accomplishment, character specificity or story. Stillman seems intent on sameness for the sake of difference whereby characters that don't look like us pretend to know the intricacies of everyday purposefulness when what we need is flawed-like-us failing to be perfect. Rottentomatoes is correct "no consensus yet".
I loved the absurd situation faced by these girls in their co-ed situation. The banter is eloquent, from a time by gone and yet, how it addresses contemporary issues like depression, medication, suicide, OCD or the fact that most correspondences are now electronic, makes it relevant. Loved it when Violet/Emily cooly admits she's insane or infers to the fictional cousin Jay to give credence to her crazy.
This was actually my introduction to Whit Stillman, so I can't compare it to his previous work, but I can say it delivered on exactly what I was hoping for: sharp-witted dialogue. Greta Gerwig delivers a breakout performance, turning a character who could have easily been unbelievable into someone peculiarly lovable. A smart American comedy with several laugh-out-loud moments and genuine heart - that's rare.
Whit Stillman is clearly working on many different levels of weirdo here that I can say that I respect what he's doing. On that note, a more solid plot would have helped immensely. The short skit form made a lot of hit or miss(mostly miss). I felt it ran it's course by the mid point afterward, I felt restless.
After Greta Gerwig's atrocious mumblecore escapades I doubted she would stand up to Stillman's wit and deliver her lines effortlessly. She was great! And I want to smell anti-suicide soap!
Three stars: one for Megalyn Echikunwoke saying "Player-Operator", one for Heather & Thor, and one for the Sambola.
Whit Stillman is my favourite screenwriter, and while this isn't his best effort, it's still fantastic. Greta Gerwig is a revelation (Sevigny the Second?), the musical choices are spot-on, and the actresses are already dancing six minutes into the film. The throwbacks to Stillman's 90s films are all here, and while Damsels has pacing and editing issues, I still loved it. My favourite film of 2012 thus far.