I remember seeing the preview for this film in theaters and was enticed to watch it, but over the years i soon forgot about it and missed it’s theatrical run. Then it popped up on DvD when i worked in a videostore and while looking sexy i never took the bait and rented it. Now years later, I decided to finally give the film a chance and well as usual it didn’t live up to my expectations, but it also betrayed me by being boring to boot.
This works as a experimental film more suited for directors who root themselves in this type of material. This was one of the first films made with digital video and you can tell. The director Wayne Wang seems excited bythis new gadget (At the time) and trying to use all of it’s possibilities.
At first he seems to prefer fragmented narrative and flashbacks, but soon he settles into more linear storytelling with a frankness of you are there type of moments in physical and emotional honesty. He wants you to read between the lines ans the characters share glances, but say next to nothing to each other.
In the beginning the film seems more stylized as it goes on. The film tries to be more subtle about itself. The filmmaker also seems to try to be arty for arts sake. A story that tends to flashback and then at the end alert us that some of the flashbacks were actually flash forwards.
Technically the film is on point. The seductive scenes do titillate. I only wish Carla Gugino and Molly PArker would have switched roles as Gugino is not only abetter actress but sexier and more attractive. That in lie what may be one of the main problems for a erotic movie. it just isn’t that sexy. Gugino breathes life into the film fro being near comatose. Whenever she is on screen the film get’s a vital ingredient sass. Which makes thefilm move.
One of the successes of the film is that it makes Molly Parker. Who is awkward, gawky and could have been any normal girl off the street, But when she is called on the job. She is in total control, Sexy and seductive. Peter Sarasgard is good in a bland role that doesn’t require much, But he brings a quiet intensity that even though his character is a nice guy you are never really quite sure what lurks behind those eyes.
Even for all of it’s excursions into other locations and set in Las Vegas. The film feels claustrophobic. If there was more dialogue it could have almost been a play. It is short and while it is a ok film. I didn’t feel like the film had much to say really. Which is ok if i’m prepared for that like a popcorn movie. At least then i will be distracted by something this being so called art seems to be trying to go by the same rules, By distracting you with sensuality, sex and flesh. Even two girls kissing but really have nothing to say or happen. So it seems all for nothing. Which in a perfect world would be enough, but since you are low budget and independent it would be nice to see that the money went to something worthwhile. I always feel independent films were there to buck the studio system because these films had something to say, while telling the story in a way that was original, different at least not mainstream.
That might be part of the reason why there was the independent film movement and it slowly began to crumble under the thinking independent means good which is not true there is as much independent crap as there is studio crap. While this film aims for artistic it reaches pretension. Since Artist/Director Miranda July (Who i am a fan of) is one of the contributers. I should have figured this would be more about perfromance and vision then sense.
This is a sexy rental. Just like a porn film don’t look for anything more or a deeper meaning.