Physical Attraction (Movie Thoughts: Monday)

For Mickey & Chloe, it was supposed to be a one-night stand. It’s a crowded Greek beach party, and they are introduced to each other, and before you can say oppa, they are kissing each other on the dance floor. The next morning, we see them buck naked on the beach, being arrested by the police. Sounds like the genesis of a romantic love story, right?

As it turns out in Argyris Papadimotropolous’s film, yes. But no. We see the couple go through things as couple do, but for me, it’s soulless. We never see what attracts them to each other, besides the physical attraction. Much has been said about the all-out nudity in this film, but it never amounts to anything sexy, in my opinion. The couple have non-stop sex, but I never felt connected to each of the characters – Mickey and Chloe never felt real, just pieces of cardboard. It’s a shame – the Greek landscape is wasted, and the actors, too. They try hard but you can only do so much with cardboard.

Young Women (Film Thoughts: Ending Beginnings/The Roads Not Taken)

Saw two movies back to back with young woman at the center of both and thought I should probably write about it jointly.

ebFirst up is Drake Doremus’ ‘Endings Beginnings’ starring Shalaine Woodley as a young woman who finds herself in relationship with two men – whoa re best friends. I wish there was more nuance to the story but there isn’t. She just can’t choose between the two, or refuses to. I don’t even know what the point, too, because in the film, the two men, played Jamie Dornan and Sebastian Stan look alike so I find it hard to discern the difference between the two. When she gets pregnant later on in the film, my first thought was: well. it’s fine because she is sleeping with both and either one could be the father and it will not matter. The three actors are all good, so you can kind of see where each is coming from, but in the end it’s seem like rich white girl problem. They are all good to look at so you don’t mind everything that’s going on but when you finish you know there wasn’t much substance there.

large_roads-posterSally ‘Potter’s ‘The Roads Not Taken’  has Elle Fanning as a young woman taking care of her father (played by Javier Bardem) who is a writer suffering from early dementia. But Bardem plays the character as too much like a cliche that he has lost all dinity. Poor Fanning has to lug him round through his dentist and doctor appointments, and both are medical professionals who have the worst bedside manners. there are flashes of his life – Salma Hayek plays his first wife and their son dies, and Laura Linney gets one scene as Fanning’s mother. But the film is dead on arrival, nothing can make it rise from the dead.