Sunday, May 8, 2016
Review: Damsels in Distress (2011)
Christians in college, this time. Kay.
Greta Gerwig and her team of blank-faced sprites attempt to improve the morale at their college by implementing a strict regimen of tap-dancing, donuts, and hygiene awareness. Every once in awhile there's a hookup followed by a breakup followed by some dry comments and some more breakups. Surely you get the drill by now.
13 years later and Stillman has lost a measure of his edge. The settings he concocts are usually specific enough to be almost entirely unrelatable, but this one is a real doozy. This can't be anyone's college experience. It seems to be closer to a late-Shakespearian farce, rather than a comedy of manners, but for that to work there has to be actual farce. The plot is instead driven almost entirely by the dialogue, per usual, and fixates on less-than-funny character quirks ("How can you not know all the colors?"), bizarre repetitions ("He's an operator,"x16), and anal sex played for laughs (???). Worst of all, soft close-ups of two characters kissing grossly, get that shit out of your goddamned movie, every last one of you.
It's certainly watchable but fairly uneventful and very disposable, with no closure of story threads and what is most assuredly a waste of talented actors sitting at the ready. It should have been an Amazon pilot for a future TV show, which is probably how that Cosmopolitans project actually came about. Oh but don't bother looking for that or anything, Amazon hates their own work more than they hate the idea that you might want to watch it. Oh, this. Right. Uh... eh.