Friday, August 16, 2013

The Canyons (FILM Review)

That's her spirit leaving her body.

Dear {insert name},

You missed a doozy. It’s immediately going to become a cult classic. I actually was experiencing all the feelings so I’m not even sure my distillation will be satisfactory.
1.The extreme over-acting by all the males in the film.
2. Lilo is puffy-faced and still drug-addicted, so her little head fidgets and she wipes her nose during takes involuntarily.
3. To counteract this, she got botox which seriously undermines her facial movements and she insisted on that heavy black Cleopatra makeup which was distracting and poorly done. Result = She has the largest double-chin in celluloid history.
4. The lighting was amateurish and the camera kept swaying in the breeze for no apparent reason.

  1. The sex. Tons of male full-frontal. The rumours are true: James Deen is well-hung.
  2. The gloriously seedy underbelly of ultra rich young Hollywood.
  3. Lilo’s still got her acting chops. Still. There. Underneath. It. All.
 So think back: Remember American Psycho? This is American Psycho: LA.

Christian is in LA, still hating his father, still abusing women and still using his trust fund for drugs and sex. He lives in a magnificent home in the Hollywood Hills (I imagine?) with his girlfriend of about a year, Tara (Lilo). The entire movie is EXPOSITION. The actors are telling us a story, quite literally, and badly. We are filled in on timelines running from 1 month ago eventually stretching back to 3 years ago when all the real action happened. (They is why the writer BEE sucks. He is under the impression that such vapid characters would retain wounds that are really ancient history. It’s a fiction that all his stupid novels are based on. Today’s twenty-somethings can’t remember their own phone numbers much less what they were feeling 3 years ago.)

Anyway, in an effort to impress his father Christian becomes involved with a production company and a small-budget film looking for a male lead. As a lark, between “shopping and fucking”, Tara gets involved and helps choose the lead – Ryan - and then disappears back to doing nothing at Christan’s house. The production assistant misses her and invites her to lunch to talk. Tara is nervous but happy and sings Christian’s praises. We learn that this was set up by Christian and all Tara’s words are being recorded for Christian in his fast Audi blazing down the sun-drenched highway to his mistress, his “yoga instructor”. Christian is also stealing Tara’s phone and having her followed.

Turns out – through unbelievable holes in the plot – that the male lead and Tara shared a happy history living together 3 years ago when they were broke and in love. But neither of them hit it big and she sold her soul to be some rich man’s muse and abandoned Ryan to his life of bartending/ auditions and when times really get tough – male prostitution. Now  that they’ve re-connected he won’t leave her alone and they have a month long affair; which she tearfully – she’s always wet in this movie – can’t live with and can’t live without.

To separate her from Christian, Ryan has the yoga mistress tell Tara that Christian is dangerous, roofied her, ran a train on her and she ended up in the hospital. Tara with typically bravado laughs in the girls face and then spits this info back at Christian.

Should I spoil the plot? Here goes…


Christian retaliates by killing yoga mistress and weakly framing Ryan. This killing *may* have been precipitated by the previous nights se>< adventure wherein Christian brought another couple to bed and a 4-way ensues (nothing to report, lots of blurred images and red light) EXCEPT Tara engineers Christian to engage in homo se>< which he really enjoys. Tara appears to know Christian better than he knows himself and the plot flirts with the idea that perhaps Tara has been in control all along. This unmans him and he awakes by knocking Tara against a wall. When he returns from his killing, Tara has bags packed and begs for her release. Christian gives it in exchange for a steel trap alibi as to his whereabouts for the previous few hours and finally: That she never see Ryan again or Christian will kill him and will get away with it.

So we are abruptly thrown forward in time one year (?) and the closing scene opens as the movie opened, with two couples finishing up dinner in LA. Tara has just returned from Dubai with her current man who spent the time in “meetings”. The other female begins to quiz Tara on the events of her and Christian’s relationship ending with the death of yoga mistress …etc. Tara is nervous and fidgety, sticks to the story. The female gets up and goes to the washroom and calls a man – presumably Christian – to report all that she said. But it’s not Christian …it’s Ryan she is speaking to. The virus of obsession has transferred and infected the onetime golden boy, sitting cold and alone in an empty room.

This is the spirit being re-inserted.

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