Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
I don't want to review "Friends & Lovers," I want to flunk it. This movie is not merely bad, but incompetent. I get tapes in the mail from 10th graders that are better made than this.
Last week I hosted the first Overlooked Film Festival at the University of Illinois, for films that have been unfairly overlooked. If I ever do a festival of films that deserve to be overlooked, "Friends & Lovers" is my opening night selection. The only possible explanation for the film being released is that there are stars in the cast (Stephen Baldwin, Claudia Schiffer, Alison Eastwood, Robert Downey, Jr). They should speak sternly with their agents.
The story involves a group of friends spending the holidays in a Park City ski chalet. They're involved in what an adolescent might think were adult relationships. Much time is spent in meaningless small talk. We also get the ultimate sign of writer desperation: Characters introducing themselves to each other.
If I were marking this as a paper, I would note: * Director George Haas often lines up actors so they awkwardly face the camera, and have to talk sideways to one another.