I'm an avid movie watcher (mostly of the foreign type, but I definitely dabble heavily in the Criterion and Janus collections). I'm not one to actually go to the movies (because I love in Manhattan and the exorbitant price usually isn't warranted because I'm a tough critic, and I'm Jewish, so I spend wisely). So, as you can imagine, Netflix and I get along quite well.
So, I recently watched Last Days of Disco, directed by Whit Stillman (1998). Actually, I had to watch the damn thing three times, because each time at the end, I kept feeling like I was missing something. Apart from the fact that I think the entire plot is contrived, the movie is supposed to take place in the '80s and the wardrobe, the dialogue and the acting do nothing to convey that it's the late '80s, but rather feels like a mid-to-late '90s piece. The acting was AWFUL (and that's understated!). The people who played the characters did them no justice whatsoever - where emptiness was needed, the actors responded with empty, unimpressive acting. The intellectual attempt at banter was lost, and seemed completely forced. The characters are intentionally unsympathetic, which I enjoy (I love Bret Easton Ellis, king of writing about empty, vapid American culture), but in The Last Days of Disco, it just didn't perform. Everything seems completely displaced, especially a telling monologue about the everlasting effects disco will have on society. My question is - who gives a fuck about disco? Certainly no one in this film, that's for sure.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of narrative cinema focused around character development and dialogue. However, Last Days of Disco fell incredibly short for me on all fronts. I would much rather see Chloe Sevigny giving blow jobs or being raped while passed out than cringe at this attempt of intellectualism in film.
At least some of the clothes the girls in the film wore were fun (and are, duh, fashionable again). Otherwise, there really would be nothing going for this film.
And this has been real film talk, with Mel F.