Thursday, April 13, 2017
GIRLFRIEND'S DAY (2017)
Directed By: Michael Stephenson
Written By: Eric Hoffman, Bob Odenkirk & Philip Zlotorynski
Cinematography By: Richard Wong
Editor: Terel Gibson
Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Amber Tamblyn, Stacy Keach, Kevin O’Grady, Alex Karpovsky, Larry Fessenden, Rich Sommer, Natasha Lyonne, June Diane Raphael, Andy Richter, Toby Huss, Derek Waters, Steven Michael Quezada, Lauren Lapkus, Ed Begley Jr.
In a city where greeting card writers are celebrated like movie stars, Romance writer Ray used to be the king. In trying to recapture the feelings that once made him the greatest, he gets entangled in a web of murder and deceit as writers vie to create the perfect card for a new holiday: Girlfriend's Day.
This film has a curious vibe as it seems to want to be off-beat and off center but it seems to struggle so hard to want to give off the vibe that while it is lived in. It never comes off as natural.
The film feels a bit predictable while trying to be a pulp detective story that doesn't have a detective in the middle of it, but more comedic as it centers around a writer of greeting cards.
The film tries to focus on a big event, but treat it more small scale. As to not make the story bigger and easily keep it in it's perimeters and moody so to speak. What is also a bit strange about the film is that while it is only 70+ minutes. It feels long you understand that the film wants to fill in the details of the characters lives and how it all adds up. It still feels like a film and story that might have been best served as a short or resolved quicker.
It's a shame as the film has a promising recognizable cast. Full of dramatic and comedic talent. That just by their presence alone should have upped the ante for the film, but the material just never helps to serve them. Or does it rose to the occasion or caliber.
The film does try to offer some late surprises as most of the characters are so interesting. You wish you could learn more. So they could be used in a better plot and ways.
So that you end up with all these great ingredients bit only a barely passing recipe. As it just comes off bland.
It feels like a film that tries way too hard to be quirky and somewhat hard hitting at the same time. As it feels like it is partly copied from great 70's detective stories like CHINATOWN. That involve so many characters that it almost makes it confusing for the audience to figure things out. So that we are it a step ahead of the game, but then when it let's us it tries to pull the rug out from under us. Only here everything is supposed to be more comedic In the case of the film after awhile you don't care or have already figured it out. So now you are just watching to see how it will present the ending.
It's nice to see Bob Odenkirk as a down on his luck lead and he really sells himself in the role more as a romantic than his BETTER CALL SAUL character who is similar but nearly and always two steps ahead.
As the film feels like the only reason it moves forward is that the screenplay tells it to. That is how rooted it seems to be at times. The movie get’s points for having David Lynch as the narrator.
The film just should have been as smart as it tries to pretend or at least think it is. It’s a shame as the cast is so talented and likeable