2019/01/31

Execrable: LOL (Laughing Out Loud)

LOL (Laughing Out Loud) (2008)
Directed by Lisa Azuelos
Written by Lisa Azuelos, Nans Delgado
Produced by Romain Le Grand, Eric Hubert
Starring Christa Théret, Sophie Marceau, Jérémy Kapone, Lou Lesage, Marion Chabassol, Émile Bertherat, Félix Moati, Louis Sommer, Adèle Choubard, Jade-Rose Parker, Warren Guetta, Jocelyn Quivrin, Alexandre Astier, Axel Kiener, Françoise Fabian, François-Xavier Bouvier, Patty Hannock

"Teenagers are people who express a burning desire to be different by dressing exactly alike."

--Anonymous

A title clumsily calculated by a thick GenXer to appeal to mindless millennials, yet explanatorily parenthesized for every brainless boomer's benefit -- doesn't that portend peachily? Less cynical than simple in her undertaking to create a lucrative Boum for the online generation, Azuelos' want of vision is reflected by her unimaginative, unlikable, unfunny characters: an ornery student (Théret), her parents (Marceau, Astier), friends (Lesage, Chabassol, Choubard), sweetheart (Kapone), pedagogues (Kiener, Bouvier, Hannock), et al., who blunder through a sequence of interpersonal cliches dotted with hoary pranks, cutesy montages, gaumless raillery, witless wordplay, schlocky pop music and senselessly styled hair. Performances by an estrogenic rock band comprised of Kapone, Moati and Guetta, and a class trip to a Britain populated by superannuated stereotypes fresh from the mid-'70s are particularly exquisite, especially when precious dreck committed by the likes of Bright Eyes or unendurable Jean-Philippe Verdin assails the audience's ears. Pinoteau's successes in the '80s are primarily accreditable to his intimate apprehension of youthful GenX's personal, cultural, scholastic and sexual mores. Casting Marceau as a wink to her contemporaries, Azuelos only proves herself a rank representative of her insistently underwhelming generation in its stagnant middle age, possessing only a shallow grasp of millennials that merely, correctly characterizes their charmless conformity within a carcass composed of contretemps lifted from better flicks, sporadically tolerable only during its dullest moments.
Instead, watch La Boum, La Boum 2, The Breakfast Club or Battle Royale.

2019/01/15

Mediocre: Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno Live!

Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno Live! (2015)
Directed by Jody Shapiro, Tommaso Rossellini
Written by Isabella Rossellini, Jean-Claude Carrier
Produced by Rick Gilbert, Molly O'Keefe, Sonya Klinger, Laura Michalchyshyn, Lindsay Webster, Kayo Washio
Starring Isabella Rossellini, Tommaso Rossellini, Claudio Campagna

"human wandering through the zoo
what do your cousins think of you?"

--Don Marquis, archy at the zoo

If any web serial befit expansion into a franchise, Rossellini's educational videos on faunal copulation and reproduction -- wherein the whilom model, actress and filmmaker represents rutters and recievers alike -- was singularly favorable for adaptation to a book, two televised series and a live tour ranging theatrical venues in thirty-five cities over two years. That ultimate presentation comprises a thaumatographic discourse presumably punctuated by videos produced with her idiomatic pseudo-bricolage abounding with paper, foam and spandex costumery, sets and props, but it's scarcely to be seen in this disappointing cablecast hour. Rossellini's disquisition is as instructive as amusing, though less so than the videos themselves, for which she perkily interprets stealthy spiders, sadomasochistic snails, licentious delphine bisexuality, parthenogenetic earthworms, aphids and appendicularly agamic starfish, the violent lust of toads and selectivity of cervine alpha males, vaginal convolutions with which ducks direct drakes' desired or unbid sperm, fatally aeroerotic bees, a female hamster who pares her parity by cannibalizing runts, and more. Equally intriguing are her third career's verbal and photographic history, zoological ruminations and trip to Argentina's Patagonian coast to observe with marine biologist Campagna the reproductive maneuvers of beta elephant seals. All of this should've culminated with a condensed recording of a live show, but that title's misrepresented: instead, the aforestated content's interspersed with dryly underwhelming studio reenactments that spoil pace and prepossession alike. When we read "live," we're entitled to expect as much.
Instead, watch Green Porno shorts.