Video On Demand Review: Some Girl(s)
January 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
(6/10) Some Girl(s): Neil LaBute is one prolific writer-director. He does stage plays, he does movies, he does stuff about the African-American experience in America, he does stuff that would go in a First-World-Problems sub genre, he does thrillers, he does comedies- but mostly his work explores the in’s and out’s of relationships. He likes to dig into the nitty gritty of what brings people together or pushes them apart.
Some Girl(s) is a play LaBute wrote and then adapted for this film. The film version stars Adam Brody, in the nameless role (he’s listed in the credits as ‘Man’) of a successful writer on the verge of marriage, who is criss-crossing the country, booking himself for one night into shockingly fancy hotel rooms to mine the depths of former lovers. The list he’s made was whittled down to four or five primary experiences, though it’s implied that he could have easily looked up twice as many former flames. The women are of varying ages with varying natures of relations with Brody aka Man. Brody proves himself a tricky dick by coming off as syrupy-sweet sincere and pleasant, though the various women’s’ reactions to his presence and words imply that he’s a very changed man from whenever it was they knew him, be it high school, college or sometime in his twenties. Like Brody, the man is now about thirty-two and ready to settle down, close the book on his old life as an apparently shameless Lothario.
The conceit the film works with is that Man/Brody breaks up with these women or disappears on them, make them feel slighted, abandoned or used, which compels them to not merely dismiss this fanciful indulgence of self-reflection by way of traveloguing, but to fire back with their own questions, revelations, demands and conflicting desires. The play translated to film still sounds like a play. There’s an energy to play written words that feels over-sold on the big screen and it’s no different with Some Girl(s). This is most definitely stage direction on celluloid, which makes the film surprisingly energetic despite the confined locales and dialogue-heavy scenes, but also is a bit much to take at times, in terms of questioning whether the plot really deserves to be explored.
The female characters all come off as gorgeous women who feign self-confidence but all ultimately crumble, begging for Brody’s proverbial or literal cock. Brody’s performance is certainly valiant in its energy and commitment, but he feels ever-so-slightly miscast with his boyish looks, slight frame and lithe voice. He never comes across as a sexual or sensual dynamo who managed to make all these women fall in love with his very essence, however fleeting each romance was.
It feels like a jilted man’s fantasy of revenge against all his ex or would-be lovers. Not the worst stage-to-screen one-location adaptation, but not the best either, Some Girl(s) will engage you while you watch it and leave your thoughts in the time it takes to exit the cineplex.