Thursday, May 27, 2010

While I was unable to attend the Tribeca Film Festival this year, as with all years thus far, I do have some good news for those of you, who like me, can't make it. The Festival has several of their films available to view On Demand! (For more information on their On Demand offerings you can head here!)

Today and tomorrow I'll be taking a look at a couple of the films currently available for your viewing pleasure. First up is "My Last Five Girlfriends" which is described as "A clever adaptation of international bestseller On Love, by Alain de Botton, in which Duncan is a young man determined to find the secret to a healthy, strong relationship. Along the way, he mines his last five doomed romances for clues."

I sat down last night and watched the movie from the comfort of my own house, and I will admit, sometimes it is nice to see film at home. But I think I'll always miss the comfort of a movie theater and the experience of seeing it with other patrons. But for those of us who can't travel all over the world for film festivals, On Demand is a nice way to see smaller films, especially ones that may never make it to our neck of the woods.

My Last Five Girlfriends, as the synopsis says, is the story of a English man who, as the song goes, is looking for love, in all the wrong places. The movie opens with Duncan writing a suicide note, specifically to his five most recent Exs. As Duncan collapses after taking a combination of some pills and alcohol, we are introduced to his Ex-girlfriends, in order. In each relationship we see how it began and how it all ended, until we make it back to Duncan and his suicide. I don't want to ruin the ending, so we'll leave it there.

First, I have to say that the visual style of this movie is fascinating. It may be one of the most beautiful films I've seen in a long time, just based on the various wonderful effects used in the film. For example, after we meet #1 in an airplane, their seats rotate away from the plane and we go on a short journey through #1's life, reenacted by barbie dolls. It sounds weird, and slightly ridiculous, but it works. There are numerous examples of off the wall techniques that the director and cinematographer use throughout the film.

Another wonderful idea, that works well, is that throughout the film, we visits a themepark, which I assume is in Duncan's head. It is the themepark of Duncan, and through the various rides we learn his past history with these Exs. It's a unique idea, one that is used just enough that it doesn't get old. It really is a great idea, and allows the use of more of the wonderful techniques I was speaking of above.

Unfortunately, while the movie is fun to look at, and something that a lot of film makers could learn from, it's story fell flat for me. For some reason, I really didn't care about Duncan, or his Exs. And when you don't care about the 6 main characters, it's hard to get invested in the movie. This isn't to say someone else can't love it, it's just that I didn't find any connection to the characters, and so in the end I didn't care.

Overall the film has a great visual style that I would like to see more of, but the story is not something I could watch more than once.


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