johnlink ranks STANDING STILL (2005)

It should be a red flag when a film stars Amy Adams, Ethan Embry, Colin Hanks, Xander Berkeley, Mena Suvari, Pyro, and Dawson Leery, yet I’ve never heard of it. But this film came acrosss HBOHD, and I was intrigued enough by the cast, each of which has done some real solid work. It had to at least be mildly entertaining, right?

I watched STANDING STILL (2005) on 10.16.10. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

The following thoughts went through my mind, in order, as I progressed through this film.

1) The writing isn’t terrible, but the acting here is really wooden.

2) Man, that’s a decent actor, but the dialogue in my Los Angeles writing classes were better than this on a regular basis. I was wrong when I thought the writing isn’t terrible.

3) She’s pregnant. Way to be subtle about it. Was I supposed to feel smart for figuring that out in three seconds? Why would her boyfriend not see that?

4) This director is KILLING these decent actors. This might be the worst directed film I’ve ever seen.

5) This might be the most obvious dialogue I’ve ever seen.

6) Colin Hanks is TERRIBLE in this.

7) Really? Your emotional drama is that you actually killed your mother taking her to the hospital after your abusive dad pushed her because she caught him doing heroine in the bathroom with some strange chick on the day of your grandmother’s funeral. Did you read that outloud before you made an actor deliver it?

8) Isn’t this movie over yet?

9) Wow. Colin Hanks is BRUTAL in this movie.

So that’s my list. On the surface, this seems like it could have been good. Some college friends get together for the weekend of a wedding. They examine their own relationships, try to shed some emotional baggage, and they sleep with each other over the course of the weekend. Could be done well.

Ugh. The relationship drama?

A) You used to be a lesbian, now you are getting married. I’m hurt…. B) You tried to sleep with me, but I was a virgin and pushed you away because I was scared. I’m hurt… C) I slept with you because I’m a pig. Oops, you’re only 17 and I’m 25… Oh well, let’s do it again and keep it from your sister this time…. D) I killed my mommy, now I have trust issues. E) I sleep with prostitutes. F) I sleep with prostitutes (yep, two different dudes do that).

It’s just all so unfortunate. The writing is laughably brutal throughout the film. Amy Adams is a GOOD actress, and she is terrible in this. Ditto Xander Berkeley. Colin Hanks as a 25 year old agent? One of the worst performances I have seen in a film ever. I blame him some, but the writing doesn’t help. None of these actors feel comfortable saying the things they are saying. They all seem so shocked to be in this crap.

The director is Matthew Cole Weiss and he uses devices like montage to make his film look expensive. First he hits all the Los Angeles landmarks, and later he shows us pretty Las Vegas spots. Yet his agent character is in a large office with a single desk and one chair all the way across the room. Has this guy ever been to an agency before? Doesn’t your budget allow for set dressing? Or at least getting a properly sized room?

What burns me the worst is that the world needs a solid comedic drama about people in their mid-twenties figuring out that transition in life from youthful excess to adult balance. I went through this faze of my life over the last couple years (getting married and having a child will do that) and I’m still going through it now. I WANTED so bad to relate to this movie. It just sucked too much.

The only good thing to come out of this? James Van Der Beek gives a great performance as a Hollywood actor. The character is one dimensional and shallow, but he breathes a little life into it. He actually makes you wake up and pay attention for a few minutes. But man, what happened to his career? He should be working more. I mean Pacey is on his second TV show, and Joey is married to Tom Cruise. Why can’t Dawson get any love?

But I digress. STANDING STILL? Train wreck. And not the kind you can’t look away from…. though I didn’t. And I should have.


FILM: 2; MOVIE: 4; ACTING: 2; WRITING: 1 (What is this?)

2+4+2+1+0= 9


~ by johnlink00 on October 17, 2010.

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