by Greg Muskewitz
First of all, it takes forever --or at least half of its 100-minute running time-- before "Body Shots" even begins to take form. And by the end, it still really doesn't matter because it never made its mind up on what it wanted to be. Part fictional documentary, part soft-core porno, part love odyssey, and part social commentary on the validity of rape issues. The indecisiveness, or A.D.D.-ness is the biggest, most noticeable flaw of "Body Shots."When we finally get to a conflict in this hedonistic tale, it's a He Said/She Said (Jerry O'Connell and Tara Reid, respectfully) of a night's event involving their sexual encounter, the way they deal with it, and the way their friends deal with it. Whether it happened or not, the rape, that is, is left to our discretion (as if we care to think about it any longer than the running time requires), but it's sad because we honestly don't know which side to believe. Neither of the two are likable, but we're fed enough dirt not to trust either one. The unresolved ending is just another sign that director Michael Christofer has no idea what he's doing.
"It's own undecidedness on what it's supposed to be, is its disqualification"
Movies haven't exactly been helping women lately when it comes to rape claims. We all know how skeptical the law is of the offense, but when you glance at anything from "Criminal Lovers" to "Wild Things," it has all of these women as scandalous, devious liars. Where's aid when you need it?
Amanda Peet has somewhat of a magical appeal. I like her, but I don't really have any reason to. Peet is a gorgeous young woman, physically, and she has a sweet, agreeable voice, but in this role at least, she doesn't establish or assert herself in the role beyond her attractive traits (including a cute bob-of-a-nose). And here, she's really only used as a tease (sorry guys, no nudity). Sean Patrick Flannery is decent, and the other unknowns are weak, but not completely unagreeable. (What the hell was Ron Livingstone's role? He had a few funny moments, but his characters placement was jagged and unwarranted in this type of movie.)
"Body Shots" was too wimpy to take a stand on any of its broached issues, and broaching them wasn't good enough. A social commentary becomes attritious when it fails to offer alternatives on how to avoid the situation being criticized, and "Body Shots" ends with its mouth agape and more unsure than we.Final Verdict: D.
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originally posted: 12/09/00 06:29:04