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Overall Rating
3.5

Awesome: 30.77%
Worth A Look: 3.85%
Average57.69%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 7.69%

3 reviews, 8 user ratings


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Splendor
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by Greg Muskewitz

"It sucks being a hormonal teen with Robertson on-screen!"
3 stars

Far from his directorial debut, Gregg Araki similarly to "Three to Tango," brings us a zany, screwball comedy in what he describes as being "in tradition of old 30s and 40s comedies." Although it may be in tradition of, I doubt that's what was taking place those many years ago. I mean, I'm sure Sintra and those alike were into their menage-a-trois and all, but that's just not the kind of screwball I think of when I'm reminded of 30s and 40s screwball comedies.

"Splendor" centers around the waify Veronica (Kathleen Robertson), a newly arrived resident of LA, from a small midwestern town, chasing a dream of becoming an actress. In one night she meets two guys (Johnathon Schaech and Matt Keeslar) at two different times during the evening, and begins dating them at separate times, with each others knowledge but not consent. Finally, a quarter of the way into the movie, the two guys meet each other, and eventually decide Veronica is worth sharing. The three shack up, but complications ensue when Veronica becomes pregnant, not knowing which of the two is the father, and runs off for refuge.
That summarizes "Splendor" up to about the halfway point, and that's about where the fun and laughs drop off sharply. Luckily there is still an interest mainly because of the salacious and naive performance of Kathleen Robertson. She's cute, funny, and interesting enough to stick with, but can't hold a candle next to Neve.
You keep wishing and waiting for some incentive to come along, but it never does. But with Araki at the helm, having concluded his Teen Angst/Apocalyptic trilogy with "Nowhere," it's come to be expected. Strangely enough, Araki who's never one for predictability or formulas, leaves nothing with your mind to flirt with during the film. "Splendor" was too much of a tease; take for example the opening scene in which the three are in the middle of a threesome. You saw nothing, there was no heat, if you had been watching the scene in infered, you wouldn't have even been able to detect them. I think Kathleen Robertson is extremely sexy, and I wanted to see at least a glimpse of her nude! Why did Araki decide to tame it down for this. For once implying wasn't enough; I didn't want anything left to the imagination. And I'm sure that female viewers as well wouldn't have minded some bed-thrashing with two guys going at her --"Wild Things" was so much more tempting, and even there Neve didn't do any nudity, but there was a ton of heat on screen!

Araki's films always come off with interest, but usually at the halfway mark it becomes a mundane, generic piece of film. Araki is working on it, and it's apparent that he's trying here. He really needs to work on the second act of his films, but this is progress, a much better start.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2219&reviewer=172
originally posted: 11/01/99 18:54:39
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User Comments

1/01/04 Charles Tatum Change of pace for Araki is still not great 3 stars
9/04/03 Kyle Okay, so the 3 leads are major eye candy, but the movie is pretty abysmal. 3 stars
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby BOOOOOOOORING!!!! What a letdown after the phenomenal "The Doom Generation"! 1 stars
6/20/01 Abel Way better than Araki's depressing trash shit Teen Angst trilogy. Kathleen, I love you! 5 stars
3/16/01 Rodney Dinkler Kathleen Robertson is INCREDIBLE film is - 5 stars
2/21/01 Rocket Boy Lacking the mocking tone of his other films, Splendor is Araki's worst 1 stars
10/25/99 Kat I enjoyed it right up until the end where it ends quite flat. 4 stars
9/19/99 Mr Showbiz Araki brings his trademark flair to this romance, but his leads have no romantic chemistry. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Sep-1999 (R)
  DVD: 23-Nov-1999

UK
  N/A

Australia
  17-Nov-1999 (MA)




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