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Overall Rating
2.94

Awesome: 16.67%
Worth A Look: 27.78%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad44.44%
Total Crap: 11.11%

1 review, 12 user ratings


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Model Shop
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Forgettable late '60s fluff"
2 stars

A few years after Jacques Demy scored an international hit with "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"--you know, that goofy French movie in which all the dialogue is sung?--somebody had the idea of bringing the Euro auteur across the Atlantic so he could unleash his quirky Day-Glo aesthetic on the American public. Alas, "Model Shop" turns out to be a rather tedious affair, hardly the charming fantasy Demy seems to have had in mind.

There's not much plot here: an unemployed architect (Gary Lockwood) falls for a sexy but distant French woman, Lola (Demy regular Anouk Aimée), who works at a "model shop" where lonely males go to take pictures of sexy young ladies. (Why does that sound like the storyline to a '70s porn flick?) As he is trapped in a doomed relationship with a ditzy actress (Alexandra Hay--a cute, vibrant blonde), our nearly destitute hero sacrifices what little money he has in a futile effort to win over Lola.

Judging from all the leisurely--much too leisurely--shots of sunny L.A. streets, Demy seems to have enjoyed his stay in the City of Angels. It's too bad he couldn't have come up with more material; this movie plays like a short film blown up to feature length. The plot lacks tension. Lockwood is a bland presence on screen, and it's difficult to care much for this guy. After a while, you begin to think what he really needs is not True Love but a firm slap across the face.

The proceedings become instantly laughable whenever Demy, who is always best when he keeps things light-handed, tries to get Serious. Here is our protagonist (having been drafted into the Army) musing about mortality: "I guess I never really thought about it before. Death, you know: it's insane!" The climatic encounter between Aimée and Lockwood, plainly calculated to have viewers reaching for their hankerchiefs, is pure corn and comes off like a bad soap opera.

In the end, all you have are some nice-looking sets that look like a gang of five-year-olds ran wild with crayons. It's not hard to see why, despite Demy's continuing popularity, this movie has been almost forgotten.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4908&reviewer=223
originally posted: 01/28/01 11:52:30
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User Comments

10/15/09 brian Classic rock group Spirit makes a fun cameo, mainly Jay Ferguson; otherwise worthless. 2 stars
6/15/08 Ed underappreciated gem; "I just wanted to tell her that I love her" is a classic line. 4 stars
8/04/06 Bob Sacamano At least half the screen time shows Lockwood driving from one location to another. 1 stars
5/12/06 Max Scharnberg Excellent paint of atmosphere. The boy-girl relation is genuine although it may not be love 4 stars
5/22/05 Karl W. Lohninger Excellent movie that doesn't rely on stupid Hollywood plots. Terriffic character study. 5 stars
3/22/05 Rick Visually interesting, unintentionally humorous 4 stars
6/22/04 brian mcdonald Wonderful and profound. I saw this on the big screen and love it. 4 stars
6/20/03 Greg W. underrated film, ripe for reassessment 5 stars
10/14/02 JC Unbelievably embarrassing 2 stars
7/14/02 Paul Porter Very interesting film by Demy. Few will grasp its value 4 stars
12/28/01 Joshua Ziemkowski Has the reviewer above who declared that Demy cannont make a serious film ever seen LOLA? 5 stars
4/18/01 Marty Murphy I saw this at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. It was the worst movie that I have ever seen. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Apr-1969

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Jacques Demy

Written by
  Jacques Demy

Cast
  Anouk Aimée
  Gary Lockwood
  Alexandra Hay
  Carol Cole
  Tom Fielding
  Severn Darden



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