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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.09%
Worth A Look: 27.27%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap63.64%

1 review, 5 user ratings

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Girl, The (2001)
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by Greg Muskewitz

"A studio union of convenience."
1 stars

There are few things worse than movies that are so sure of themselves, that think they’re accomplishing some respectable feat, that are actually some of the most embarrassing, prosaic and insipid motion pictures ever made.

I present you with a horrible scrap of celluloid that will most likely stick around until the end of the year, not on its merits, but rather on detrimental demerits: Sande Zeig’s “The Girl.” Labeled a noir only in the superficial patina of style it puts forth through the lowliest of means and much laboring, “The Girl” is rejectamenta featuring a gadabout lesbian known only as The Narrator (Agathe de la Boulaye) and occasionally referenced as The Lover by the sleazy-bar singing whore known as The Girl (Claire Keim). The two meet by chance, have sex and continue to have slipshod meetings and contact. The butch, manly dressing Narrator, who speaks in very scripted, dull monotone, footnotes the likes of other shady characters who transitorily show up and disappear without any explanation. While it’s acceptable to introduce characters to peak an intrigue in the viewers, those characters are still supposed to serve a purpose, but writers Zeig and Monique Wittig decide to follow their own asinine rules. The conflict — a note is left lacking ominous ambience, forbidding The Girl from seeing The Narrator, but over the course of the entire 84-minute movie, there is no serious imposing threat or crux to work towards. The noir is simply a cheap ploy to stretch a lesbian movie into a different genre, and can only have the weakest of denotations through the shabby jazz score, the use of narration and a lot of cigarette smoking. After the nicely devised opening credits sequences whereby the titles are shown through light reflecting off of smoke, “The Girl” plummets. It seems quite convenient for Zeig, the president of Artistic License (this movie’s distributor), to use the company as her own production line, though it surely sends a negative reverberation against the studio’s image. (The had released some exceptional foreign films like Alain Resnais’ “Same Old Song” or Agnès Jaoui’s “The Taste of Others.) It should be counted as more than a strike, but a technical and flagrant foul. The script is poorly written, with contrived and banal dialogue (“When I’m not with her, I stop existing for her” or “Violent delights have violent ends”). Anything that might have slightly increased the affair at all is spoken rather than shown, and the “steamy” sex scenes are thrown to Keim, and Zeig uses the camera as if it were a participating member. Everything is a tight shot of some piece of flesh or another, and the restricted action that de la Boulaye perpetuates by doing no nudity hurts the desired sizzle. All that the sex here is, is a lot of kissing and rubbing of breasts while the camera moves in one close-up of a chunk of flesh to the next. There’s nothing slightly erotic about it. Added to the fact that the women leads are as plain and unlively as possible, and we’re stewing in cold soup without the option of boiling anywhere in sight. It’s bad enough that this is ersatz noir, but if that wasn’t insulting and denigrating enough, the whole movie is additionally presented as “French,” by the names and accents of the characters, despite the fact that everything is in English. I hope the vice-president of Artistic License realizes the jument they have at hand and the negative connotation that will follow them, and create mutiny. There are no excuses for something like this.

With Sandra N’Kake.

Final Verdict: F.

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originally posted: 07/10/01 09:52:40
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User Comments

1/26/03 Erica Friedman This was a GREAT film! 5 stars
9/29/01 Marie-Helene Berard It's just boring and pretentious 1 stars
7/11/01 Lindsey definitely interesting..for the artsy type,classic jazzy sountrack that most art films have 4 stars
5/31/01 kristin interesting film...but definitely not for everyone...for people who like art films. 4 stars
5/18/01 karen really beautiful sex scenes, quite erotic..plot slightly bizarre. 4 stars
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