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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.26%
Worth A Look53.19%
Average: 4.26%
Pretty Bad: 29.79%
Total Crap: 8.51%

5 reviews, 17 user ratings

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Center of the World
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by EricDSnider

"Hard to imagine sex could be this dull."
2 stars

Were it not for the controversy surrounding the explicit sexuality of Wayne Wang's "Center of the World," the film would merit little attention, turgid and dim as it is.

Some excellent themes are introduced, dealing with sex and loneliness and how they relate (or don't relate) to love. Young Internet millionaire Richard Longman (Peter Sarsgaard) hires a stripper named Florence (Molly Parker) to go to Las Vegas with him for three days. Her conditions are that she is only his from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night, and that there be no intercourse or on-the-mouth kissing between them.

They begin to fall in love with each other, thanks in particular to Florence's friend Jerri (Carla Gugino), whose tragic situation of drugs and sex brings them together. Florence will have none of that, though, and she takes measures to avoid developing true feelings for her john. Richard, wealthy but naive, has sought sex as a cure for his loneliness, and then foolishly believes sex can become true love. Florence is more wise than that.

The sex scenes are rather explicit, though curiously without much nudity. The film is shot on digital video which gives it a more immediate feel -- ironic, considering how lifeless the story is. Only Carla Gugino shows much passion or enthusiasm; Peter Sarsgaard and Molly Parker practically sleepwalk through their roles, dulling what impact this unimportant film might have had otherwise.

See it only for the most prurient of reasons. Although, if that's what you're after, I'd recommend some good old-fashioned porn.

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originally posted: 05/24/01 14:37:30
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User Comments

3/20/05 Natasha Theobald the performaces are good enough to warrant a look, if the story seems at all interesting 4 stars
6/28/04 peter mc donald not your average adult erotic movie with excellent portrals of characters by solid actors 4 stars
6/13/04 fddf fdfd 4 stars
4/19/03 Jack Sommersby Lame scripting, decent acting.Overall, who cares? 2 stars
2/05/03 Charles Tatum The acting lifts the script 4 stars
3/15/02 Phil M. Afficianado Haunting look at loneliness and immaturity (vs. worldliness) in the new e-world 4 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee A complete waste of time. 1 stars
2/11/02 Michael Grimm should have been better, took too many shortcuts 3 stars
1/04/02 John Linton Roberson Not exactly erotic, not exactly profound, and "arty" in all the wrong ways. 3 stars
6/04/01 Night Trip Not a film for everyone but a good one 5 stars
5/28/01 Edward Shandis the movie sucked, but I loved the 2 chicks making out in front of me 5 stars for them 1 stars
5/23/01 Heather A few cheap thrills, an interesting story, worth a look 4 stars
5/20/01 Mike Deaton Intriguing;y tedeious 4 stars
5/06/01 frank boring. 1 stars
5/04/01 Freak-77 I am feeling sorry for Wayne Wang 1 stars
4/29/01 bob leland great performances 5 stars
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  04-May-2001 (NR)
  DVD: 18-Dec-2001



Directed by
  Wayne Wang

Written by
  Paul Auster
  Siri Hustvedt

  Balthazar Getty
  Carla Gugino
  Molly Parker
  Peter Sarsgaard

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