Attraction (2000) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
comments in white:
Attraction (2000), a direct to DVD, is a waste of the 13 cents worth of plastic it is pressed on. Writer/first time director Russell DeGrazier may have made two films in one -- his first and his last. With anamorphic full screen to work with, he seems to prefer quick-cutting between one-shots to using the whole frame and two-shots. In the one sex scene featuring Samantha Mathis, he can't even keep them in frame. One mystery is how he talked Gretchen Mol into doing this film. She showed nothing in terms of acting, but then she had a very lame role in an equally lame script. She did show her left breast and nipple ever-so-briefly. Matthew Settle plays the male lead, and gratuitously waves his Willie at us after a shot of his buns.
|The film is supposed to be about dating and obsession. Settle is a dating advice columnist and talk show host who is unable to heal himself.||
|He has broken up with Mol,
and is stalking her. In a final attempt to make her jealous and win
her back, he seduces her friend Mathis, but soon finds that he and
Mathis have a shot at intimacy. His radio boss is pursuing Mol, and
midway through the film, Mol and the boss become the stalkers. Mathis
plays an actress, and to up the breast count, she is in a play where
she is nude the entire second act. Then director DeGrazier had the
bright idea to light it with a strobe. The music is just plain bad,
and is played at the threshold of pain.
Based on this description, Attraction is brought to you by the letter F, and the numbers 0/10.Scoop's thoughts:
Gretchen Mol seems to specialize in being the object of worship, without much participation in the relationship.
This involves the "it takes a thief" premise. Mol is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend, so she enlists an even bigger stalker to get rid of him.
Well, she didn't exactly plan on that. Mol tries to get rid of her stalker ex-boyfriend by asking one of his work chums to intercede. The chum takes one look at Gretchen, and decides this is a good chance for him to enliven his own sex life, so he builds up a protector/victim relationship with Mol, in which she is dependent on him for shelter from the other guy.
Only one problem - the other guy has finally moved on, and is dating Mol's girlfriend. If Gretchen finds out that her ex is no longer a threat, she doesn't need the other guy. Mr Other Guy sees that coming, so he hassles Gretchen while pretendings to be the guy that he's supposed to be keeping away from her, in order to keep up Mol's dependency on him. Unfortunately, he calls one day pretending to be Mr. ex-boyfriend when ol' ex-boyfriend is there at the time, talking to Mol.
The protector guy then becomes completely unbalanced, and starts to present a threat to both women, and women everywhere. Or something. Maybe Mol is really manipulating both guys because she gets off on it. Anyway, people get hurt, the wrong people get blamed. Things get even sillier. The movie ends with much unresolved (did the director run out of film?), and we are all a little wiser, because we now know not to waste almost two hours of precious time just to see Gretchen Mol and Samantha Mathis remove their shirts.
I could whine and snivel about some small things I hated about this director's technique, like the excessive dependence on facial close-ups, but to me the key issue is this : the film has one insurmountable weakness - there is no character I like. How am I supposed to get into this? The lack of emotional involvement and the lack of thrills spell death for a psychological thriller.
Surprisingly, the music for this film was done by big-time Hollywood composer Graeme Revell, a Kiwi who has scored such expensive films as Tomb Raider, Blow, Pitch Black, and Dead Calm. Tuna thought the score was irritatingly bad. I never noticed it at all until I read his review, so it certainly made no great impression on me.
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