Friday, January 13, 2012

Ten Statements About....SMILEY FACE (2006)

In this photo, Anna looks like I felt after I watched this film
"When I get home, I'm going to frame a bunch of stuff I love. Like lasagna. I love lasagna. It's so good and cheesy."

1) I should have known the moment that Gregg Araki's name popped up as the director of this film that I was in for a marathon of pain. Fuck Gregg Araki. Dude's been making films since I was in college and has yet to make anything I can find even remotely tolerable (and that includes The Doom Generation, with its gratuitous Rose McGowan nudity).

2) To be fair, Araki isn't the only idiot responsible for this mess. The script is by one Dylan Haggerty, and the next time I see his name on a film, I will remember that he is the man who did what to me was the inconceivable by writing a film that made me hate Anna Faris (although I haven't seen Paul Blart, Mall Cop, so it might not be the only film with that quality).

3) Don't get me wrong--I adore Anna Faris. I think she is extraordinarily talented, both as a comedian and as an actress (if you dont believe me, just watch her turn in May). She manages to find something likable in every character she assays, even in dreck like The House Bunny....except this one.

4) And here's the integral reason why. Throughout the film, we're told at key points that Faris' Jane is supposed to at the core a decent human being. And there are references to her being able to function normally as a human being...and yet, with all that the script tells us about her, we have no sense she is anything other than an out-of-it stoner bitch. There's no baseline to get a sense of what she was like before she started smoking pot like a maniac, so we have no sympathy for her as she goes through this Odyssey.

When John Cho looks at you with pity for your pot use....sigh
5) For that matter, there's absolutely no reason for us to have sympathy for Faris' Jane. Even when the thing happens that supposedly is going to make us feel uplifted by her, it makes no sense. What we end up with is a stoner chick wrecking havoc on her life and the life of others.

6) Who the fuck thought the idea of Faris being convinced Danny Masterson's Steve fucks skulls...only to have us find out that Steve actually does fuck skulls in a black room with satanic symbols painted on the walls when he discovers she has failed him was funny?

Oh, wait...I forgot this was a Gregg Araki picture.

7) Admittedly, I think there was some sort of recognition moment when Faris, while waiting on her audition, interacts with the absolutely adorable Jayma Mays, who played the Anna Faris roles in those awful ______ Movie films. But the humor doesn't come because the fact that Farris is looking at her successor is supposed to be the humor.

8) You know this film has failed in investing our lead with our sympathies where we see her being cowed by Jane Lynch...and you're actually rooting for Lynch to give her an primo supremo dyke beatdown.

"You mean I agreed to work with GREGG ARAKI????"
9) know, that inspiring moment where Jane drops the Communist Manifesto and it splinters into a bunch of pages that are blown up and down the California coast? The question of why it was inspiring aside, the fact that it hinges on a truly dreadful piece of CGI sort of defeats its impact.

10) Oh, and Gregg? I know I get the concept of Anna Faris having Roscoe Lee Brown as her mental voice is supposed to be funny. I know you get it. But the bulk of people watching this film probably were asking, 'Who the Hell is Roscoe Lee Brown?'

Overall...fuck Gregg Araki, and fuck this film.

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