Body Shots

"Terrible"

Body Shots Review


Don't be fooled by the marketing campaign for "Body Shots" -- it's not a cool, funny, sexy romp or the defining document of life as a modern, twentysomething hipster, as the advertising has the audacity to proclaim.

In fact, this self-important, superficial ensemble piece opens unpleasantly in the minutes following an alcohol-induced rape, then -- after dropping that one shoe -- rewinds to the night before and makes you wade through an hour of shallow, soap operatic constipation with unbelievably one-dimensional characters before meandering back to this one element of the movie with any emotional hook whatsoever.

The bulk of "Body Shots" revolves around an octet of generically pretty, largely blonde, yuppies-in-training who talk incessantly to the camera, over-analyzing their sex lives and the difference between men and women in some of the most trite monologues in movie history.

"I believe in courtship," says a sexually frustrated, office jockey, nice guy (Brad Rowe, "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss").

"I mean, it's just sex," says a night club waitress who just got a boob job (Emily Procter, "Guinevere").

"I like blow jobs. I do!" insists a wickedly flirty aspiring actress (Tara Reid, "American Pie") with so little character that she unceremoniously tosses over the nice guy when an Oakland Raider rookie (Jerry O'connell, "Sliders") hits on her in a bar.

She's the one that gets raped, by the way, by the misogynistic ball player -- who she goes home with even after watching him get blotto and start a bar fight.

"I thought I could trust him," she bawls the next a.m. Just how dumb is this girl?

An inherently flawed mix of failed humor, attempted drama and bimbo Angelenos whose makeup is always perfect -- even in the hospital the morning after being raped -- "Body Shots" has an "Ally McBeal" view of the world, where everyone is either a gorgeous quick wit, a gorgeous introspective pouter (and therefore deep, by picture's logic) or The Quirky Guy (Ron Livingston, "Office Space") who makes endearingly inappropriate remarks, dresses like a prep school rebel and has his hangover Alka-Seltzer with flat beer from the night before.

After spending the bulk of the movie following these insipid egoists around on a Friday night club crawl, the movie returns to the morning after and the rape's repercussions, taking a stab at emotions that are way beyond the grasp of director Michael Cristofer, who must have shot his load on last year's great HBO flick "Gia."

In an ill-advised move, he also allows almost 10 minutes for the football player's point of view -- actually playing the sympathy card for the rapist! -- before copping out on any kind of reasonable resolution by having both accused and accuser admit to blacking out at least part of the evening, making the movie look suddenly like a half-hearted allegory on the evils of irresponsible drinking.

If, in fact, that was their intention, Cristofer and screenwriter David McKenna (American History X") do a lousy job creating even a modicum of credibility. If that was not their intention, then all they've done is embodied on film all the depth and import of a Cosmo quiz.

Either way, the best thing about "Body Shots" was when the credits rolled at the end of a movie and I could finally escape its pretentious platitudes.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st January 2000

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Colomby/Keaton Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 11%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 25

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Michael Penorisi, as Jane Bannister, as Rick Hamilton, as Sara Olswang, as Trent, as Whitney Bryant, Joe Basile as Bartender, Scott Burkholder as Man in Bar, Liz Coke as Girl #2, Allison Dunbar as Girl #3, Edmund Genest as Sara's Dad (as Edmond Genest), Adam Lieberman as Burger Joint Cop (as Adam Gordon), Mark Hicks as Bodyguard, as Detective Richards, Elizabeth Liebel as Mrs. Drofsky, Marc Lynn as Disco Bartender, Lou Paget as Oral Sex Instructor, Adina Porter as Detective Thompson, Benny Quan as Burger Joint Manager, as Shawn Denigan, Wendy Schenker as Doctor, Nick Spano as Jeff the Doorman, Sybil Darrow as Emma Cooper (as Sybil Temchen), Emmy Collins as Shopping Cart Man (uncredited), Cameron Glenar as Club Patron (uncredited), Phil Hawn as Club Patron (uncredited), Rich Knight as Dancer (uncredited), Cheryl Rusa as Club Patron (uncredited), as Michael's Attorney (uncredited), Heidi Van Horne as Waitress (uncredited), Dwayne Winstead as Body Guard #2 (uncredited)

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