When Will I Be Loved

"Good"

When Will I Be Loved Review


Neve Campbell's performance as Vera, a poor scheming rich girl, in When Will I Be Loved is probably her best ever. The shock of watching her isn't that Campbell does anything particularly different with her manner, voice, or body (apart from appearing naked), but that her recessive chirpiness is shaped into something expressive yet mysterious. She seems to be going through the movie one scene at a time, taking everything in while refusing to let her face betray what will happen next (even if nothing much happens). Vera is essentially a flintier, less likable version of the expert manipulator and sexpot Campbell played in Wild Things.

Wild Things, it should be noted, is more successful at exploitation than Loved is at provocation, despite the superior Campbell performance and director James Toback's best efforts. The central story of Loved, in fact, would've taken up about 45 seconds of that Florida twistathon: Campbell's hustler of a boyfriend Ford (Fred Weller) tries to pimp her out to Count Tommaso (Dominic Chianese), "the Italian media mogul," as at least one character helpfully notes. That's as much as can be revealed without summarizing the entire breezy 80 minutes.

I can reveal, however, that Toback (Two Girls and a Guy) wants to impose his own story on what should be Vera's. You might call this artistic vision, if Toback's story didn't involve so many inexplicable lesbian flings and foursomes.

He also takes his time, cutting back and forth between what seem like the separate stories of Ford and Vera for at least half an hour before the central plot starts to emerge. This allows time not just for several pointless sex scenes, but for Ford to yammer on and convince us, before we ever see him with Vera, of the implausibility of their relationship. The mismatch is so flagrant and intrusive that Count Tommaso must awkwardly ask Vera about it later in the film, prompting an equally awkward and unconvincing answer (this may be intentional, but it doesn't give their relationship any depth). Weller (The Shape of Things) is an insistent actor, and does what he can, but Ford is so transparently, slickly idiotic that it's tough to accept him as part of Vera's life (he's like Toback's surrogate in the movie: a piece that might fit if he knew when to keep quiet).

Even if these early segments undermine later drama, some of them work, running on New York City immediacy--the city manages to look realistic even as it's bathed in golden light. In short, Toback should be credited for the fact that the rambling is only occasionally tedious. He sends his camera on long, roving takes, and when he finally throws in some back-and-forth cutting, it's for a terrific scene between Campbell and Chianese in which Vera coolly asks and answers questions, assesseing their situation and maybe the entire movie. Why the architect of such a scene would insist on then including a sequence where Count's handlers negotiate with a writer about a magazine profile is, like Vera, difficult to understand. Unlike Vera, it's not a fascinating question mark. Toback's devotion to such an inclusive view made me think -- but mostly of how much he must've liked She Hate Me.

With its New York glow, New York sidewalk digressions, and universal bookending shower scenes, Toback has synthesized second-tier Woody Allen, second-tier Spike Lee, and second-tier softcore porn (well, maybe first-tier; Campbell is relatively famous) into something both watchably larkish and disappointing. It doesn't announce Neve Campbell's transformation into a stunning actress -- but it does make clear that she's ready to be used by a better director.

The DVD includes commentary from Toback and a collection of four "sexplorations" of Campbell's naughtiest scenes with comments from her and Toback.

If you spill that wine, you're never gonna be loved.



When Will I Be Loved

Facts and Figures

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th June 2005

Box Office Worldwide: $159.4 thousand

Distributed by: IFC Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 32%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 50

IMDB: 4.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Vera Barrie, as Ford Welles, as Professor Hassan Al-Ibrahim Ben Rabinowitz, Alex Feldman as Alexei, as Himself, as Sam, Cara Hamill as Cara, as Herself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.