Rating: R for language, nudity
Run Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
This contemporary, pretentious love story (by the director of the equally pretentious “George Washington”) wallows in high-fallutin’ indie-ness while catering to self-indulgent reality.
performance by the talented Zooey Deschanel can’t raise “Girls” up from its
low-budget, mill town roots. Eighteen-year-old
Noel (Deschanel) is fresh home from boarding school, and fast falling in love
with her older brother’s best friend Paul (Paul Schneider). The rub is that Paul has bedded virtually every
babe in their small,
Forced to prove that this is the real thing rather than a perpetual case of rampant lust, Paul seeks earthly wisdom from his financially strapped mom (Patricia Clarkson), his humorless Uncle Leland (Benjamin Mouton), and ultimately the depths of his pitiful little soul. But hey, the path of True Love can be strewn with stones, as Paul and the virginal Noel find out the hard way.
beer-guzzling, craps-shooting, moniker-challenged buddies at your side (meet
Tip, Bo and Bust Ass), who needs love? The ebb and flow of complicated
feelings, plus a handful of genuine moments reflecting honesty and expectation,
is lost in a muddle of non-linear, saccharine-sticky, slice-of life vignettes. Abstract symbolism in the form of
three-legged dogs and rusted auto graveyards serve to heighten the affected
film fest aura. Courting rituals of
the dumb and dumber beget exasperation, while the improvisational script bends
over backwards to provoke (repeat after me in a sloooow Southern drawl: “I had
a dream that you grew a garden on a trampoline, and I was so happy that I
invented peanut butter”).