VH1 Presents: Where Are They Now? Stars of the '90s Edition
Most of the paint factory rejects populating the interwebs are under the misguided impression that film critics only live to trash movies. I assure you, while it is far more entertaining to simply deliver John Henry like hammer blows against films of poor quality, what we really want to do is discover films that are little heard of and champion them. I long for the day that I can unearth a little indie gem and bring it sparkling into the light.
This is not that day.
I took a chance, and it came up bad. So at least I can give you my ticket’s price worth in hate and scorn on a terrible, terrible film. Finding Bliss thinks it’s a raunchy, grrl power, coming of age rom-com about a young film student who finds her true spirit by editing porno flicks, enabling her to make a film of her own. It misses on every swing like Stevie Wonder taking whacks at a pinata at Andrea Bocelli’s birthday party. Failure clumps to the film in dried patches sticky like a gang-bang queen’s lower back. Neither raunchy nor funny, romantic, successfully feminist, or even a good coming of age story, the film comes across as if Ned Flanders tried to make a Cinemax film. Cliches collide with tired shtick, awful jokes throw up on bad voiceover narration, and porn stars intermingle with “professional” actors with absolutely no noticeable delineation. Someone on IMDB compared this to Zack and Miri Make a Porno, but I tracked them down through their IP address and used a post-hole digger to extract their gallbladder.
Have you ever heard of Julie Davis? God willing you never will. She went to Dartmouth, got a film degree, and moved out to Hollywood where she got a job editing for the Playboy Channel. She used the proceeds to finance her first film, and subsequently more. After eight or nine years, she miscarries this mummified uterine clot she’s been lugging in the twat for all that time. Guess what it’s about? A film student from Dartmouth who wins a film award and moves out to Hollywood where she gets a job editing for porn. Only, to be really interesting, she decides to secretly make her own film about a sexually frustrated girl forcing her boyfriend to wait until she’s ready to have sex, even though she’s ready to have sex. Her entire film is based on a scene from the real film, which is based on Julie Davis’s life, and oh my God I think I’m bleeding from my ears. If you bother to trace the she-pretzel of self-gratification in the film, you’ll end up with your head up Julie Davis’s ass, which explains how the film got made.
I’m not bothering with a plot synopsis, because there isn’t one, aside from the tragic, muted trombone sitcom wah-wah of the original jokey premise. You don’t ask Vietnam Vets to rehash their flashbacks unless you want to get cut in the eye. I will thank you to afford me the same respect. The only reason you would ever watch this abomination is to see what Jamie Kennedy’s penis looks like. It looks like a penis.
What angers me is that the film tries to sell itself on a point, and then immediately comes back around like a razorbladed boomerang, slicing the argument off at the knees. It claims that porno actors are really just actors like the rest of us and people in the industry should be respected. But then people only find success when they quit. It claims to be a romantic comedy, but every romance literally happens by pointing two characters at each other. It claims to be about feminine power and control in the relationship, but the actress has to chase the man. Also, she gets called out for being a cocktease and her best friend only finds success by fucking a studio head.
The cast is comprised of essentially three categories: actors who were big in the ’90s and have been doing nothing since, actors who you’ve seen in horror films, and porn stars. The porn stars are the naked ones. The actors you’ve seen in horror films are the porn stars who show no skin. Also, the lead director that Leelee is trying to bone looks like Michael Ian Black’s dirty cousin. The ’90s stars remind you why we don’t see them much these days. Kristen Johnston is a funny woman, but she comes off as a cautionary tale for every actress who has been on “SNL” in the past decade and a half. Denise Richards makes me understand why Charlie Sheen needs to hit. Leelee Sobieski was never really a star. She threatened to take her clothes off ever since she ran around in her underpants in Eyes Wide Shut. I think she managed to get semi-nude once to twice, and then we all lost interest in her. And that interest never ever came back. We lost to her to that same dark losthope chest that contains Clea Duvall and Claire Danes and Mena Suvari, only to let them free on alternating holidays.
This isn’t even a review. This is just an expression of my absolute outrage at having lost two hours to this fucking film. I seriously can’t even to express to you my sheer fury at how this film gets made and accepted to Sundance and better films wallow in ignominy. Film students, if you aspire to mediocrity, you should be forced to work behind a desk for eternity. Fortunately, this film will never see the light of day. It will crumple behind a dumpster where it belongs. And you will be the better for having never seen it.