It has indeed been a while since my last post on the cinematic binge. Blame the World Cup for that particular delay but the pause has not diluted my vitriol for this particular piece of cinematic bunkum. It was the first film I saw on Thursday 10th June, which was the final day of the odyssey.
The plot revolves around four female friends, hence the 4, having an adventurous three days, hence the 3, across two cities, hence the 2. Apparently they also have one chance, to do what is not entirely clear. The story of the crazy weekend is told from each of their perspectives so the puzzle gradually unfolds before the with various interlinking moments. Unfortunately none of the damn pieces quite fit. They are intermittently involved with a small bag of diamonds while living life to the max, taking nasty boys down a peg or two and generally being totally girl power, you get me.
The four girls are Joanne (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia), Cassandra (Tamsin Egerton of St. Trinian’s fame), Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond) and Kerrys (Shanika Warren-Markland). All suitably hot and all completely different characters with their own special skills, from piano playing to being a lesbian, and their own particular issues, including mum’s gone and dad’s hurt his leg, to bring to the table. The talents are certainly admirable but ultimately make every plot movement entirely predictable and the problems are rammed into the audiences gut at every opportunity. Gosh, don’t these sexy ladies have it tough. In fact none of the girls are particularly awful, although Ms Roberts appears a little nervous, they just have zero charisma so rooting for them is never on the cards.
It is possible to occasionally enjoy some decent performances from the supporting cast, in particular rapper Eve, singer Ben Drew and filmmaker Kevin Smith all demonstrate a wittiness in their brief appearances which is entirely absent from the rest of the script. They must have written their own lines. However the girls parents turn out to be a fairly mixed bag. Alexander Siddig does a great job of being a well-rounded stepfather and Ben Miller has a nicely understated manner. On the flipside getting solid British actress Helen McCrory to play an American mum is simply ludicrous and Sean Pertwee spends the entire film sitting on a sofa looking like a confused chump. The entire young male cast are one-dimensional ciphers, designed to make the girls look smart, cool and sexy via their own massive stupidity and/or unconditional love for them. In particular the portrayal of an American geek is cringeworthy to the point of offensiveness.
It appears the that good press from Kidulthood and Adulthood must have gone to the director’s head as Noel Clarke casts himself as the sexy yet dangerous Tee without thinking about how he might play that character beyond looking angry. As for Michelle Ryan, frankly her efforts to be sexily mysterious were somewhat undermined by the fact she just looks intently at people while shouting about diamonds. Do have to give a shout out to Susannah Fielding for bringing a touch of class and romance to the lesbian girlfriend character.
Be assured that this is an adult plot given the target market appears to be teenage girls. The lifestyle seems neither compelling nor clever, but perhaps that is because I’m not a teenage girl. There is a decent helping of surprisingly explicit sex and a constant barrage of swearwords that might have been utilised to create a sense of cool realism but actually became annoying and senseless and no doubt drag in the teenage boys. But then I have been known to be a teenage boy. It is quite astounding how attractive ladies in their underwear can become so boring, so quickly. The film tries to shoehorn in sensitive issues like abortion, conflict diamonds and virginity but ends up blaring out a sense of self importance with a foghorn. No amount of shaky camera or flashy editing or rapid cuts can disguise the complete lack of substance in character and narrative.
The time has come to cross the Thames for the weirdness of Dogtooth.