Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Ex-Girlfriends

This debut feature by a would-be auteur who needs to get a day job now is about as interesting as a just-unwrapped loaf of Wonder Bread.

Nov 29, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1368048-Ex-Girlfriends_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Clichés abound in writer-director Alexander Poe’s rookie effort, Ex-Girlfriends. Casting himself in the lead as Graham, a Manhattan short story writer, Poe attempts to create a delightful romantic roundelay involving three former female partners. Samantha (Liz Holtan) has just broken up with him, while Laura (Kristen Connolly) pops up at a party. There, Graham discovers that her boyfriend Tom (Noah Bean) may be dallying with yet another ex of his, Kate (Jennifer Carpenter), who is also his BFF. Graham tries to take advantage of the situation by pretending to sympathize with Laura in the hopes of getting back together with her. He enlists Kate’s help on a Hamptons mission to break up Laura and Tom.

Got all that? Do you even care? Imagine actually watching this and trying to feel some sort of involvement with these uniformly bland, all-white characters. There’s not a single line or situation here that remotely smacks of originality, wit or incisiveness, with the infuriating add-on that the beyond-callow Poe seems to actually believe he is reinventing the rom-com genre. One wonders if he has even ever watched one, and why his own eyes didn’t glaze over with “been there, seen that” boredom at what he was tapping out on his keyboard. Or maybe he’s just seen too many.

Hokey interior monologues abound, and expositional scenes set in Graham’s Columbia University creative-writing class only further alienate you. As an actor, Poe is a disaster, stiffly amateurish and lacking in any discernible charisma. Carpenter emerges as the one somewhat forceful character, bringing a similar sort of edge to the role that she displays on TV’s “Dexter.” But, she, like all the other actors, is effectively defeated by the basic who-gives-a-rat’s-ass banality of the material. Such was the indifference engendered by this film at an opening-night Tribeca “gala” that, even fueled by a surfeit of fancy cocktails and filled with expectant bonhomie as the audience was, you could actually hear crickets in the theatre during its unspooling.



Film Review: Ex-Girlfriends

This debut feature by a would-be auteur who needs to get a day job now is about as interesting as a just-unwrapped loaf of Wonder Bread.

Nov 29, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1368048-Ex-Girlfriends_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Clichés abound in writer-director Alexander Poe’s rookie effort, Ex-Girlfriends. Casting himself in the lead as Graham, a Manhattan short story writer, Poe attempts to create a delightful romantic roundelay involving three former female partners. Samantha (Liz Holtan) has just broken up with him, while Laura (Kristen Connolly) pops up at a party. There, Graham discovers that her boyfriend Tom (Noah Bean) may be dallying with yet another ex of his, Kate (Jennifer Carpenter), who is also his BFF. Graham tries to take advantage of the situation by pretending to sympathize with Laura in the hopes of getting back together with her. He enlists Kate’s help on a Hamptons mission to break up Laura and Tom.

Got all that? Do you even care? Imagine actually watching this and trying to feel some sort of involvement with these uniformly bland, all-white characters. There’s not a single line or situation here that remotely smacks of originality, wit or incisiveness, with the infuriating add-on that the beyond-callow Poe seems to actually believe he is reinventing the rom-com genre. One wonders if he has even ever watched one, and why his own eyes didn’t glaze over with “been there, seen that” boredom at what he was tapping out on his keyboard. Or maybe he’s just seen too many.

Hokey interior monologues abound, and expositional scenes set in Graham’s Columbia University creative-writing class only further alienate you. As an actor, Poe is a disaster, stiffly amateurish and lacking in any discernible charisma. Carpenter emerges as the one somewhat forceful character, bringing a similar sort of edge to the role that she displays on TV’s “Dexter.” But, she, like all the other actors, is effectively defeated by the basic who-gives-a-rat’s-ass banality of the material. Such was the indifference engendered by this film at an opening-night Tribeca “gala” that, even fueled by a surfeit of fancy cocktails and filled with expectant bonhomie as the audience was, you could actually hear crickets in the theatre during its unspooling.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Happy Christmas
Film Review: Happy Christmas

Joe Swanberg's latest feature is a collection of strong individual scenes and performances that never quite finds its statement of purpose. More »

Very Good Girls
Film Review: Very Good Girls

More of a meandering, misguided path than a road to hell, Naomi Foner’s directing debut, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as 18-year-old BFFs, is similarly filled with good intentions. More »

The Kill Team
Film Review: The Kill Team

Marine Adam Winfield goes on trial in a case in which U.S. soldiers murdered innocent Afghanis. Strong subject marred by poor narrative choices. More »

The Divine Move
Film Review: The Divine Move

Excessive violence and off-the-wall plotting undermine an intriguing game-based premise. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Hercules
Film Review: Hercules

Legendary strongman is caught in the middle of a brutal civil war in a fast-paced vehicle for Dwayne Johnson. More »

Lucy
Film Review: Lucy

Drugs unleash the full potential of the brain with tragic results in Luc Besson's sci-fi adventure. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here