|Index||5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THERE MIGHT BE A SPOILER OR TWO!!!*********
I was looking forward to another film to review for my Marissa Ribisi fanpage and with LIP SERVICE, I got two surprises: 1.) Marissa was nowhere to be seen (better update that cast list!!!) and 2.) I found myself thoroughly entertained for 100 some minutes!!!
I have enjoyed most or all of the work of actresses Sybil Temchen and Jami Gertz, and this was no letdown. When I first heard about this film, I got the impression that it was about old college friends who turned out differently, and reunited, go through the simple, quiet normal ups and downs trying to get to know each other again. I heard that a chair was a big plot device, so I thought, oh well, the chair looks like a red rose or red lips, so that must be why they gave it that title.
This film is nothing like what I thought. It is the strangest film I've seen in a long time. It is an extremely dark, twisted, even raunchy story about two young women named Kat and Allison. Ali (Temchen) is a straightlaced furniture designer/store owner whose life is pretty swell, nice apartment, nice clothing, nice boyfriend, plenty of money. Kat is a dred-lock wearing, potty mouth, chain smoking, alcohol/drug addicted, streetwise sexpot. These two very different gals roomed together in college for four years, and that's the only reason they would even know one another.
They run into each other and Ali decides to let Kat board with her until she is on her feet, and once Kat discovers that a gift she designed herself and gave to Ali was reproduced and has made Ali a lot of money, she is resentful and from this point on, it seems that she is dead set on destroying Ali's life. She does one shocking thing to Ali after another...but at first, some of these things seem random, the habits of a street person. Kat at first brings strange men into the house, then she allows one boyfriend to sell drugs from Ali's house. Later, she falls asleep with a lit cigarette in her hand and Ali's store is destroyed. All unintentional and just plain stupidness, it seems.
But what about other things Kat does??? Like seducing two Japanese businessmen and ruining a great job opportunity for Ali in Kyoto??? And what about twice seducing Ali's boyfriend with Ali in the house to witness everything??? And lastly, and most disturbingly, what about the incident where Kat's dealer boyfriend drugs and then (virtually) rapes Ali??? It is revealed toward the end that Kat has definitely planned and schemed every rotten thing she does in the film, all to get back at Ali for reproducing and making a fortune off of the chair that Kat designed.
I'm sure this film got panned and called a bunch of trash, but I couldn't help enjoying it immensely. It's a very amusing story with a surprising amount of violence, seediness and dark humor. It's also what I consider the first dark "chick flick" I've ever seen. I don't want to give away the ending, I've given away more than enough already, but I must say that on one hand it was irritating to see Ali forgive Kat and remain friends with her, while on the other hand, it was amusing to see Ali get the upper hand and give Kat fifteen minutes of what she deserved!!!
My only gripe: the lesbian undertones weren't necessary. I am not a prude and I watch gay film all the time, but while some of the sexual content was amusing, the hint that Kat and Ali were romantically inclined just didn't add anything interesting. This film had plenty of "edge" to it already. A great choice if you like indies that are refreshing and provocative.
Viewed 10/2003 (VCR)
I only comment on the ones that I love or hate. This one I loved. Jami
Gertz plays an in-your-face REAL chick (who ain't so real after all) and
Sibyl Temchen plays the alter-ego. The acting is superbly real filled with
vigor and pathos (ie. when Allison comes into her bedroom and finds
Sebastian there. You can almost see the lines of energy between the two
(nope, I wasn't high); as he coaxes her towards the bed).
Totally worth viewing for laughs and deeper meanings of life.
Temchen and Gertz are former roommates reunited at a funeral, where their
unique friendship is rekindled after ten years. Right from the start,
Temchen life starts to fall apart as soon as she lets Gertz back into her
life and her other friends almost seem to take a false sense of pride in
forcing Temchen into decisions she refuses to make...
The chair is an interesting part of this dark, sometimes depressing, film. No matter what happens throughout the film, it always seems to return to the chair. The performance by Gertz is good! I never pictured her in that kind of role, but she did a pretty good job in pulling it off! Her straight-forward character is one of those "take no guff from anyone" is the sort of character that made this the film it is. Her anger is real when it shows and her conversations with her co-stars are what kept me involved, because of her unpredictable nature!
1st watched 9/8/2001 - 3 out of 10(Dir-Shawn Schepps):
Violent, in-your-face other lifestyle(if it's ok for you, then it's ok)
advertisement that falls flat as a movie because of the quick changes of
character that occur in the Jamie Gertz character. She seems like she
quite sure how to act this part and changes her approach too often . At
beginning she's an out-of-control drunk, then she's a manipulating sex
object, then she's a friend who takes a licking but keeps on ticking. It
very obvious from the beginning that many of the performers will be
portrayed as gay, so it's no surprise when Alie and Kat hit it off as
lesbians on occasion. This is a movie that doesn't have the guts to go the
direction it wants to go in my opinion. The box cover art makes us think
this is a male-female perverted sex movie, but it turns out to be movie
sex but with both female's doing it together as well as the male-female
thing. But it's not a sex movie. What kind of movie is it and what is it
about? Well, the best I can tell, it's about life and how it stinks and
feeling good is what's important. I'm sorry but I'm not sold and to tell
you the truth that by the end of the movie the character's aren't sold
While it's good to see Jami Gertz in her first lead role in nearly 10 years (since 1992's JERSEY GIRL), her character here is so unappealing. The movie contains a ton of profanity and graphic language right from the very beginning. By far, Jami's most foul mouthed film.
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