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James Toback's When Will Be Loved has a very, loose, ramshackle quality that it is ill-suited for. As the film opens, it cuts back and forth, jarringly, between Fred Weller rambling on his cell phone, and Neve Campbell taking a shower. The music even changes between each cut..and it's just so sloppily done, and unfortunately, the rest of the film, for the most part, is just as sloppy. Between the music being way too damn loud (whoever mixed the sound on this film did a lousy-ass job!), or certain scenes being more or less pointless, the film is a just a ramshackle, sloppy mess. Does the scene where Neve runs into Lori Singer in the park add anything? Other than perhaps killing time...no. Is the scene with Mike Tyson necessary? No, again it adds nothing, wastes time. And the threesome in the park scene? Not needed either...as we already know Weller is a small-time bum, out for his own gratification. Why is Chianese's character a Count? That's just ridiculous..and it seriously undercuts the believability of his character...and yet his sequence with Campbell is the only one in the film that really works. The rest of it......not so much. This is primarily because of the tired,tired stereotypical small time hustler character that Weller is given to play. Weller does what he can, and is occasionally amusing, but on the whole, we've seen this character too many damn times...we know right away that he has no connections, is a liar, a loser, etc. Knowing that, watching this character is quite irritating, as it offers no surprises, but plenty o' stale crap we have to sit through. This movie is just a mess. Not completely bad, but mostly, a ramshackle mess.
I am sorry, but this might have been the absolute worst film I have ever seen. I am not usually a harsh critic, but this movie made me ashamed to call myself a fan of Neve Campbell's work. It has no plot, makes no sense, begins stories that it doesn't finish, and goes nowhere. In a word, it sucks. I mean, who cares about a spoiled, rich girl and her sexual escapades. And wow - she's like girls too. A novelty in twenty-first century film-making. Not even the sex scenes were stimulating. Personally, I could have done quite well without being subjected to Neve's pained expressions while being done from behind by her slimy pimp of a boyfriend. And what is with the "African" professor? He is there in the beginning, and then suddenly he's just gone (thank god). I'm not sure if the fact that it is barely over an hour long is a positive or a negative. Negative, because who wants to pay what it costs today to see a film for a mere hour of movie-watching, but positive because I don't think I could have stood a minute longer of such utter crap. I don't think I have ever seen so many people walk out of a theatre mid-movie. The only reason I didn't leave myself was my unfulfilled hope that somehow the movie would redeem itself with an interesting ending. Apologies for my crudeness, but crap is truly what this wannabe Cruel Intentions meets Wild Things meets Indecent Proposal is.
This movie is mostly annoying.
Many scenes are unnecessarily prolonged. I started to skip ahead through the last half, and it became slightly more tolerable.
The dialog is stream of conscience, and mostly failed to contribute to the story. Maybe if I was thirteen it would be more entertaining.
Music plays throughout the entire movie, which comes off as a failed attempt at creativity. I love new filming techniques and what not, but this just didn't work for me. The music makes the entire movie feel like an intro or intermission scene. Maybe it is an attempt to disguise the bad acting.
To its credit, this would be a pretty good plot for a porno film.
When Will I be Loved is a film that attempts at many things but fails miserably. The title in itself is misleading in that it gives the impression that the main character, Vera, is searching for love that's owed her. In fact, Vera appears to have everything one could possibly wish for in life, including two caring doting parents. Why she chooses to engage in self-destructive and vindicative behavior is a complete mystery. The only reasonable conclusion one could make is that she is bored with with the perfectness of the life into which she is born and wishes to disturb that somehow by becoming attached to a hustler. This movie is pretentious and ridiculous beyond reason. The characters are written in such a way that they are not even recognizable as human, but rather just qualities. Non of the characters are accessible on any level, which makes the viewer completely apathetic to the outcome of their dilemmas. I, for one, was angry that I had wasted my time with a film that was not pleasing on ANY level. In fact, as the previous reviewer mentioned, the music that we are inundated with is distracting and serves no particular purpose. A bitter revolting taste still remains in my mouth from having watched this one hour ago.
This movie got a lot of undeserved juice from Roger Ebert's four-star
review, and it's just awful. I've liked some of Toback's other work,
particularly "Fingers", but this thing feels like a really boring home
movie on autopilot. It's purportedly about the non-adventures of this
bratty little rich girl (Neve Campbell) and her no-account boyfriend
(Fred Weller) and, ultimately, their scheme to seduce a rich Italian
count (Dominic Chianese) out of some major money. But it takes some
time to get to this plot point, and up till then, the movie just
meanders in a cinema-verite sort of way that makes it seem like Toback
can use it as an excuse for the picture being a dud. It's like he's
saying, "Well, whatever we shot, we shot. I can't be held responsible
for the randomness of events."
The movie goes from Neve Campbell meeting one person on the street to another in what I'm sure Toback would insist was "character development", but it's done in such a way that it all rings false. It's scripted without being scripted. In another words, it's contrived. When Neve's college professor (played by Toback) explains what he thinks is going on with Neve and her head games, you can almost hear the gears locking in the background. It might be the most mechanical ad-libbed sequence in history.
Toback's use of celebrity here is also peculiar. The Mike Tyson cameo is pretty funny; he actually gives the movie a momentary spark. But when Toback has Neve recognizing a bit actress like Lori Singer on the street like she's Jane Fonda, I wonder what world he's living in. This whole "expository" part feels like padding, like Toback didn't have enough legit material to go around. Then, when the action shifts to the "scheme" in the final twenty minutes, it's good - it's the best part of the film. But the effect is a little jarring. Toback goes from a lazy, dawdling atmosphere to a sequence that's scripted tighter than Abbott & Costello's Who's on First, and it just doesn't work. The two forms don't really mesh, and you get the feeling Toback only had twenty good minutes in him to begin with - the rest is like a warm-up, like running in place to get the circulation going. And I hate to sound like an old prude (which I'm far from being), but the nude shower scene is an absolute cheap shot; Neve Campbell is just being exploited here. It has nothing to do with her character or anything else; it's completely gratuitous. But I guess anything goes when you have no material. Minus credits, this thing is barely over an hour and fifteen minutes. It hardly seems worth being made.
When Will I Be Loved is a story about Vera (Neve Campbell), who seems
to be struggling with who she is and what she wants out of life. She
has a scheming boyfriend named Ford (Fred Weller) whose character is
directly lifted from Phone Booth's Stu Shepard, played by Colin
Farrell. The two characters are nearly identical, only Ford is not as
likable. Other than this, there is no real storyline going on until,
after what seems like an eternity, the last 15-20 minutes. It becomes a
cross between Indecent Proposal and Wild Things.
Truthfully, this movie bored me until the 3rd act. There is one main reason most men wanted to see this film, and most of you know what it is. Neve Campbell is featured in her first nude scene. While I am certainly all for her doing this, I believe it was done because her career had become a little stagnant. She has not really done anything to note since Scream. I think she had the right idea to get some attention back on herself, she just picked the wrong movie to do it with. There was not even any real reason to have the nudity. It did nothing for the plot, which was nearly non-existent. It was simply thrown in at the beginning and the end. Again, I'm thankful, but I feel it could have been put to better use in a better film with better meaning. It is the only reason I'm giving this movie 5 of 10 stars.
What a real bummer. I have to lay most of the rap on Mr. Toback. First,
inserting himself into an already short movie (that must run 81 minutes
with opening AND closing credits) appeared both self-aggrandizing,
unnecessary, and a near complete digression (as was the lengthy cameo
by former boxing great Mike Tyson). I would elaborate but I don't want
to ruin some questions that might arise should you be paying attention
(Picture Michael Moore on the Atkins diet, wearing a dashiki).
Neve Campbell is thoroughly charming and totally wasted as the lost, passionate rich girl. Bottom line, is that there will be thousands make off of her nudity in this flick. The nudity only consists of a shower scene. The sex scenes are little more than bumping and grinding and contrived, and I can only wonder if the talent were as uncomforable making those scenes as I was watching them.
But back to the erstwhile Mr. Toback, if you listen carefully to his voice early on, then you'll likely hear it in the other characters as well. His New York chatterbox cadence becomes tiresome.
I had hoped for better. Ms. Campbell is a major talent is one or two films away from breaking out super huge. Mr. Toback is also talented though this certainly isn't the work to pin his fame on. I wish them well in their future endeavors, and mourn for the eighty-one minutes I can never get back.
There is no need for the box "Contains Spoiler" on this movie because there is no plot to spoil. It's basically a mental rant of characters placed in unlikely situations that leads to an obvious conclusion. I'd say it was like softcore, but even the sex scenes, of which there are way too many for a legitimate movie, are dumb. What little character development there actually is, is completely trite and without depth. Aside from a somewhat questionable performance by Neve Campbell, the film is littered with boring and typical acting by the "not quite making it" crowd. Another triumphantly pointless and boring movie by Toback- hurray!
I watched this movie to look at Neve Campbell.....possibly the reason the movie makers made it. She is beautiful and a fine actress. A lot of the dialog was interesting,seemed to be a lot of ad libbing. What the heck was Lori Singer doing in the movie? Neve's character meets her in the park and says "Hi Lori" and they talk a few minutes about movies. Mike Tyson also makes an appearance as himself and seems to have some acting talent. The film starts and ends with Neve Campbell in a shower. The rest is a waste of eyes and ears. I usually agree with Roger Ebert,but he was one of the very few critics that liked the film. He gave it a top rating. Maybe he loves Neve more than me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When Will I Be Loved is either a really stupid movie or far too clever
for its own good. Neve Campbell plays Vera Barrie, a poor little rich
girl who, at first glance, appears to be fending off the efforts of
everyone around her to use and control her. Her stereotypical wealthy
parents make clear how she should arrange every aspect of her life,
from what kind of mattress she sleeps on to who she sleeps with. Her
boyfriend is a sleazy con artist who hopes to talk her into having sex
with a billionaire Italian count for $100,000, wanting in effect, to
pimp her. The Count, of course, wants to buy her affection and her
body. As it turns out, none of these characters controls this girl. On
the contrary, the amoral Vera manipulates almost everyone she comes
into contact with for her own amusement and gain. While interviewing
for an assistant's job with a college professor, she maneuvers the
academic's clumsy efforts to flirt with her into a virtual admission of
potential sexual harassment, all but forcing him to offer her the
position. This interview takes place as the two are walking along the
sidewalks of New York, and when the professor is twice distracted by
passers by (one of whom is disgraced boxer Mike Tyson himself in
perhaps the high point of the movie) Vera uses each break in their
conversation to try to pick up attractive men who happen to be near.
She engages in a lesbian tryst behind her boyfriend's back, and she
apparently deliberately starts an argument between a couple on a park
bench by openly flirting with the boy. In the central plot conflict,
the affair with the count, she is the spider weaving every strand of
the web. Her boyfriend Ford makes a pathetic attempt to conceal his
motives as he introduces the subject, but she seems to expect this kind
of low scheme from him and anticipates his every move. Not
surprisingly, she quickly accepts and tells him to set it up. The
lovestruck Count has only seen Vera briefly twice and compares his
ardor for her to the poet Dante's passion for Beatrice. Vera quickly
manipulates the Count into upping the ante to one million dollars cash.
She gives the Count his afternoon of passion and stashes the money in a
safety deposit box immediately thereafter. When Ford returns to claim
his share of the loot, she lies, telling him that the Count is a fraud
who refused to pay her the $100,000. This leads to a confrontation
between Ford and the Italian with deeply tragic consequences for both.
Although clearly the cause of this misery, Vera show little evidence of
guilt and more than a little self-satisfaction.
While this plot may sound interesting, the movie robs it of the energy and intrigue it promises. First of all, Vera is a strangely passive character. She doesn't seem to actively manipulate anyone, she simply reacts to what they do in a way that elicits the behavior she wants. As a result, she is neither interesting nor sympathetic, and, worst of all, her passivity conceals just how despicable she is. When the revelation comes, it is too late and too muted to redeem the story. At best, we go from not liking Vera very much to hating her. We never understand what motivates or satisfies her (beyond her obviously active sex life).
Second, much of what happens is simply not very believable. Basically everyone in the story but Vera is a one-note stereotype. The Count is the most problematic. With no back story but the fact that he is a billionaire "communications" magnate, we are asked to believe that he would bring six grocery bags full of cash to an apartment to make a woman he'd never met happy in the hope that she might sleep with him -- if she wants to. Perhaps this could happen, but the movie doesn't earn our belief. Our incredulity is sharpened by the fact that Neve Campbell is arguably the least attractive woman in the movie. Neve's highly publicized nude shower scene does little to establish the sexual magnetism Vera is apparently supposed to have. Both naked and clothed, she's somewhat shapeless, which only mirrors the impassive smugness she wears on her pleasant but unremarkable face for most of the movie. Vera doesn't have to look like Angelina Jolie, but she should at least look interested. Finally, the soundtrack is horrible. Most of the dialog is drowned in an incessant music track. Brahms, Bach, and Beethoven accompany Vera almost every moment she's on screen. Perhaps the unending Classical ditties are meant to suggest Vera's sophistication or artistry, but like her vague character they quickly move from puzzling to annoying.
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