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|Index||74 reviews in total|
When Will I Be Loved is neither success or failure. It's a mild
curiosity that had its inception when director James Toback was offered
two million dollars to make any movie he wanted. He had no script
ready, so he shot this improvised little 80 minute film in less than
two weeks. Whether he really knew what he wanted from the start or just
winged it as he went along is arguable. Watch in the film, for example,
how celebrities and actors just pop up rather randomly since, you know,
they're always just in New York (Mike Tyson has the best one as a
"Not-Mike-Tyson-I'm-Buck" joke, but Lori Singer is inexplicable and
Damon Dash gets a thankless walk-on). But there is something Toback
wants to say, even if it takes a little while to get there and
ultimately the message is cynical at best and rather hopeless at worst.
Late-period Godard movies came to mind when watching how all-over the place Toback was with his structure and how he mixed his actors performing his on-the-spot dialog with a grab-bag of music (in this case it's either rap or Beethoven or Bach or whatever classical music is up for grabs). But perhaps one of Godard's better influences on filmmakers (not the hodge-podge quality of his later work) comes through in When Will I Be Loved, which is Toback's fascination with Neve Campbell. What little we know of Vera is that she's an aimless woman who apparently has a bit of money to be living in such a nice place in Manhattan (or, at least, her parents do), and she is looking for a possible job as a Professor's assistant (Toback plays the professor in a very odd appearance with a name that's right out of Israel, only Toback isn't).
Meanwhile an 'Indecent Proposal' situation develops where her sorta-boyfriend, a sleazy and fast-talking (and unsuccessful) hustler named Ford is looking to get a hundred thousand by sorta-pimping out Vera to a Count (yes, a Count, like Chocula) played by a naturally elegant Dominic Chianese. He doesn't really want to take her away, just a night of love and companionship, though if she does want to go away with him- after he saw her from afar at an airport and at a town square- he'll far from object. Turns out the money is much more than she first expected, and then it turns into something else, a fast pulp fiction story of money and promises broken, and an unlikely Femme Fatale in Vera.
One of the big problems with the film is that until about thirty-five to forty minutes into the film (and it's a relatively long time in the scope of the 80 minutes) Toback meanders with his characters. He cross-cuts between himself and Vera talking and walking, a little interest there, with Ford and his shady attempted dealings walking the streets, not as interesting. Then there's a very long girl-on-girl scene with Campbell and another girl, seen for an overlong shot with the two of them behind a curtain. And then when it comes time to get to the story, this too is cut in by an awkwardly place lovemaking scene between Campbell and Weller. It's not that Toback doesn't direct the sex scenes well... actually, that's not entirely true. When comparing either of the scenes with one of the most striking and erotically charged sex scenes of all time- Toback's own Two Girls and a Guy scene between Downey and Graham- they come up short (oddly enough a very brief scene between Chianese and Campbell, taking off her shoes, has more 'umph' than either of the previous scenes.
And yet the film does have moments, little things where one sees Toback working well with the camera and his actors with the dialog; perhaps it's just me, but the strongest scene of character interaction was midway through when Vera and the Count have their conversation about what he really wants from her in Vera's apartment. It felt 'written', but it was good writing, a natural conversation by two actors who just suddenly clicked in their roles like they had not elsewhere in the film. Also, Mike Tyson's cameo is totally amazing, a favor for friend Toback but worth the while. It ends on a note of pessimism, and maybe a hint of self-made tragedy in the face of the almighty dollar, but by the end the point is a little rushed in the face of the choppy plot and scenes. It holds one's interest, but there's points where When Will I Be Loved stalls in its maker's mindset, and then stalls for us, too.
I agree with most of the other comments. The filming was amateurish,
and I'd hope that all the actors in it lied about being in such a joke.
I agree that the dialog had a 'Woody Allen' flavor. In fact, his name is mentioned in the movie. I'm wondering if he really directed it, but knew later that it would be such a horrible stinker that he took his name off of it.
Neve is a beautiful woman, and they used her beauty to fill the theaters. Her character was also masochistic. Her 'Ratso Rizzo' boyfriend was a sleezebag who did nothing to help the film. In fact, the Count's character was the only redeeming part of it. I thought he was believable as an aging billionaire who usually got what he wanted. Although he could have gotten prettier and more intelligent women for far less than a million bucks.
All in all, it stank
I've seen few films that I would call terrible, but this is one of them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the commentary it said they filmed this movie in 11 days and it's so
bad, it might have been filmed in less. If you have seen the trailer,
you've seen everything there is to see about this movie, unless you
really want to see the poorly done soft porn scenes. I'm quite serious,
the trailer sums up the entire movie without any of the lackluster
filler, one is left to drudge through. The move jumps around from one
pointless poorly shot scene full of characters one doesn't care about
to the next feeling rushed and without focus. Neve is sexy, but I
wasn't feeling the "She's the hottest thing on planet Earth" vibe they
were trying to get across by showing everyone panting after her like
dogs in heat, it just came across as fake. The character of Ford is
idiotic tired re-tread, which made me want to skip his half of the
movie. Also, I really don't think anyone in real life in the "count's"
position would have done what he did in the last part. If it wanted to
show a certain sect of New York as vapid, obnoxious, boring and
pointless people without even any real explanation of how they became
so, then I guess the film succeeded. I think this is the first movie
I've ever regretted watching. The film is not erotic or thrilling.
The only really watchable scene, was the scene of her with the count. The dialogue and acting during this scene stepped up a notch. Her scene with her female lover might have been better if there had been a history and some character development there. This movie was a total disappointment, not even worth watching to fall asleep.
When Will I Be Loved (2004)
* 1/2 (out of 4)
Incredibly bizarre film about a rich slut (Neve Campbell) and her wannabe hustler boyfriend (Fred Weller) who happens to set her up with a rich man (Dominic Chianese) so that they can collect $100,000. Like The Brown Bunny, I'm sure there will be plenty of people who love this film and plenty who hate it. I'm somewhat in the middle but have to lean towards the hate side due to several reasons. This is the type of film where the screenwriter/director thinks he has created the most hip, refreshing and original film and he rubs every scene in the viewers face. Throughout the entire running time the screenplay is full of wannabe smart and hip characters who aren't nearly as hip or as smart as they think. This reflects on the screenplay, which isn't nearly as hip or as smart as it thinks. The director constantly swings the camera as some sort of hip style but once again, it's not hip and it's not stylish. Roger Ebert is one who gave this a full four stars so you can read his review for praise. There are a few good moments including the scene where the rich guy shows up at Campbell's apartment for sex. She questions him and this leads to some interesting moments. The film starts and finishes with Campbell taking a shower and we get to see every inch of her nude body. I suggest you watch these scenes and pretty much skip everything else.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*****SPOILERS***** "The ending of the movie where it freezes when
Vera(Neve) looks at herself in the mirror FREAKS ME OUT TO THIS DAY."
(No, its not the same image you see on the Poster art.) Well, I will
start off by saying that I liked this movie. Why? most people would
talk about this movie and say: "why would these characters do these
things" or "its random sequence garbage." People who say these things
don't understand that this is a movie and movies are
fictional......Just pop in the DVD and enjoy the ride, dammit.
Well, the dialog between Vera(Neve) and the Count(Chianese) is really smart and dramatic, and leads to the sex scene Very well. Ford's(Weller) dialog throughout the movie is unbelievably funny and true(what he would do for money or revenge). The ending of the movie where it freezes when Vera looks at herself in the mirror FREAKS ME OUT TO THIS MINUTE.
OK fine, this movie isn't perfect, the music often instantly cuts between rap songs to classical music, and it gets annoying. The events in the movie may seem messy.
I mean, if you subscribe to netflix or something BY ALL MEANS RENT THIS MOVIE, you have nothing really to lose.
Did I mention there are some good sex scenes in here too? 4 Stars ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was terrible. The plot was paper thin. The highlight was the first 2 minutes with Neve showing us all the goods. It was hard to follow what the point was. Were we just supposed to learn not to sell our girlfriend or she will pay back the two male fools that forged this agreement. I felt like it was a waste of 90 minutes of my life. The performances are very weak. Neve never really sells you on her devious side. Weller is so cliché that it makes his role almost cartoonish. They spend almost half this movie trying to explain what a con man he is. They miss the development of any depth of all the other characters. If at all possible don't waste any money or time on this film.
James Toback's slight film When will I be Loved has two important
things going for it: First, shower scenes that linger longingly over
the truly impressive dancer's torso of the Neve Campbell. Secondly, the
fact that unlike many of the beautiful bodies that appear in films,
this one belongs to an an honest to goodness actor who infuses meaning,
mystery and interest into Toback's otherwise shallow and unconvincing
story. Her purposefully understated performance in The Company is
clearly revealed a choice, as opposed to, say the blank stylings that
characterize the work of the great stone face, Keanue Reeves
Who should see this film in theaters: Neve Campbell completists.
This movie is merely a sex fantasy hatched in James Tomback's twisted
mind, played out on screen by some good-looking actors. Tomback clearly
doesn't have a handle on the subject of sex, and makes this one a mess.
It's confusing and about as unsensual as it gets.
Many critics have been able to look past this painfully bad screenplay and see a great performance by Neve Cambell. I didn't even see that. It's true that she is a decent actress that handle's herself well on screen, but a good performance and a good screenplay go hand in hand. The movie might have accomplished just as much by using cardboard cut-outs, it certainly would have been cheaper. I'm not saying that the actors are that bad, it's the script that is horribly, creating some of the most uninteresting characters you find in art cinema.
I would recommend you avoid this movie. Paper-doll characters and an overly pretentious script make it a waste of time.
Reading through several posts on this movie, I couldn't help but laugh.
People just aren't keen to the idea of a director doing his own thing
and making his own kind of movie. I especially loved the post where the
person compared it as a "Cruel Intentions" wannabe! That was the best,
but obviously the person doesn't know what they are talking about.
If anything, this movie is a mix between Altman(improv) Mamet (wordy dialogue) and Verhoeven(all the booty). This movie might not be the most original but it does try(and mostly prevails). Instead of making Neve Campbell's character too cunning and calculated, the filmmaker makes her motivations even more frightening: her sheer boredom and her realization that she is being used. & instead of planning the events out (like most movie hero/ heroines would)and things coming together so smoothly, The character improvs her actions which make the situation more shocking.
James Toback is a wild director and works in his own way. He has made some brilliant movies over the years (Fingers,Black and White, writer for Bugsy) and even with some misses he still never hesitates to keep doing what he likes doing best. And Neve Campbell just shines in this movies. She speaks Tobaks talky dialogue with finesse and keeps the audience wanting more.
If nothing else, see this movie for Neve Campbells performance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is 84 of the most excruciating minutes I've ever spent watching a
movie, and I've seen Gigli.
The movie opens with a gratuitous shower scene with a naked Neve, before showing parallel scenes of Neve Campbell spewing platitudes on a kind of job interview with a character played by the director, while the boyfriend character (Ford) is spinning multiple lines of nonsense that nobody would believe. The dialogue is clumsy and very superficial in both sequences, and seems to mostly illustrate that both main characters are vapid and unlikable. And all of the scenes, both in the beginning and throughout the movie, go on forever and ever.
The introduction of the Count is even clumsier. Dialogue between the count and his flunkies - I mean, his assistants - serve the painfully obvious purpose of showing that he is a Very Important Man. Ford's one successful pitch is to pimp out sweet little Neve, who double crosses both of them, or something. The double cross, when it happens, is actually not bad, but it doesn't make up for the excruciating scenes that go before. Getting to that third act does not justify the previous two.
Even beyond the fact that there is not one decent, sympathetic character here, I was ready to scream at scenes that took forever and did nothing.
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