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[while marrying Gerbino and Pampinea]
Pampinea... have you taken a bath?
I have taken a bath this day, father.
Witnesses of this holy matrimony, this woman come pure in both body and soul... Now, Gerbino Della Ratta, have you taken a bath.
I have taken a bath!
Are you sure? Downstairs? In between your legs?
Show me you hands...
This is ridiculous!
[...] See more »
I really wanted to like this film but instead I'm bemused as to how David Leland managed to make such a mess. The plot is scrappy at best, there are far too many characters you are supposed to care about you end up caring about none, it's never clear who or what the film is really about, the acting is below par and the nudity is gratuitous.
The love affair between Lorenzo (Hayden Christensen) and Pampinea (Mischa Barton) is implausible and you can't help but feel that something is missing from the beginning of this film to help ground their relationship in something other than the odd coy glance. The acting isn't terrible but it is unforgivable in key places, in particular whenever Barton and Christensen kiss, which feel so forced and unnatural that it makes me wonder if Barton's real life boyfriend was on set watching.
I wouldn't call this film a comedy however there are some very odd moments where it seems comedy is the intention but it just doesn't work. For example a cameo from David Walliams would be welcome in any comedy but in Virgin Territory it just doesn't seem to fit - his zany exploits are mistimed and misjudged.
Also, there are many moments that defy all logic (what is Elissa suddenly doing in a lake on her own?) and a part me thinks that Leland was maybe trying to create a film that felt something akin to The Princess Bride. He failed, and he failed because I think he was also trying to create a film that felt like Zoro, or Sense and Sensibility, or Carry on Camping, or American Pie, or...in fact I don't think even Leland knew what he was trying to do.
The sexual elements are also misplaced with one or two moments where it seems Leland was gunning for the gross-out-teenage-sexual-angst genre. He fails again, falling well short of what we're used to and only confusing the audience further.
There are some facets of this film I did like: the film is pretty well shot and the scenery in many scenes is a joy. I found Count Dzerzhinsky (Matthew Rhys) a welcome light relief and his character by far the most interesting and Christopher Egan did a fantastic job of portraying Dioneo as the unhinged antagonist. However, these things could never make up for a film that really doesn't know what it's doing, which is a shame because it did have potential.
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