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"Girl Walks Into a Bar" is made up of a bunch of connected scenes, each
taking place in a different bar. These scenes are heavily dialog-driven
(sometimes with internal dialog). Some of them work, some don't.
Most of the dialog is clever, well-written, and delivered by good actors. It's unrealistic and fast paced, with no time between a line and the response to that line. This is good entertainment, but if you get bored by dialog you'll get bored fast--there's no action here.
There's a sense throughout the movie that you're watching a long, fast paced joke. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you start to wonder when the punchline is going to show up, which can be distracting.
Good movie overall, there's a lot of talent involved.
I feel like those who have given this film such bad reviews either expected too much going into it or just couldn't let themselves go for the brief slice that this movie was. This is not a deep or complex movie, despite weaving together almost seamlessly multiple arcs, and it's not meant to be some heavy, meaningful piece (as least in my opinion). The point of any movie is to entertain, and I certainly was. I put this on with the intent to read a book while watching; by five minutes in I had abandoned the book completely. It's a quiet, unassuming comedy featuring some excellent performances. Simply charming.
Characters drink like one whiskey per minute (I'm not exaggerating), and nobody gets drunk. Bars are always completely empty but there's always some show on. The main story is nice but it's 10 minutes long. Lots of weird characters, but hey, who cares? What's the point of all this. You can look at Emmanuelle Chriqui, maybe you can get to the end without feeling you have wasted 1 hours 19 minutes. The silly western dance dury the end titles is the best part of the movie. Nice atmosphere and images overall, but I would have preferred watching a movie. I don't know what to say again but I have to continue writing IMDb says. Like writing things using more words makes something better... This policy of IMDb reminds me of this movie, it would have been good if it was a 20 minutes short film.
"Girl Walks Into a Bar" is, at once, both better and worse than it was
marketed as: A witty comedy with a cast of strangers in inter-locking
stories. It's the inter-locking stories part that gets disconcerting.
That generally means we get too many loosely-related stories with too
many characters that we barely get to know with meaningless plot lines
that don't go anywhere. This movie isn't that, it's mostly better.
There are only two story lines, born from each other, with arguably two or three main characters. And the beginning totally gets us invested in them. Nick (Zachary Quinto) is sitting nervously at a bar and doesn't want anyone to join him because he's waiting for someone. Francine (Carla Gugino) is that someone; he just doesn't know that. Minutes later we suddenly have no one left to sympathize with when it is revealed that Nick is about to commit an unforgivable crime and Francine gives no concern to the lies she just said.
Henry (Aaron Tveit) walks into a bar and steals our attention back. He flirts with Francine and just for the fun of it, and steals her wallet. Our two story lines involve Nick on his mission of crime and the law enforcement on his tail while Francine is on the tail of Henry. Their night of adventure involves checking into a number of bars each with another person to meet. The cast list is quite the collection of talented, mostly recognizable names, but they have nothing to do. Sometimes they say things that are supposed to be clever but are not.
That's where the film is worse. The dialogue is not witty nor funny, and it should not be classified as a comedy. There were quite a few scenes which had actors saying crap that none of their characters should have said and which added no meaning or value to the film.
Then the movie ended with some kind of choreographed musical and dance number which didn't conclude anything. Almost unbeknownst to me, Nick's storyline was wrapped up in a previous scene (Josh Hartnett's only scene) but with one short, stupid phone call. Quinto can act, as can Hartnett, and a well written scene with confrontation was desperately needed. After the first two scenes, there was very little confrontation, and indeed revealed that you weren't watching much at all. "Girl Walks Into a Bar" seems visually interesting, with compelling lead characters, good acting and clever story lines but then doesn't really go anywhere.
"Girl Walks Into A Bar" is exceptionally well written, with every
little story linked harmoniously with each other. Another reviewer
mentioned the excessive use of stereotypes. If there is something you
can stereotype, it's strip club regulars.
Despite all the anonymity the film tried to cover itself with, it will get the attention it rightfully deserves, because it's not, as most movies of the same caliber, funny for the sake of fun. This is real comedy, and while it may not make you laugh uncontrollably, you will find a certain kind of humour that has not been attempted in a long time. Sometimes the writing is so funny, there is no actual need for dialogue.
This is not, strictly speaking, a comedy. There are a few dramatic aspects to it, as well. I give this a 9/10, although I think it deserves something closer to 8.5. Certainly one of the best films of 2011, simply for being... simple!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Don't get me wrong--the film is free--so I wasn't expecting anything special, going into it. And while the film kept my attention, throughout its' entirety, it lacked a story that truly felt pleasing, and did not leave me, as a member of the audience, to feel as if his time spent watching the film, was justified. Was it original? It wasn't cliché-ridden, but come on, the whole thing took place in bars, and each scene consisted of the same formula: Drinking. Talking. Characters have an issue with one another. Characters take a liking to each other. They have a reason to leave, and go to another bar. It's repetitious--like those old video games, where in each level, you always had to find a key, or special item, to move forward. Overall, I am not sure what they were trying to achieve, in terms of the actual story. The story was convoluted, and lacked good structure, and blatant character motivation. Even when they got what they supposedly wanted, they just moved on to the next thing, and didn't seem to care. And the same goes for when certain characters did not achieve their goals/desires. I wouldn't watch this film again, as it just feels a bit more like a cheap internet gimmick, than an actual motion picture. I would rather spend my time doing something better--like writing a GOOD screenplay--were I to know the film would end up being so pointless, and the story would be on the verge of being non-existent. As for the acting, it was average- yet the cinematography varied from amateurish/average at certain points. I am just not sure what the whole point of this movie was. Maybe they were just screwing around 95% of the time, and spent the rest rushing to get the production over with. Who knows? And to be honest, I just don't care anymore. This movie's title seems to give something away though, in regards to its' story. The whole thing is like one big punchline, that ends abruptly before you hear the end, causing you to feel confused--and leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth.
A compelling and agreeable multi-story ensemble dramedy from writer/director Sebastián Gutiérrez, who has made several of these anthology format films. I'm particularly fond of these kinds of ensemble films and while there remain some acceptably unresolved loose ends by the time GIRL WALKS INTO A BAR is over, it's a very intriguing and entertaining movie. While its storyline is pretty thin, I felt it maintained interest through an effective Tarantino-esque intersection of characters and plenty of engaging dialog and an abundance of stimulating eye candy. Its focus is on character confrontation and interaction rather than the unveiling of the beginning, middle, and ending of a storyline, although it's a few of its story lines converge and resolve intriguingly. One segment shifts into voice-over narration by one of the characters; another segment suddenly shifts into another character's internal monologue, but I felt Gutiérrez handled these transitions effectively and they never seemed jarring; going with the flow of the film and its occasional style transitions, there is much to be absorbed out of this movie. For an independent film, Gutiérrez has attracted a notable A-list cast, including Carla Gugino (she happens to by Gutiérrez's wife, and has starred in about a dozen of his films), Danny Devito, Rosario Dawson, Josh Hartnett, Robert Forster, and Zachary Quinto, whose diverse stories intertwine and pass in the night as the characters interact between ten different L.A. bars during the course of one evening. Singer/songwriter Grant Lee Phillips supplies a folk-rock based soundtrack and has a brief role as a bar singer, performing a likeably cynical song written with Gutiérrez, called "Only Bad Can Come," that fits nicely into the mixture of story lines being conveyed. The film was the first feature film to be made specifically for internet distribution, although fortunately it's made its way onto DVD for non-streaming watchability.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just by reading the synopsis and plot for the film, one could easily
tell what it is about. It is pretty straight forward and really lacks
mystery, suspense or any action. It is very dialogue driven and the
dialogue was interesting and good for the most part. But of course, not
everyone is a fan of these type of films so it would not please and
The opening scene with Carla Gugino and Zachary Quinto was well done and one of the best of the film. It started great and was filled with suspicion and a little awkwardness. Then it continued and get better. Carla is a cop in disguise and she approaches Zachary Quinto confronting him because of a "case" he wants her to accomplish.
A few good scenes and subplots in this film but some other stinkers. The main story focusing on Carla Gugino (Francine) trying to recapture her stolen wallet from a guy who hit on her at a bar (Aaron Tveit- Henry) was pretty solid. Also included Emmanuelle Chiriqui in the storyline along with Gil Bellows.
A pretty funny scene I thought was one which included Zachry Quinto and Kevin Zegers as robbers in which they rob a bar (which leads them to a nudist ping-pong club). Also features Rosario Dawson in the scene. Then later ties into Josh Hartnett's character as a detective who ends up falling for Rosario Dawson. The scene basically doesn't end as planned for them but I thought it was pretty interesting. Another good scene and a highlight of the film was a scene involving Danny Devito approaching Zachary Quinto about some "business plans", they later talk and the conversation was quite funny!
Bad scenes were the pointless dance scenes, the scenes involving Amber Valleta & Robert Forster (little conversations), and a few scenes with an elderly couple. It was weird how they would drink a lot and barely look drunk, also how the bars seemed to be always open but the places looked empty yet shows were still going on.
The ending was okay, could have been better with more effort but overall it was alright. The film is okay but don't expect something too great, you'll be disappointed
I actually liked the movie.
It is definitely not the best movie ever. But it is a real pleasure to watch and to observe and to listen.
It's a bit Pulp Fiction without the gore. A very happy end. So if that is not for you - the movie isn't either.
Besides that, I agree with the other people, that the last dancing scene is lovely and feel-good all around.
And guess whose butt is the nicest :)
Sebastian Gutierrez's 'Girl Walks Into A Bar' may not be the cleverest
or wittiest of its kind but I found it very colourful, amusing and
atmospheric. It captures the essence of nightlife in the city quite
well. The sets and/or lighting are pleasantly colourful. The settings
and situations appear to be colour-coded. The score and cinematography
are effective. That's the technical side.
Now to the writing, it's quite alright. There's a certain noire style to it. The characters are quirky. Some situations and dialogues feel a little forced and some jokes fall flat (especially in the Robert Forster track) but otherwise the dialogue is quite funny and delivered well.
The acting isn't bad either. Carla Gugino is excellent and Emmanuelle Chriqui is brilliant, especially in her opening sequence. Amber Valetta and Aaron Tveit are quite good too. Alexis Bledel and Danny Devito are great in their single scene. Zachary Quinto, Rosario Dawson and Josh Hartnett are adequate.
Overall, 'Girl Walks Into A Bar' is a funny atmospheric semi-noire film. Not a classic but enjoyable nonetheless.
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