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A talented and successful actor retires at a young age due to a perceived mental illness. Now living in a small town with his deranged sister and his best friend, we watch as their Maladies intertwine.
The eighteen year-old Angeline raises money with a session of naked pictures and leaves her alcoholic and dysfunctional parents fleeing to San Francisco with her friend Andrew. They rent a room in the apartment of the gay Paco and Angeline finds a job in a strip club and Andrew in a bookstore. Soon Angeline has a love affair with the drug-addicted lawyer Frances and joins the adult industry making porn. Meanwhile the lesbian director Margaret becomes obsessed with her. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A film without focus (and I don't mean the camera work)
Most movies about the business of pornography are moralistic films, showing the exploitation that grinds its participants down and steals their souls (to mix a metaphor).
This is not one of those.
As a movie, it's not sure whether the title character is being ruthlessly exploited, or joyously empowered. She's one or the other both or neither.
A lot of peripheral characters and subplots are drawn in, but all are handled perfunctorily. A lot of star power -- Heather Graham, James Franco, Dev Patel -- is wasted in cardboard roles.
Ashley Hinshaw, playing Cherry, is a beautiful actress, and looks a lot like a younger Heather Graham (no coincidence, I'm sure, in terms of their characters). She doesn't display much range here, and her character is not given a chance to grow (which could be the director's fault).
In the end, it's not bad, but there's nothing there. Despite showing the porn industry, it lacks sleaze; and yet you couldn't call it tasteful. Just dull.
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