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I just watched this last night, and I have to say that I was very impressed. I'm not going to go into a lengthy review here, but I'll just say that I previously did not know much about Clara Bow, but after watching this I am now fascinated. I also found Courtney Love to be an amazing narrator for the piece. Unlike some of the other comments here, I thought she really breathed life into the story of Ms Bow.
I would recommend this documentary to anyone who likes movies and is interested in learning of past stars.
More bad here than good, unfortunately...
*WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW!*
Okay, I'm not going to outline the plot for you here, because I assume that if you're reading this, you probably already know what "Abandon" is about.
That being said, I try not to be completely mean when commenting on a movie, because usually there's always some good point, no matter how small. So that's where I'm going to start, with the "good" stuff.
- Nice cinematography. I thought that the scenes were well shot.
- Charlie Hunnam is quite good looking.
- Benjamin Bratt did the best he could with the script given.
...and I'm coming up short on anymore good points.
Now, for the bad:
- Through out the movie I found myself watching in astonishment, not because the story captivated me, but because I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. The characters actions and reactions were so grossly inappropriate that it defied logic.
- The pacing was a bit slow for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a nice leisurely little movie, but at times it felt like this was just going through mud in terms of its slowness.
- Very sparse character background information. Sure we know that Katie grew up in a little town and her father left as a child, and we know that Embry was a rich orphan, but aside from that, they give us little else to go on. How can we be expected to feel for characters when we hardly know them? I mean, why did Katie's father leave? Who raised Embry once his parents died? I could go on with more questions, but it's of no use, because they'll never be answered.
- The "twist" ending was not much of a twist at all. Someone else watched the first 20 minutes of the movie with me, and before they left due to boredom, they said to me, "I bet she killed him". I mean seriously, they were able to deduce this by only watching the FIRST 20 MINUTES! That should tell you something right there. And as for the other half of the twist, the part where we realize she was just imagining Embry coming back to her, that wasn't very shocking at all. That same basic idea was used much much MUCH better in "A Beautiful Mind" and "Fight Club".
Going back to my first complaint, I really felt that the characters did things that made no sense at all. The roommate Samantha was one of the worst offenders. Zooey Deschanel did a fine job in her portrayal, but the character itself was just, for lack of a better term, mentally deficient. Maybe I'm off the mark with this, but I felt that she acted as though she was hepped up on some kind of drugs. At one point her actions seemed so seriously bizarre that I wondered why they even included it into the movie. The scene I'm referring to is when she talked to the cop and inexplicably invited him up for a drink! There were also several other moments where Samantha seemed not quite right to me.
And Katie. Okay, I'll buy the whole abandonment issues thing with her, but didn't it seem a little strange that supposedly before Embry she was a virgin, and yet the first moment they are alone she willingly hit the sheets with him? I don't say this to be a prude or anything, I say it because I couldn't believe a girl without prior experience would just give it up to a guy she hardly knew, especially a girl who seemed as intelligent as her.
Also, I take issue with something else that happens in the aforementioned sex scene. Embry casually throws her books out the window...and she appears to have NO problem with it! Now I don't know about you, but if a guy cockily threw anything of mine out a window, I'd be kicking him where it counts so fast his head would spin, not boinking him! It made NO sense to me at all.
Basically, there was a lot more bad than good in "Abandon". There were so many things that just seemed illogical and confusing to me. Like why didn't Katie remember killing Embry? Had she blocked it out? What compelled Embry to act like such a jerk in the first place (and don't give me the rich kid excuse)? That whole bit with Wade, the cop, at that meeting where he talked about hitting something with his car...was it a person he hit, or just an animal? I know it's supposed to be implied that it was in fact a person, but if that were the case, how is he now a police officer? If you commit an offense such as vehicular homicide, wouldn't that bar you from joining the force?
I have many more questions besides those above, but it would take too much of my time and the site's space to list them all.
So, if you want to take a chance, then go ahead, watch this movie. But if you'd rather spare yourself, just pass on it.