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David & Layla (2005)
Worse than your typical bad movie
Let me start by saying that I watch a lot of movies. I try to watch a broad range of movies, from the terrible flops to cinematic masterpieces. I'm honestly not too picky when it comes to movies; I basically expect a movie to provide entertainment and to engage me, whether it's comedy, or a romance, or a deeply moving and provocative film that leaves me thinking for hours afterward. So essentially what I'm searching for is a movie that involves me somehow - even if I'm just relating on the most basic levels to characters or situations.
This movie failed to deliver any of my basic requirements. I'd be surprised if it fulfilled anyone else's desires or expectations, but I saw quite a number of good reviews for this movie on here. My question is, HOW did those other people become engaged with this film?
First of all, the characters in this movie are, at best, lifeless. The acting is stilted, but even if we overlooked that, the characters themselves are flat and don't seem to have any realistic qualities or depth. The Jewish characters in this movie are depicted as selfish and immature to a nonsensical extent. Their main preoccupations seem to be money and sex. David himself fails to reveal any human qualities beyond a childish attitude toward everything. The Muslim characters in this movie are portrayed in a much more favorable light, but are equally undeveloped.There is not one character in this movie who isn't insipid and unrealistic.
Second of all, having a fairly intimate understanding of both Jewish and Muslim culture allows me to see all the hilariously misconceived or at least overly generalized traditions and attitudes of both families. It seems as though the screenwriters took some big ideas from each religion's tradition and slapped them clumsily into the film, thinking it would lend an authentic, informed quality to the film. Instead, it made me wonder if they had ever met a Muslim or a Jew. The tidbits of information about both groups were laughable in their lack of perception.
Which leads me to my next problem with this movie; it clearly attempted to be funny but had no liveliness or wit. I gave the movie 1 star because I laughed in two places, but they were remarkably unmemorable. It also tried to be moving in parts, but it missed the mark in that area as well. Overall, the plot does not flow and it has no original ideas to offer. I found myself waiting to be engaged the entire movie; I should have given up in the first ten minutes when I realized that this movie was so poorly done, but I can't leave any movie unfinished.
This isn't even one of those movies that can be enjoyed for its low quality. I would not recommend this movie to anyone; it doesn't even achieve the level that a typical bad movie achieves. My suggestion is to find a bad movie that at least can be laughed at for its terrible quality. This movie does not even reach that low standard.