Newly graduated psychiatrist Sam and his fiancee Alex move to Los Angeles for Sam's residency and into Sam's mother's house in upscale Laurel Canyon. Only problem is, Sam's mother is still there, supposedly finishing up a record that she's producing for the band of her new boy toy, Ian. She seems more interested in smoking pot and drinking than actually working though. Alex doesn't mind but Sam is quite upset. Alex starts off focused on her work (finishing a dissertation on genomics), but is soon distracted by the rock-'n-roll lifestyle going on around her. Meanwhile, Sam is equally distracted by beautiful Israeli intern Sara.Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
This movie poster was copied in the Grand Theft Auto video game series. See more »
The album-wrap party takes place in a suite on an upper floor of the Chateau Marmont (we see Ian order more champagne for the "penthouse suite", and the view from the balcony is clearly an upper floor). Yet when Sam storms out of the suite, then runs downstairs while arguing with Jane, they only descend one flight before reaching the lobby. There is a cut, but the dialog implies that no time was cut from their descent. See more »
I just... I don't really know you, I... I just feel connected to you, I feel... I feel safe with you. Like it's okay to be honest. It's just one of those things. I'm just attracted to you. And it's not just because I think you're incredibly sexy.
[laughs, exhales, scratches his head]
I think that you're incredibly attractive too, Sara, I do.
Yeah, I think about you. Trust me. A lot.
How do you think about me?
Yeah. Do you think about me having sex with you?
How do I think about ...
[...] See more »
Special thanks to Christie Gaumer & Shakespeare and to Red Hot Chili Peppers. See more »
"Laurel Canyon" isn't a sharp enough barb at the music industry nor is it insightful enough about relationships, but there are individual performances and musical references to make it worthwhile.
Frances McDormand as a Queen Bee, omnisexual music producer is a prime reason to see the film, playing the opposite of her "Almost Famous" Mom. There are hints about her musical ears being passe, as her house has a lot more shelves and shelves of old LPs than the few new CDs piled up, plus the photos of her in studios with past stars. And classic rock seems to always play around her, but the excesses and record company pressures don't seem new and she is bedding a rocker 16 years her junior, basically her son's age. The realistic musical mise en scene includes appearances by musician Lou Barlow and producer Daniel Lanois, among others.
The basic tension is supposed to be her being the fascination of the abomination to her straight-laced son Christian Bale (pretty much playing the same character as in "Metroland") and his fiancee, Kate Beckinsale pretty much playing the Susan Sarandon role from "Rocky Horror Picture Show." There's also some irony about Bale's character being an effective shrink in training, with all his mother issues, and a new twist on mother-in-law issues.
But that is undercut by virtually all being drawn, a la the Rolling Stones' "Spider and the Fly" song which should be on the soundtrack but isn't, by snake-straight-from-the-Garden-of-Eden Alessandro Nivola's sexy leader of a rock band that sure looks and sounds a lot like Goo Goo Dolls or Coldplay (the film's composer is with the band Shudder to Think) and sincerely says all kinds of unbelievable things about commitment and has no problem writing a radio-friendly ballad. (I see that he's married in real life to Emily Mortimer which made me think that he was the inspiration for the cause of her character's horrific physical insecurities in "Lovely and Amazing" but he did give such a very sweet acceptance speech for her at the Independent Spirit Awards. After this movie, he could slither into pop music -- would he be the first from Phillips Exeter and Yale to take that career path?)
I have no idea why Natascha McElhone's husband-temptress is supposed to be Israeli, as her mangled accent is just odd.
There is a neat running visual leit motif about the different symbolic uses of a California swimming pool by different people, from early morning determined laps to late night skinny dipping.
The round-robin apologies (and lack of some) at the end simply make no sense and leave us finally with no catharsis or resolution.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this