This movie is a disaster from start to finish.
It made me lose a lot of faith in Len Amato at HBO, as he was constantly saying how great the script was getting and that Jason Mann "was a real film maker." Maybe he is, but this entire project is no indication of that. The only truth tellers here were Effie Brown, and Ben Affleck who at least had the courage and diplomatic phrasing to say "this is not my taste, and he's going to have to stand behind this movie even more based on how hard he fought." I'll briefly hit some points, because spending too much time on this trite nonsense is a waste.
1. The script is terrible. The characters are derivative and uninspired. What was all the love for Pete Jones about? There is nothing quality about any of the writing. Not one single line.
2. The camera work is weak to say the least. The framing for most shots is off, which is something that should keep this DP from ever working again. Mann fought so hard for film (which was totally irrelevant when you see how basic and style free the movie looks), when he should have fought for a DP with vision and style. Instead he got a boring looking movie with no visual spark.
3. It is not funny. They kept calling this a comedy of manners, ala Oscar Wilde. But Oscar Wilde was a wordsmith and could turn a phrase like no other. The writing here is boring, derivative, and imagination free. Additionally, note to Jason Mann, accents alone do not make comedy. While he loved the improvisation coming from his two lead males, nothing they improvised was funny. There was nothing coming out of their mouths that was unique or special, their own kind of comedy, ala Robin Williams. Even the wild situations were not funny. Just an epic fail on ever level comedy-wise and story-wise (Hey Mann, that is a Billy Wilder reference. You should look into his work, he was funny, and clean funny, not rim-job unfunny.) 4. Lack of diversity. This is perhaps where Effie Brown was the most right. In what political dynasty world do those involved have no black or brown friends and colleagues? You need a diverse pot to win elections. And yeah, it was supposed to be the north east, WASP country, but there are still black folks up there. It was not the only thing Effie was right about, obviously. But it was indeed glaring. If you had no party scenes, a single location flick with a cast of 5, you could get away with an all white cast. But when you have a sea of background, you can pepper it with a reality based group. Even the guy in the car accident could have been a person of color. But even he was white. This is another element of director failure. He needed to step up and address this, which would have taken 5 seconds.
In the end, this is easily the worst of all the Project Greenlight films, and that is saying a lot. It makes you truly question the value of the entire contest and those picking the winner. I understand you want a reality show to have drama, but trust me, even a good movie has drama behind the scenes. Perhaps even more drama than this had. And wouldn't it have been grand if the production was wrought with strife and in the end, this young director delivered a gem? Oh, what could have been.
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