Monday, 12 July 2010

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

My mom heard about this movie.  That means it was written up in The Globe and Mail.  She told me it got good reviews.  I can't imagine why.  Unless people enjoy being bored.  I suppose it gave them time to think?  It certainly did me, though I spent most of the time thinking about how bored I was.  I considered taking a nap.

Many Lane is the prettiest girl in school.  She's also the most virginal and all the boys wanna pop her.  But Mandy isn't giving it up.  No matter how much of a smooth talker or drunken asshole you might be, Mandy will barely deign to let you touch her.

Because Mandy is better than you.  Also, she might be gay.

The film begins with Mandy attending a pool party with her uninvited loser best friend, Emmet.  Mandy is clearly not having a good time, and does her best to politely decline her host's advances.  Emmet comes to her rescue only to be humiliated by the host and the two then have it out on the roof.  Drunk and lusty, the host is easily talked into jumping off the roof, showing off for Mandy.

Nine months later, Mandy has ditched Emmet and taken up with a new crowd.  Comprised of The Rich Stoner, The Douchebag, The Bitch, The Whore, and The Only Black Kid in School, Mandy's new friends are humourless, one-dimensional meat sacks, easily dispatched and forgotten.  The Rich Stoner invites everyone to his ranch for the weekend and so begins a 90 minute-long treatise on how not to make a horror movie.

Mandy Lane offers nothing new for horror audiences.  Not that all movies need set the world on fire, but this movie doesn't even spark an interest.  It takes so long for the first person to die, and longer still for anyone to realize there's a killer in their midst, the audience has long stopped caring.  Moreover, the film fails to create any kind of mystery or suspense and the killer's identity is not only unsurprising, it telegraphs future plot twists.

Normally, when I find a movie this bad, I simply write it off and let it go.  But I'm having a problem with this one.  I think it's because there's something about Mandy.  Not the actress, who portrayed Mandy as a bit of stuck up bitch, but the character.  Mandy catches the boys' attention but wants none of it.  She knows she's different and knows she can use her difference to her advantage; she's a good character trapped in bad film that doesn't exploit her potential.  It's frustrating.

Also frustrating is the fact that the film either doesn't know or, more likely, doesn't care that it's a plodding, tedious, derivative mess of a horror movie.  A good looking mess, but a mess still.  We don't know why Mandy ditched Emmet, we can't imagine why she'd choose to be friends with these assholes, and why are these people even friends with each other?  The answers, when they come, serve only to provide the thinnest of motives for the flimsiest of plots.  Perhaps even worse are the kills.  The first victim is dispatched in a manner reflecting her whorish proclivities.  All other deaths, however, lack a referent suggesting the filmmakers were clever by accident.

I'm insulted.  That's what it is.  I was promised that All The Boys Love Many Lane had, well, promise.  But all I got was an unfulfilled character in a poorly realized story.

I should have taken that nap.

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