Friday, December 21, 2012

Damsels in Distress (2011): review: 1/10


Three women proffer advice to newcomers in an American campus, running a self-styled Suicide Prevention Centre and trying to initiate a dance craze. There is also a conflict with the campus newspaper`s editor.

With a dead performance from Greta Gerwig as central actor, and a dud script with little plot, the film presents nothing more that a hail of obscure snobberies.

Like many US films, Damsels suffers from a claustrophobic insularity: it is surely pertinent that the villain of the piece is a foreigner, specifically a French sodomite.

I think what made the other Stillman films effective was that excentric and, occasionally snobbish, characters were placed in challenging environments: either abroad as in Barcelona, or in New York. Thus, we could see  them as an outsiders, and feel a certain sympathy for  their individualism. In this film, the outsiders are now insiders: their elitism becomes considerably less likeable as a result.

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