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Movie Reviews

Body Shots  

Cast
Rick (Sean Patrick Flannery)
Michael (Jerry O'Connell)
Jane (Amanda Peet)
Sara (Tara Reid)
Trent (Ron Livingston)

Directed by Michael Cristofer Written by David McKenna

Rated R for language, alcohol and drug use, sexual situations, nudity, sensuality, and brief violence
Running Time: 105 minutes Distributed by New Line Cinema

Body Shots is a vulgar, lucid, and poorly made film. The story opens with four young men and four young women setting out for a great night out in Los Angeles. However, each character gets more than what they bargained for. Driven by their desires for love and sex, the film takes a turn into the dark world of dating, intimacy, and loneliness. As each of the character learns of their companions' experiences, the audience is left with trying to piece together what happen in this one night that changed and maybe destroyed the lives of these people.

Body Shots is a film that's intention is to reflect the nightlife of twenty-year olds in America today. However, the film lacks shape and feeling. Some of the character's actions and attitudes just leave the audience without any feeling for them at all. I saw this film as trying to be a dark and scary Swingers.

The acting ensemble in Body Shots finished pretty mellow. Sean Patrick Flannery (Rick) and Amanda Peet (Jane), who play lawyers that are falling in love with each other, had very weak chemistry. Brad Rowe, who plays the shy one of the guy friends, just seemed out of mode and tried. The cast is full of upcoming young performers. However, the only few out of the cast that were even halfway effective were Tara Reid, Jerry O' Connell, and Ron Livingston. Reid was Sara, who was the flirt of the women, and O'Connell was Michael, who was a cocky ego driven football player. Finally, Livingston was Trent, who was always out of place and revealed his own weird visions.

David McKenna wrote Body Shots. McKenna's previous writing credit was last year's outstanding film, American History X. McKenna tries to piece too many different views together in Body Shots. Each character is presented, but the characters make the film depressing and sometimes confusing by their views and actions. I understand what McKenna was shooting for with Body Shots, but it just didn't work.

Body Shots was under the direction of Michael Cristofer. Cristofer is a Pulitzer and Tony award-winning playwright. His visionary dance clubs, which was full of neon and fluorescent lights, was unique, but some of his choices were unproductive. An example, which could have also been blamed on the script, is when two of the group has a long sex scene behind a club and on top of a car. It was a dumb and unrealistic scene, hasn't the director heard of getting a hotel room. I know that this might happen in real life, but it was a corny choice in this movie. I all can think of is that the director wanted the scene to be erotic.

Overall, Body Shots has a story that could have delivered a good movie, if a different approach was taken to it. The film just gets to vulgar and tries to push the envelope to a good ending, but the film ends up being weak.

Report Card Grade: D+

Beastman's Movie Reviews
Copyright, 1999 Joseph C. Tucker

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