Thursday, August 30, 2012

Girl Walks Into a Bar: Movie Review

Walks into the bar with intrigue but then forgets the purpose.

Girl Walks Into a Bar is, at once, both better and worse than it was marketed as: A witty comedy with a cast of strangers in inter-locking stories. It’s the inter-locking stories part that gets disconcerting. That generally means we get too many loosely-related stories with too many characters that we barely get to know with meaningless plot lines that don’t go anywhere. This movie isn't that, it's mostly better. 2011

Directed by: Sebastian Gutierrez

Screenplay by: Sebastian Gutierrez

Starring: Carla Gugino, Zachary Quinto and Aaron Tveit

There are only two story lines, born from each other, with arguably two or three main characters. And the beginning totally gets us invested in them. Nick (Zachary Quinto) is sitting nervously at a bar and doesn’t want anyone to join him because he’s waiting for someone. Francine (Carla Gugino) is that someone; he just doesn’t know that. Minutes later we suddenly have no one left to sympathize with when it is revealed that Nick is about to commit an unforgivable crime and Francine gives no concern to the lies she just said.

Henry (Aaron Tveit) walks into a bar and steals our attention back. He flirts with Francine and just for the fun of it, and steals her wallet. Our two story lines involve Nick on his mission of crime and the law enforcement on his tail while Francine is on the tail of Henry. Their night of adventure involves checking into a number of bars each with another person to meet. The cast list is quite the collection of talented, mostly recognizable names, but they have nothing to do. Sometimes they say things that are supposed to be clever but are not.

That’s where the film is worse. The dialogue is not witty nor funny, and it should not be classified as a comedy. There were quite a few scenes which had actors saying crap that none of their characters should have said and which added no meaning or value to the film.

Then the movie ended with some kind of choreographed musical and dance number which didn’t conclude anything. Almost unbeknownst to me, Nick’s storyline was wrapped up in a previous scene (Josh Hartnett’s only scene) but with one short, stupid phone call. Quinto can act, as can Hartnett, and a well written scene with confrontation was desperately needed. After the first two scenes, there was very little confrontation, and indeed revealed that you weren’t watching much at all. Girl Walks Into a Bar seems visually interesting, with compelling lead characters, good acting and clever story lines but then doesn’t really go anywhere.

Similar Titles:

The Diary of Preston Plummer (2012) - Preston falls in love, Kate falls apart, and the Universe expands as it always does.

Sexy Evil Genius (2013) - So far from genius, the insanity of Nikki undoes the good character and acting work that came before.

Picture Day (2012) - Stuck between adolescence, adolescence and stereotypical immaturity.