Monday, October 12, 2020

She's In Portland: Movie Review

Awful characters who don't have anything worthwhile to say.

She’s In Portland suggests there’s a mystique to this titular girl who gets an entire movie made around the journey to see her. But after all the girls we meet on the way to Portland, I really have to question how many girls do the filmmakers actually know? Do they think all girls are manic pixie dream girls? The use of that term will die down once filmmakers stop employing them.   2020

Directed by: Marc Carlini

Screenplay by: Patrick Alexander, Marc Carlini

Starring: Tommy Dewey, Francois Arnaud

At the beginning of the journey, Wes (Tommy Dewey) is an unhappily married man living in the suburbs. He works a really important, but really vague job. He’s rich is really all that gets established. He had bought a plane ticket for his friend Luke (Francois Arnaud) to come see him. Luke is living the dream – a good-looking, 30-something, single guy living in downtown LA who runs his own video production company out of his house. However, when Luke doesn’t take Wes up on his offer of a plane ticket he immediately assumes something is wrong and makes the trip himself to find him.

A little more than 5 minutes into the movie and the film and I have two very different definitions of what constitutes success, happiness and depression. Wes finds Luke very busy – he’s running his own business after all – and learns that he’s making enough money to get by but isn’t raking it in (he has a soft spot for clients who are cash-strapped) and he hasn’t slept with a girl in six months because he hasn’t met anybody he wants to sleep with. I look at Luke as a guy who’s getting it figured out and doesn’t need some manic pixie dream girl to make his life complete. Apparently, Wes looks at Luke as a guy who has hit rock bottom.

The girl who got away is in Portland and Wes buys a car and drags Luke on a road-trip because “he needs it” despite the fact that A) Luke doesn’t need it, B) don’t you have this really important, really vague job to do? And C) If you hate your wife so much, maybe you’re the one who has a problem.

If you thought that set-up was bad, wait until you find out what happens on the road trip. They stop in party towns and have girls of all ages throw themselves at them when they snap their fingers (not quite literally, but close enough that you get the picture). These are, to put it lightly, the worst written female characters from recent memory (There may be worse that I have forgotten about, a status that this movie will hopefully reach soon).

Unfortunately, there’s nothing to help elevate this movie beyond the awful, not real, characters. The dialogue is very clunky with no discernible humour. The first half or so is supposed to be funny, but I am unable to identify any jokes or clever moments. It later turns to drama, because get this, Wes is actually a worse person than originally suspected.

She’s in Portland is not a romantic comedy even if it’s labelled as such. It’s not funny, it’s definitely not romantic, the male characters are awful, and the female characters are stick figures (literally and figuratively). It doesn’t have anything worthwhile to say.