Tuesday, January 8, 2013

L.A. Without a Map (1998)

L.A. Movie #4

Synopsis: Scottish dork falls for shallow Hollywood starlet, follows his dreams to the city of failed acting careers, gangbangers and smog.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Richard, at 22 years old, has inherited his father’s undertaker’s business in the North of England and is destined to marry Joy, the daughter of a wealthy local businessman. But he longs for something more, something more exciting, something more romantic.”

What Did I Learn?: The same thing I learned from Frankie and Johnny – stalking works.

Really?: 1 So wait – Richard is visiting L.A. from the U.K., and suddenly decides to get a job and an apartment? Doesn’t he need a green card for that? 2 I realize not every woman wants a macho guy, but I have to think a man doesn’t exactly look good in his girlfriend’s eyes when he loses two fistfights in a row right in front of her. 3 Holy fuck – Richard tries to chloroform Barbara in a room full of witnesses? And he’s still the hero of this story? 4 Hmmm…funny how Moss mentions his band might be able to get a record deal if only some exec could hear them play, and then…that sub-plot is never mentioned again.

Rating: I wanted to like L.A. Without a Map – it’s a small, low-budget, independent film with a number of surprising cameo appearances, including one from Johnny Depp. Unfortunately, L.A. Without a Map isn’t a particularly good film; the script could have used a big-re-write, the protagonist comes across as an insecure loser (which wouldn’t be so bad if he were an extremely funny insecure loser, but there isn’t a lot of humour in this movie, and it’s supposed to be a comedy), while the object of his affection seems (at best) shallow and ambitious, and at worst a borderline nasty bitch. Maybe it could have worked better as a buddy comedy between Richard and Moss? I cannot recommend this movie. 4/10 stars.

Would it Work as a BAD MOVIE NIGHT?: Only if you play a game of “take a drink every time Vincent Gallo’s character says the word: ‘bro’”.

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