REVIEW: Damsels in Distress

26 12 2012

I think my quibble with “Damsels in Distress” is with the very style of film it tries to be.  For all I know, it may be a good comedy of manners.  But I never read any Oscar Wilde or Moliere in school, so I have no context in which to place this film.  Sorry, folks.

What I can tell you is that I found myself irked quite often by Whit Stillman’s film, which seemed to be a meandering mess made bearable only by the occasionally witty and insightful quip.  The words have a pop that I feel like would be better appreciated on a page.  On screen, they just don’t have much impact.

I also think that has something to do with the fact that the energy of the actresses in the film feels like that which you’d find at a first table read.  It never felt like anybody was saying, emoting, or feeling their lines.  They were merely reciting them.  Although in the case of Greta Gerwig, it sort of worked since she has that sort of non-emotive, frumpy hipster aura about her.  But for everyone else – no.

Honestly, I think my favorite part of this movie might have been the brief Aubrey Plaza cameo.  As one of the patients at the “suicide prevention” clinic run by the four main girls of the film, she got more laughs out of me than the rest of the film did combined.  If “Damsels in Distress” tried to say anything else or get me to care about any of the other characters, it didn’t work.  C2stars


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