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Saturday, May 21, 2011

DVD Review: "Somewhere"

Director Sofia Coppola seems to have a weak spot for the tortured lives of the rich and famous. She won an Oscar for writing about an aging Hollywood star bewildered in Tokyo in the understated 2003 dramedy Lost in Translation. And last year she gave us the lackluster ode to the woes of being a Hollywood star in Somewhere. And, to tell you the truth, this routine is getting a bit old.

Stephen Dorff stars as Johnny Marco, a somewhat lonely thirty-something actor who spends most his nights partying and getting entertained by scantily-clad doublemint twins after enduring long days at various photo shoots and movie sets. Just as he's whooping it up on the sunset strip, he gets a visit by his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning), who disrupts his fabulous way of life by offering a big dose of reality.

While he tries to maintain his playboy status by still offering kinky sleepovers and jet-setting across the world, Cleo's stable presence and girlish nature humbles him. But Johnny's relationship with his daughter, while cute, doesn't cut through his real problem, which appears to be his battle with adulthood. Or, is it that he's not finding much meaning in his life anymore? Either way, audiences aren't sure whether he actually finds that meaning in Somewhere.

The movie is deathly slow and seems to float aimlessly to nowhere, despite what the title suggests. There's no distinct growth with either character. And random appearances by Benicio del Toro and Michelle Monaghan offer no guidance. Dorff does manage to muster a pretty solid performance, but we don't feel invested by his rather flimsily-written character. So we're not compelled to watch or find out where their story leads. Somewhere is like a slow-moving bullet with no clear aim.

Rating: D+


Lesya said...

Totally agree. I hated this film. It was a total waste of time. I was surprised to see it in some top lists of best 2010 films... Besides, like you said "this routine is getting old". Coppola just doesn't seem to try to do something different.

Jack L said...

Interesting review,
I was never convinced by all the reviews raving over this film, your review seems far closer to the truth.
I won't bother with this film, it sounds like a waste of time...

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