World-Famous Film Critic Roger Ebert Reviews My Film For A French Class

September 4, 2011
This low-budget “comedy” film is perhaps the worst movie I’ve ever been forced to sit through. If I had no self-control, I would have undoubtedly suffocated myself with a particularly fluffy pillow, or a bit of tough steak, or whatever object may have been lying around—indeed, my fingers became a startling shade of ivory-white as I clutched my hands in anger and horror.
For starters, first-time director Maggie Rose cast herself in the main role in this jumbled farce with hints of a 1970s absurdist-style comedy. But Mel Brooks this is not. The flimsy story features Rose as a James Bond-type clichéd spy in search of a diamond. Or perhaps it was a kidnapped child. The English-to-French translator (another job not-well-done by Rose) clearly suffered from some crippling mental handicap. It’s as if a high-schooler spent half a day filming a hastily written script, roughly translated it with painful inaccuracy (adulterating the graceful language of Baudelaire and Hugo) and then called it a day.
Her writing and directing partner seems to be somehow physically or mentally unable to stop looking straight into camera lens (of a Canon Handi-cam, no less. I admire their audacity, but the pixilated images are not at all professional). If this shifty eye movement was some kind of feeble attempt at the breaking of the cinematic fourth-wall, at the removal of the invisible boundary between the world of the film and the reality of the movie theatre, then it failed miserably.
The plot itself is hackneyed and stale before the opening credits (set to the Star Wars theme, a highly unoriginal and deep sigh-inducing gag) even finish scrolling. Some item of great value has been stolen, and Rose’s character must confront the thief in a poorly staged battle in what appears to be a suburban backyard. Were the swing set and tool shed part of a social commentary on the hidden conflict and repressed rage that plagues American suburbia? Maybe so, but these intrusive objects are hardly aesthetically pleasing.
The film ends with a cliff-hanger when the thief drives off in a white 2004 Honda Civic, an egregiously overlooked anachronism: the film takes place during the French Revolution. The outtakes are several minutes longer than the actual film, and mostly involve tripping on cords, dropping the camera, and foolishly drinking a lot of water before laughing.
All in all, I give this film 1 out of 4 stars. I would have given it a 0, but I thought the soundtrack composed by the musical group Coldplay was quite nicely done, I’m surprised they agreed to associate themselves with this shockingly bad comedy.





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