Movie Review: “Like a Dirty French Novel” written by loons, acted and filmed by amateurs

There are “film festival” movies, pictures so odd that there’s no audience for them outside of “The Festival Circuit,” and there are student films, which are unpolished and indulgent for a reasons, and there are even student “film festival” films — indulgent onanism somehow interesting enough to gain entry to a film fest, here and there.

“Like a Dirty French Novel” is almost a whole new thing, a nonsensical mishmash in the episodic, possibly interconnected “stories” mold. “Pulp Fiction,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Sin City” were examples of this that worked, some more than others.

“Like a Dirty French Novel” doesn’t.

A seriously random, badly-acted (as a rule), with lines recited rather than “performed,” “stories” that lead nowhere with characters that aren’t relatable — to the viewer or reality in general, here’s a “film” that has it all. Or nothing to recommend it, to be more precise.

Sex and sex work and phone sex and porn kind of weave through it, not so much a “theme” as well, “something to put in our movie.”

Florid, deranged monologues, random action — a kidnapping, mistaken identity, car theft, “It’s quicksand, it’s QUICKsand!” — feigned “erotic” dancing, a mysterious phone-sex caller, Halloween-masked “observers, all set against a “vertiginous pandemic.”

All these “stories,” not one of them worth following, not a one amusing, titillating or remotely entertaining. “Tied together?” Not really.

The upshot? Unwatchable twaddle. Clever title, though.

Rating: unrated violence, sex, nudity

Cast: Laura Urgelles, Amanda Viola, Jennifer Daly, Brittany Sampson, Robby Valls, Aaron Bustos, Dan Rojay, Arko Miro

Credits: Directed by Mike Cuenca, script by Mike Cuenca, Ashlee Elfman, Dan Rojay. A Bldv. du Cinema release.

Running time: 1:18

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.