Friday, April 22, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #70, New Best Friend

Not only is there no chance that anyone has ever heard of this movie, but it's not even available on Netflix. It was released for one week in 100 theaters back in 2002 and it made all of $28,000. I was lucky enough to find it on HBO Go, so I sat down to enjoy Mia Kirshner and Taye Diggs do their thing. And then it started, and from the first moment I could tell it sucked. Just the credits alone. There's no way to look at one second of this movie and not think that it cost like $5 to make. Everything about it is shoddy, from the story to the direction to most of the acting.

The movie is about a small college in North Carolina that is only attended by misbehaving rich kids and one poor kid, but it's never explained why she would go there. The poor kid (Kirshner) turns up in the hospital in a coma from a drug overdose, but the circumstances are suspicious, so the young man who is vying to be sheriff investigates with the dean of the school breathing down his neck and trying to stop anything that will bother the rich kids. Diggs as the sheriff puts on an accent worthy of the awful rest of this movie, but you have to wonder why he's even in this. He's way too good an actor and way too big a star for the rest of the garbage that they float out there. The story is told through his investigation, interspersed with a number of flashbacks that come from him interviewing the suspects and other parties of interest. And by "interest" I mean in the case, but nobody was of interest to me in this entire thing. With these flashbacks, most of the movie comes to be told in a Rashomon style. The two problems with that are that a) in a mystery it means that most of the movie could be completely meaningless until the true ending is revealed and b) this movie should never, ever be mentioned in even the same language as anything by Kurosawa.

There are a few scenes where the director attempts to use sex to distract you from the shoddiness of the rest of the movie, but even some actual porn has better acting than most of what's in this one. The story is brought together in an ending that mostly makes sense, but, as I said before, doesn't necessarily fit with anything that happened in any of the flashbacks. You just wind up feeling bad for Taye Diggs, vaguely wondering why one of the characters eats ceramic plates (no lie), and being really happy that the movie is over and you can mark another one off your list.

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