Sunday, May 16, 2010

'Please Help' Needs Help

Critics throughout the country have been extolling a small independent film called Please Help.
So many good things have been said about it that I felt I must see.
And last night I did.
The film runs about 90 minutes. It's blessedly short.
And there's really not much to it.
Basically, it's a series of inter-related character studies without much of a story.
There isn't so much as a plot to it. Not very much actually happens.
And the characters don't really interact very much.
And then there's this: Most of the characters are sad and/or misguided.
So the film winds up being not merely dark but downright depressing.
For some strange reason, people are comparing this to Woody Allen's best films. They are wrong.
Woody Allen's best films had a European-style human touch to them. The stories embraced the characters and you got the sense that, even with all their faults, Allen was loving and forgiving toward his characters. He could be brutally honest and generous at the same time.
This film is not like that.
Please Help needs help.
Sadly, it's a total downer. And, it's just not worth seeing.

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