Sunday, January 14, 2007

Movie Review: Body Shots 2 ½ Stars

“There are movies that define every decade…”

That’s a pretty bold statement from the blurb writers who come up with that sort of thing, but with Body Shots, screenwriter, David McKenna and director, Michael Cristofer have attempted, rather ambitiously, to paint a portrait of twenty-somethings in the late ‘90s struggling with issues of sex and alcohol and love.

More specifically, Body Shots tells the tale of one night in the lives of eight, white consumer-culture Angelenos. Rick and Jane (Sean Patrick Flanery and Amanda Peet) are two young lawyers in the early stages of woo. Shawn (Brad Rowe), Rick’s co-worker, has designs on Sara (Tara Reid), an alcoholic little party girl who takes advantage of Shawn because he’s a nice guy.

When Sara leaves the club with Rick’s buddy, pro-football player, Michael Penorisi (Jerry O’Connell), Shawn, who doesn’t normally drink, drowns his sorrows in a series of Jell-O shots, and, eventually between the thighs of Emma (Sybil Temchen), Sara’s friend. In the meantime, Shawn’s roommate, Trent (Ron Livingston), the seeming loser, hooks up with Jell-O shot girl, Whitney (Emily Procter) for an unexpected evening of hilarious misdaventures.

Things go horribly awry when Sara accuses Penorisi of rape. Handled with an acute sense of balance, the alleged date rape is investigated, without taking sides, through reenactments of the events of the night before as told by each of the eight characters. The best moments, however, belong to Shawn, Emma, Trent and Whitney who haplessly fall into each other, in the case of Whitney and Trent, with hilarious results.

Playing out as a Sex In The City meets a really good episode of Party Of Five, Body Shots is an intriguing look at the L.A. Sunset Strip nightclub scene. But does it define a decade? I don’t know. Didn’t Singles? Or Swingers? Or even Fight Club? Does it even reflect a generation? God, I hope not. These people are f*cked up.

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