“Damsels in Distress” Causes the Audience to Be in Pain
“Audience in Pain”
“Hotshots” looks at a movie!
Damsels in Distress is the fourth movie written and directed by Whit Stillman, all of them have received favorable reviews, but I thought this was the worst movie I have seen in a very long time.
The story takes place at a school called Seven Oaks University, and it begins during new-student orientation at the start of the school year when three girls approach a new girl attending the school and one of them says to her, “We’d like to help you.”
The three girls are Violet, Heather, and Rose, and the new girl is Lily, who is a sophomore and is transferring into the university.
The leader of the group is Violet, and she does most of the talking, which takes place when they are walking, which takes place when they are dancing, and which even takes place when the girls get into bed at night, where they all sleep in the same room.
Violet, Heather, and Rose volunteer at the Suicide Prevention Center, where they help some students to get over their depression with tap dancing.
Incidentally, when Violet herself gets depressed later in the story over a boy she thinks she is in love with, she doesn’t like to use the word “depressed.” She prefers to say that she “is in a tailspin.”
The university has social fraternities on campus, but they make a point of saying that they aren’t Greek fraternities, as there are on most college campuses. These are Roman-letter fraternities like DU, where the girls all go to a party and make fun of the members of the fraternity, whom they call morons and think of their attending as “youth outreach.”
There is no dramatic arc in this movie, just a dramatic plateau. No, make that a valley with no drama at all, because it never reaches the level of a plateau.
I wondered if all the people making this movie were as bored making it as I was watching it. I kept thinking, “Why don’t they just stop talking and do something?”
Violet’s ambition is to start a new dance craze, and the movie ends with a big musical dance number. No, two of them, but by then it is still too late.
Damsels in Distress is so bad that if I never see it again, it will be too soon.
I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”