London

Film, Documentaries
CLOTHESHORSE WHISPERER Evans, right, has words for Biel.
CLOTHESHORSE WHISPERER Evans, right, has words for Biel.

Time Out says

Writer-director Hunter Richards's debut film, London, takes place, paradoxically, in New York—well, it sure looks like the New York skyline, but the characters hail from some drug-addled, MTV fantasyland. Besides which, the London of the title is not a city but a woman, played by pouty Jessica Biel, and she's the reason our protagonist, scruffy young studmuffin Syd (Evans), is primed to self-destruct. On the eve of London's departure for L.A., Syd crashes her going-away party at a sleek modernist loft, with a middle-aged Englishman named Bateman (Statham) and lots of cocaine in tow; he's determined to win London back. Unfortunately, he winds up sequestered in a palatial concrete bathroom upstairs, doing lines and vapidly philosophizing with the various characters who stop in.

Audiences who've sat through talky coke fests from Hurlyburly to Less than Zero will be forgiven if they feel none of the decadent frisson or enlightenment that Richards must have intended. Indeed, as Syd and Bateman engage in some intergenerational bonding in their chic safe room, it's hard not to think that Julianne Moore and Heather Graham accomplished the same thing—with more brevity, not to mention wit—in their memorable bedroom scene in Boogie Nights. "You don't know when to stop," London whines to Syd at one point. "You just keep going on and on until people want to bash your face in." Out of the mouths of babes. (Opens Fri; see Index for venues.)—Tom Beer

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