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Sundance Review: Death in Love

Ugh. Where to begin with the list of atrocities the Sundance film Death in Love manages to accomplish? Preposterously wooden dialog? Check. Gratuitously violent sexuality? Check. Quick cuts to the grotesque torturing and dismembering of concentration camp detainees meant to "shock" the audience? Check. A collection of gratingly obnoxious characters, none of whom gives us any reason whatsoever to sympathize with them? Check, check, check.

This film may as well be titled Psychopathic Murderers, Mating. About a third of the way into the movie I was mentally pleading for it to have something — anything — redeeming about it. Then the sole redeeming factor entered the film, and that factor's name is Adam Brody. And sure, I like him well enough, but when Adam Brody is the one thing about a movie that doesn't entirely make you want to vomit, it's a bad sign. It's time to walk away.

The movie starts and ends with shrill, anguished screaming. Not just a few shrieks but the kind of prolonged screaming that makes you want to kill someone, just to make it stop. There's then a way-too-long montage set to music that alternates between images of various women having sex with a man and these same women's bodies being ripped apart or otherwise mangled in experiments. Awesome, right? Yeah,

.

The plot is structured around the story of the Mother (Jacqueline Bisset), a woman who saves her own life by seducing the Nazi doctor performing experiments on concentration camp detainees. After becoming his pet, she generally turns into a bad person, eventually marries an American and moves to New York where she raises two boys and terrorizes them into having supremely messed up issues with women. The story then mainly follows one of the sons (played with a lot of whining by Josh Lucas) — his struggle to come to terms with being 40, his work problems, his relationship issues, his hatred toward his mother, and so on and on.

None of it matters, though. There's little point to this steaming pile of mess. It's bleak, it's violent, it's gratuitously disgusting, and for what? There's no real moral. We hate each and every one of these cruel, self-absorbed characters (with the possible exception of the other son, an emotionally stunted yet gifted pianist played by Lukas Haas), and when there's no reason to care about the characters in a movie, it feels a lot like a waste of time. The story's heart is coldly and apathetically cut out, and we're forced to watch and call it "art."

Bottom line: There is no need to ever see this movie.

Source


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Join The Conversation
dondon3d dondon3d 8 years
It’s very simple: DEATH IN LOVE is a movie about pretentious assholes, made by pretentious assholes, for pretentious assholes. Boaz Yakin buttered his toast and now he has to eat it again.
Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
I'm with Buzz and Molly. I thought it was a terrible movie, which is sad because the premise had such potential. The director crammed in too many storylines, none of which were developed to their full potential, and threw in too much gratuitous gore. I never walk out of movies, but I actually left for 10 minutes to nab a ticket to see The Deal (which I DO recommend, by the way). I was pissed off that I wasted my time seeing the movie, and I didn't even pay to see it.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
Just by the plot description alone, which sounds far too contrived and ridiculous to put into a movie, I wouldn't ever see this no matter how many people gave it a positive review.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
Is that Marc Anthony?
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
This movie sounds completely horrid. Not even my love for Seth Cohen could drag me to the theater to see something that sounds this bad.
Molly Molly 8 years
I was sitting right next to Buzz during this movie and hated it. Honestly, I found it virtually impossible to watch. It wasn't the only movie I saw at Sundance that mixed sex with violence in a troubling way, the difference is that Downloading Nancy (more on that later) did so in a way that was thought provoking and interesting as opposed to gratuitous. It made me sick to my stomach for days afterwards and I'm not usually one to get queasy. Adam Brody, however, was cute.
tralalala tralalala 8 years
AyyJay, ain't it cool gives everything a good review. It's actually a pretty big joke in the industry, harry knowles loves anyone that sends him a tshirt. As for the hollywood reporter, they're generally hit or miss. I hope this movie is as terrible as buzz makes it out to be, it sounds hilarious
kimretta kimretta 8 years
Or maybe there's less to it than the Hollywood Reporter and Ain't It Cool would lead us to believe. Honestly, every review is just one person's opinion, and I don't think it's fair to say Buzz is wrong for not liking the movie.
AyyJay AyyJay 8 years
Both The Hollywood Reporter and Ain't It Cool News gave DEATH IN LOVE a positive review, so perhaps there's more to this movie than this BuzzSugar review leads us to believe...?
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