During the pandemic there have been many things that have happened that have changed our lives for the worst or changed them in ways we would never have expected. There have been losses, births and new opportunities as well as the parting of old ones. Like a Dirty French Novel is an anthology movie which aims to put together a series of stories in what it describes as a Grindhouse style, but unfortunately it seems that it’s gone for student arthouse rather than adult Grindhouse.
There are many characters in the movie, each with their own stories and very little of which makes any sense. The most extravagantly named character is Filmore Demille (Mike Cuenca), a man who ends up in some kind of phone relationship which quickly diverts into a sexual nature.
However, to tell you any more about that story would spoil it and also require a rather lengthy explanation. It’s also hard to tell whether the characters or the actors would understand it themselves.
When audiences think of Grindhouse they clearly think of the collaboration of Tarantino/Rodriguez on Death Proof and Planet Terror. So, going in there are certainly these kinds of expectations and the opening message tells the audience that the stories were inspired and were shot during 2020.
This may mean to an audience that they would expect some kind of ultra-violence, maybe a little nudity and perhaps some outlandish stunts. The problem seems to be that in order to pull in an audience, it may have misled them because it bares very little resemblance to the genre.
It would have been fine if the stories in Like a Dirty French Novel were interesting and if the characters were fun to watch and if the acting was at least passable. As it turns out, Like a Dirty French Novel has none of these elements and sadly at a run time of just under eighty minutes, it makes it feel much longer.
Like a Dirty French Novel has a hastily slapped together script with a poor cast and confusing dialogue, and sadly it screams for attention but barely warrants a glance.
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