Director: Paul Schrader
At one time or another, we were all a little obsessed with Lindsay Lohan. At twelve years old she was showing off her acting talent in the Parent Trap remake, a film that would launch her career. After Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, and Herbie (all in the early 2000s), it looked like she would become the next pop actress icon. She was naturally gifted, very attractive, and every one wanted a piece of Lindsay, which might have been what caused the problems. In 2007 the trouble began, with multiple DUIs, three stints in rehab, the loss of movie deals, probation, failed drug tests, a Playboy shoot, car accidents, you name it. The train jumped the tracks and Lohan became more joke than star, a fate too often the result that follows Hollywood success as a child. I’d like to say that The Canyons was a redemption of sorts, a movie that reminded us of the talent we once saw. But it’s not, it’s awful, just hideous, and I’m sorry I gave in to curiosity.
For California trust fund baby Christian, life is one long theatrical production, the people around him mere players. But I wouldn’t make him angry if I were you, because your part can be cut in an instant. Christian is “in love” with Tara, his live-in girlfriend. He’s also seeing a girl named Cynthia and invites strangers over to the house to play a role in his sexual games, but that’s all acceptable; though if Tara ever cheats on him, she’s dead. Well, she is cheating on him, and with an actor in Christian’s newest movie project. The kid’s name is Ryan, he’s got a sweet girlfriend at home, but what does it matter. Everyone is sleeping with everyone, no one understands true loyalty, and this is all guaranteed to explode sooner rather than later.
That’s it, that’s the plot of the movie; who’s doing who, when they’re doing it, and how long they plan to keep it going. It’s a muddle of lies and back stabs, with old relationships rearing their ugly heads, bad habits dying hard, and betrayals becoming the norm. I’m sure there are some metaphors buried under the noise, some jabs at young Hollywood, some farce aimed not only at an uncommon way of life but at the movie industry that has ridden its drama all the way to the bank. But you know what kept me from caring to dig too deep? Some of the worst acting you will ever see. Lohan lost whatever spark she had long ago, Funk is not good enough to surpass his unfortunate name, and James Deen is a porn star. No seriously, he’s a real porn star, and it baffles me why someone cast him in a real movie, other than that he has no problem showing his penis on camera. Lindsay gets naked too, if that makes you want to watch this film, though I beg you to reconsider. Both her plastic surgery and this film as a whole are botched beyond repair, becoming unrecognizable failures.
My rating: ☆