Starring: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh
Directed by: David Slade
Running Time: 104 minutes
I heard a lot of good things about this movie and the fact that Ellen Page is in it. I don't know what the big deal is over her, but whatever. So, I skimmed the summary, decided it sounded like something I might enjoy, and dove right into it online.
Hayley Stark is a mature 14 year old girl who has been chatting to a 32 year old photographer by the name of Jeff Kohlver online for three weeks. They discuss interests, hobbies, music, and the usual sort of things as well as flirt with each other. The story begins with one of these chats when Hayley decides to meet Jeff in person at the Nighthawks coffee shop. They continue to learn about each other and flirt a little more, despite their age differences. As the day continues on, Hayley persuades Jeff to take her to his place to listen to music. The story picks up when things become a little hazy for Jeff and he passes out. He soon wakes up tied to a chair and greeted by a different side to this mature teen girl.
I've heard some controversies about this movie, albeit minor ones, as well as some small spoilers that probably aren't real spoilers. I also read that this was based off a real story from a case in Japan. The story's really fuzzy, but not extremely interesting as you would think. Anyway, the story for this movie was interesting, but very open. So, I made sure to keep an open mind when I was watching this and it led to having very neutral thoughts toward it until the credits.
The characters were believable...most times, but it wasn't the best of acting or worse. The bad thing about them is that I didn't feel attached to anyone, therefore I didn't feel sympathy or anger towards anyone. I nearly shrugged everyone off and didn't really care what consequences came to any of the characters. The cinematography was alright. The sets were interesting with it's block coloring, but nothing that stood out just like the characters. The story was interesting and had a good message for people who chat online, but it wasn't very impactful. Although, I'll commend it for trying to step out of the box.
With that in mind, I didn't completely understand the hype...maybe for a split second, but the idea quickly slipped from my mind as quickly as it came. It didn't feel like a waste of time, but it's just one of those movies you don't mind watching if there's nothing else to watch. I simply felt very indifferent towards it, so I won't encourage or discourage anyone from seeing it.
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