Monday, 15 February 2016

Finding Bliss (4 Stars)

After watching "Heavens Fall" three days ago, this is the second film I've watched starring Leelee Sobieski. I'm not watching them in order. Not at the moment anyway. I might put the rest of the films in order. I'll decide as I go along. Maybe I should number them, in case I decide to take the ordering seriously.

This is the 26th film starring Leelee Sobieski, made in 2009.

There, I did my duty. I've also added the number of "Heavens Fall" to the end of my post. The more I think about it, the more I want to watch the remaining films in order, though not necessarily back to back.

This is a romantic comedy that follows the standard rules of the genre.
  1. Girl meets boy.
  2. The girl doesn't like the boy, but as time goes on she grows to like him.
  3. Girl and boy go different ways. (Sometimes geographically, sometimes she returns to an ex-lover).
  4. Girl realises she can't live without the boy and returns to him.
I realise that a lot of people don't like romantic comedies, but I do, as long as they're well made. "Finding Bliss" is definitely a well-crafted film, though it's set against a sleazy background.

Jody Balaban (Leelee Sobieski) dreams of becoming a big film director. She finishes film school top of her class. She moves to Hollywood with a semi-autobiographical screenplay in her hand, hoping that after finding acceptance as a screenwriter she will be allowed to direct. It's not that easy. Hollywood is full of young people looking to make it big, and nobody even reads her screenplay.

Jody replies to a newspaper ad looking for a film editor, not realising that it's a studio that makes porn films. She decides to take the job, because she can use the studio's equipment to make her own film after hours. The porn actors from the studio appear in her film without payment because they all want to break through into serious acting.

So who is the love interest? It's the studio's director, Jeff Drake, played by Matt Davis, best known for playing the part of Alaric Saltzman in "The Vampire Diaries". He studied at the same film school as Jody. He too came to Hollywood wanting to become a big director, but he chose to make porn films because it paid the bills. Jody is disgusted with Jeff because he's totally disillusioned, saying that art is worthless but porn makes money. As the film continues the relationship moves through the four stages named above.

This is a remarkable film with excellent performances by the main actors. It's full of clich├ęs, but that's what is to be expected from romantic comedies.

They say that a picture speaks louder than a thousand words, so here are more than 12,000 words worth of screenshots of the Magnificent Leelee, all taken from the film.

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