The Last Time
by Tony Medley
This is aptly
titled because it’s probably the last time I will view a film written
and directed by a devotee of David Mamet, Which is what Michael Caleo
claims. This is definitely in Mamet’s mold because both the story and
the characters are totally divorced from reality.
Mamet made an
unrealistic play, made into a movie, called Glengarry Glen Ross,
about salesmen, showing them to be profane jerks. It was pretty
unrealistic, in terms of real life, but it was successful. Showing what
a wordsmith he is, every other word Mamet had his characters utter
began with “f.”
Caleo apes this in
this film. All the salesmen, well, actually, everyone, even the women,
use the “f” word as often as they use “the.” That’s bad enough, but the
characters he creates and the world he creates for them to inhabit are
sheer fantasy. People just don’t act like this and the business world
doesn’t exist like this. If this were intended as farce, that would be
one thing. But Caleo apparently thinks this is the way the world is.
Keaton) is a rude, foul-talking top salesman for Bineview. He treats his
fellow salesmen with disdain. At the beginning of the film he is
introduced to a new salesman, the naïve Jamie (Brendan Fraser) and is
instructed to show him the ropes. Jamie introduces Ted to his fiancé,
Belisa (Amber Valletta), with whom Ted begins an affair.
This entire movie
is so unrealistic that I squirmed watching every scene. Ted is
constantly chewing gum, even when he meets his clients. The dialogue is
enough to cause violent retching. Example, Belisa asks Ted, “How did you
end up at Bineview?”
“Sometimes you end up somewhere that you wouldn’t have thought in a
thousand years.” What? Oh, well, that satisfied Belisa.
Later, Ted, who is
pictured as a selfish, rude jackass throughout the entire film, is told
by Belisa that she’s going to ask Jamie to move out tonight. “Is that
what you want?” Ted asks solicitously. Yeah, sure.
The only times we
see the other salesmen they are all standing around together in the
office corridor talking, gossiping really, like a bunch of fishwives. Apparently they never go out
to sell. One says about a competitor, “He used to screw his competitor’s
secretaries just to get information.” Ohmygosh!
in this film not only uses the “f” word constantly, they all smoke.
If this isn’t the
most irritating film I’ve seen this year, it’s close. No, I take that
back. This is the most irritating film I've seen all year.
April 18, 2007