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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Slightly Single In L.A. DVD Review
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Slightly Single In L.A. stars Lacey Chabert as Dale, a woman who

swears off romantic relationships in Los Angeles because she wants something

real. Her longtime friend, rock star Zach (Kip Pardue), is clearly interested

in her, and she’s interested in him. And though everyone can see that they

should be together, it takes more than eighty minutes for it to happen. That’s

typical romantic comedy stuff, and it’s to be expected, but this film holds no

surprises whatsoever. It’s completely predictable and simplistic.








I am not automatically

against narration, as many people are, because it's been used really well in

a number of films. This is not one of those films. The film opens with voice

over by Dale: “I always forget stuff when

I walk out the door. If any of my ex-boyfriends had picked up on that, perhaps

things would have turned out differently
.” So then we see a montage of her

returning to her apartment to pick up whatever it was she forgot, only to find

her current boyfriend in bed with another person. What – the moment she leaves,

someone sneaks into her home to screw her boyfriend? And this was before she

moved to Los Angeles. Also, though her forgetting things happens several other

times in the film, it’s never anything important, never anything crucial to the

story. And she always remembers the item in just a few seconds (in fact,

another character counts the seconds before she returns) – so again, were her

ex-boyfriends’ lovers waiting patiently in the closet for her to leave? This is

a detail that is harped on, but is ultimately irrelevant.








Now in L.A. she is dating

J.P., who wants her to suck his toes, and who is also clearly seeing other

people. So not much has changed. Why does everyone cheat on her? The movie

seems to take the stance that most guys are awful. But if that happened to you,

after a while wouldn’t you question yourself, and wonder if perhaps there is

something about you that drives men to seek affection elsewhere?  There is no such self-searching in this film.








Perhaps that is because

all of the characters Dale surrounds herself with are shallow and obnoxious.

We’re introduced to each of them, and their names appear on the screen: Seven

(her gay roommate), Becca (who right away reads on the internet that J.P. has

impregnated a model, which is convenient), Hallie (who at one point is

described as a “fame whore”), and

Jill (the most irritating of them all). This is one of those movies about Los

Angeles where you hate basically everyone, where the worst qualities of people

in this city are exaggerated. (In the DVD’s special features, writer/director

Christie Will says, “I quite love Los

Angeles, so I wanted to do kind of  a ‘I

Love LA’ type of movie
.” That is shocking, because everything about this

film says, “I fucking hate this city.”)








There are, however, some funny moments, some good

moments. The first laugh for me comes during Jill’s introduction. She announces

that she’s getting married, and we see a flashback of the supposed proposal.

Chris Kattan plays Drew, the man that Jill bullies into getting engaged to her.

Drew is one of the few likeable characters in the film. Chris Kattan is the

most refreshing presence in the movie, and I wanted a lot more of him.








I also really like the joke about street cleaning. Becca

is crying because there is a boot on her car. She whines, “Every Monday I have to get up and move my car before nine a.m. Nine

a.m.!
” That’s actually a wonderful moment, and Carly Schroeder as Becca

does a great job with it.








The film touches upon some of the same elements as L.A. Story, such as restaurant patrons

giving difficult, specific orders, and driving a short distance rather than

walking. But L.A. Story handles this

stuff much better.








One of the big problems

with the film is the narration. There really is no subtext in this film.

Everything is text. Even when Zach tells Dale he loves her, we have a whole

seen of narration by Dale in which she realizes she loves him too and says she

wants one more chance. Geez, enough already! But the biggest problem is that

you just don’t care about any of these people. You know from the first scenes

that Dale and Zach will end up together, but neither of them is really fleshed

out as a character. I don’t think it’s the fault of the actors, for I’ve seen

both Lacey Chabert and Kip Pardue turn in quite good performances in other

films (Kip Pardue was excellent in The

Rules Of Attraction
, for example). It’s the script. In Zach’s first scene

he tells Dale he’s going out on tour, but then that tour keeps conveniently

getting pushed back. That itself is odd, because a tour is many dates. One or

two dates getting changed is believable. But a whole tour? And if he’s never

going on tour (he never does), then why mention that he’s going on tour in his

first scene?








And at the end, there is

something that is so ridiculous that I waited for an explanation. None came.

What happens is a limousine pulls up outside a church, and two very young girls

step out for their first communion. No parents, no other adults or even

children in sight. Then Dale’s friends get in the limo, and it drives away.

What?  Seriously, what?








Slightly Single In L.A. was written and directed by Christie Will.

The DVD’s special feature, “Meet The Director,” is a thirteen-minute interview

with her. In that interview, she says this is her first screenplay, and her

first time directing. Also, we learn the film is loosely based on her life, and

on people she’s known. She even knew someone named Seven. She says that someone

wisely told her to write what you know. Well, sure, but someone else should

have told her that it still needs to be a good story with interesting

characters.








Slightly Single In L.A. is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray and

DVD on September 3, 2013 through Well Go USA Entertainment.










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