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Love Object (2003).

October 19, 2007

The Scoop:
This lovely little confection is inept enough to be laughable, if only it didn’t wind up being so distasteful.

Desmond Harrington plays Kenneth, a repressed schlub who is also a superstar tech writer who is rising fast in his company, a publisher that provides how-to manuals for everything from computer software to carpentry and first aid (don’t ask). After his oversexed coworkers introduce him to a company that sells lifelike sex dolls online, Kenneth becomes infatuated with new assistant Lisa (Melissa Sagemiller). So, naturally, he tries to make the doll over in Lisa’s image, only to become horribly obssessed. From there, things slide downhill quickly.

What’s wrong with this movie? What isn’t?

Writer/director Robert Parigi is clearly overmatched by the whole moviemaking endeavor. The acting is horrible (Sagemiller is the only actor to register a pulse). Rip Torn and Udo Kier phone in their ridiculously overbilled bit parts. The dialogue is woodenly implausible. The plot is based on a series of improbabilities and non sequiturs. The art direction looks like it came from the dollar store. And then there’s the ending, which is misogynistic at best, and utterly nihilistic at worst.

What starts out looking like humorously cheesy sex farce turns on a dime into an “American Psycho”/”Vertigo” knockoff. It’s not a fun combination, and enough to lose its audience along the way — especially since it isn’t a good enough production to carry any of those other films’ jockstraps.

Best Bit:
The argument with the doll’s tech support line: “Just tell me how to turn it off!”

Side Note:
Harrington and Sagemiller did almost all their own stunts, and it definitely shows in the tepid action onscreen. Sagemiller even sustained a couple injuries.

Companion Viewing:
“Vertigo” (1958), “American Psycho” (2000), “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” (1986).

The official site of the French release.
Beyond Hollywood.

Take a Look:
The trailer, which makes it look a lot more competent than it actually is:

The only other clip available on YouTube is this, which comes from a user’s collection of film clips in which women get hit on the head and knocked unconscious. Classy. And, somehow, entirely appropriate for this movie:

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