DISCLAIMER: The review has measures of crudeness, and although this has been kept to a minimum, this writer – unfortunately – didn’t see it any other way while describing the film.
What to Expect?
Chick flicks are a hard genre to review for reasons more than one. There are so many restrictions to the genre with regard to its creativity that there seems to be nothing new, other than a chick and her group of “besties” going through life’s motions. Often in such situations, there would be a one night stand thrown in, along with a really good looking guy, and some gratuitous situations that put the glamorous-yet-such-a-good-girl-but-still-looks-unlike-her-character protagonist in a spot too many. In fact, such is the fate of the chick flick that even the trailer reeks of it, threatening to reveal all if not subtly put together. Of course, you’ve got to give it to the directors who have produced smart exceptions of chick flicks that have clicked with the contemporary male clique. Shining examples have been He’s Just not That Into You, a smartly adapted Ken Kwapis movie, and Confessions of a Shopaholic, which hides all of its horrendous cheesiness with the wit, humor and charm the protagonists of the film exude through the film. At such a juncture in life comes the Steven Brill helmed Walk Of Shame.
And that’s a shame, because despite having an attractive star cast that consists of Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs, Seabiscuit), James Marsden (As Cool as I Am, X-Men) and Sarah Wright (Parks and Recreation, Celeste and Jesse Forever), the name Steven Brill behind the roles of writer and director don’t click that well with the potential viewers that know of his filmography (Drillbit Taylor, Without a Paddle). Chances are the audience this is targeted to won’t give a rat’s rear end.
What’s it About?
And an audience is what Megan Miles (Banks), the local reporter at KZLA news wants. Desperately needing a level up, she decides to break off the shackles of local when she lands herself an interview for the job of a reporter at a national news channel. Well, what are the odds? Her boyfriend breaks up with her and she doesn’t get the job. So she goes all crazy with her “besties”, ‘accidentally’ locks herself out of the bar, and ends up meeting this charming bartender Gordon (Marsden), landing up at his place and having a one-night stand with him (oh, shocker!). Eventually waking up a few hours later, she locates her voicemail and finds out the job’s oh-so-suddenly back within her reach, and that she needs to be there for her daily morning show on time to impress her employers to be. Thus begins a war she continues to wage for no reason of hers, baffling not only the crowds in her vicinity, but also the crowds of people that would be watching this film.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Now here’s the problem when you’re watching a chick flick that has a certain formula. You’re literally supposed to drop all expectations of there being even a shred of logic in the movie. ‘Cause had there been some, she wouldn’t have to face the ordeal with the first cab she got and the movie would be over in between the range of 20 and 30 minutes. Therein lies both your problem and your solution. One can either decide to blend into it a motherlode of creativity, or do what the makers have done with Walk Of Shame. But that’s not the only reason the makers should drown in any shame whatsoever. The real reason is the fact that everything almost conveniently doesn’t work for her, almost so that – just for the desire of some unpredictability in the film – you want something to work out for her (and also so you can finally get the hell out of the ordeal of watching it anymore). Now, forgive this writer for sounding biased, but hear’s how I feel the whole narration of the first draft of the screenplay must’ve gone:
Writer: “And she finally gets a taxi, and he’ll take her to the tow-to, and the story ends-“
Exec: (as an interruptive measure) “ORRRRRR….. Orrrrrrrrrrr…… what if the guy in the taxi thinks-“ (looks at everyone like he’s gotten the most Christopher-Nolan-like idea ever) “-that she’s a hooker, and instead transports her to a stripclub called TATTTOOOOO! Huh? HUH?” (flashing a stupid grin like it was the best idea ever, making everyone forcefully grin with him to make the deal work out)
Or in another situation:
Writer: (tired the f**k out now) “And she finally finds a – what – that what you wanted? – BICYCLE? – fine. Bicycle it is. She finds one of them bicycles for boys and travels her a** off toward the news station, because it’s too late for a rendezvous with the people at the tow-to, so-“
Exec: “ORRRRRRRRR…. Orrrrrrrrrrr…… she bumps into the boy who owns the cycle, and he asks her – hold your breath people – to show him her boobs. Eh? Eh? That’s HILARIOUS!” (and he starts laughing at his own joke, once again forcing the rest of the people to reluctantly laugh with him so that the deal continues to be on)
The issue with this is that I’d have readily placed this as a hypothetical excuse had the director any shred of credibility with his pre-Walk Of Shame filmography. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. This, of course, brings me to the conclusion that the whole thing was deliberately written and directed to be what the people now see as what it is. That being said, this writer now has no words to describe how gratuitously frustrating the whole movie’s been founded upon.
Technically, the movie’s no great shakes, really. Yeah, it’s got passable cinematography and camerawork. The editing was generic, and the production design was cookie cutter. The background score was fine.
To Perform, or Not to Perform
Getting back to the topic of shame, let’s spotlight that over to the utterly sorry performances by Banks and Marsden. While Banks tries desperately hard at being funny for the last 3/4th of the film and fails, Marsden sleepwalks through his role. Sarah Wright is shockingly underused, and Gillian Jacobs looks like she got a terribly raw deal with her character and how little she contributes toward the movie’s graph (like it has any). The only actor who seems to have any sort of screen presence is Alphonso McAuley (Breaking In), who is unstoppably funny in every scene he’s in.
Nope. Not a single bit. Let’s be absolutely honest here; this movie is a pile of absolute rubbish. For an actress of the calibre of Elizabeth Banks and the kind of versatility she possesses, if the makers aren’t able to exploit even a percent of the talent she holds, then there’s a lot that’s wrong with their script. This movie (?) fails on all counts: it’s too flat to be a chick flick, too mellow to be a general R-Rated comedy, and too disgustingly gratuitous to be a date movie. And if, after all of this, you’ve still decided to check the movie out, be warned. The title of the film will be your life post watching the movie, as you make your way from the theater to a mode of transport you choose to go back home.
And I’m not even kidding.
Star Rating: 0.5 / 5
PS: Best Coast’s Let’s Go Home kicks in as the credits roll. Had the track played anywhere in the beginning of the film, the viewers would have been duly warned. Alas, for things never seem to happen our way when the World comes crashing upon us.