Splendor (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

United Kingdom/USA, 1999.  Desperate Pictures, Dragon Pictures, Newmarket Capital Group, Summit Entertainment.  Screenplay by Gregg Araki, additional voice over by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Gregg Araki, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Gregg Araki, .  

The menage-a-trois genre has never produced anything more than mundane, lazy fare, and this latest installment makes no waves in that regard. Gregg Araki’s first purposely pleasant film stars a peppy as a woman who, like most people, goes through a long romantic dry spell and then one night finds herself with more than she can handle. The same evening that she has terrific, anonymous sex with a rocker (), she meets and gets to know a sensitive and romantic writer (); feeling that she can’t pick between the two of them, she decides to date them both, sparking a rivalry between the two men. Eventually, the situation gets ridiculous when the two guys both move into her apartment, and then even more so when she meets a third man () who might be the perfect guy for her. Araki never really explains why these guys, who were interesting and motivated when they met her, become feckless idiots when they start living with her, nor is it any less perplexing that, considering Araki’s dangerous films of the past (Doom Generation or The Living End), not all possibilities are explored in this kinky relationship. Ultimately, the film suffers from being a plain-old boring romantic comedy pretending to be something fresh and sexy. is the only sign of life as Robertson’s incorrigible best friend, though even her character gets annoying after a while.

Toronto International Film Festival:  1999

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