When Will I Be Loved

When Will I Be Loved

When Will I Be Loved is not the best film but one that has promise and will showcase some talented people

When Will I Be Loved

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From the very beginnings of the motion picture directors have explored the erotic aspects of human nature. The only thing that has really changed over the century of so that film has been a media for artistic expression is just how much the mainstream audience, religious and governmental boards will permit.

Now, the barriers have pretty much been broken down so the only thing that remains is the degree of quality the feature will posses. With ‘When Will I Be Loved’ there is not much in the way of novelty to be had but the approach ostensibly taken by the screen play and the interpretation of the actors is what sets this production a bit ahead of the rest. Neve Campell is Vera Barrie a little rich girl that enjoys constantly and vengefully defying her wealthy parents. Although they have set her up in a rather nice apartment Vera insists on remaining aloof from her concerned parents. Vera considers she is an artist and even tries to become an assistant to an art professor. Her most recent boyfriend is Ford (Fred Weller) is one of the sleaziest characters ever presented on the screen. He makes arrangements to pimp Vera out to a rich Italian count (Dominic Chianese) planning on pocketing most of the fee for himself. Vera negotiates directly with the Count and ups the ante from $100,000 to a full million. Since Vera’s sexual appetite is extreme to say the least she is fine with the new arrangement especially since it affords her an opportunity to humiliate the Count, hold Ford in line with a promise of sex and generally lie to everyone close to her. This is a drama that is concerned less with arcs of character development that it is with the inner workings of Vera’s mind and how she uses every device at her commands to beguile and control others.

It appears that everyone in When Will I Be Loved is driven by ulterior motives, usually mutually exclusion to the others in their lives. When Will I Be Loved is a story driven by revenge, control and deceit, not your typical love story. Sex is not used to shock but almost to initiate a feeling of revolt in the audience. Vera turns the tables of the typical female victim in a world of male controlled financial resources and uses it to her own nefarious purpose. While there are incredibly well crafted scenes in When Will I Be Loved overall the story line is too thin for a featured length film. This results in long pauses between the developments of the plot and is somewhat grating on the viewer. Once When Will I Be Loved does get on track in the second act the talent of the cast is finally afforded a chance to actually work. Even with these negative aspects the film generally holds together and manages to provide a reasonable showcase for the cast. When Will I Be Loved is centered by the extended scene between Vera and the Count providing only an anchor for the rest of the movie but also the highlight of the dialogue.

Neve Campell burst on to the radar of popular culture with her television role in Party of Five. Augmented by the Scream trilogy her talent was hinted at but never given a medium where it could blossom. Lately, Campbell has been taking risks, becoming involved in less obvious projects in order to grow as an actress and in the case of the recent film The Company, she even explores the production side of movie making. In When Will I Be Loved it is not just a case of her playing against type, this role appears to be a challenge for Campbell. Instead of having her cuteness work against her she incorporates it into her portrayal of Vera. Rather than play the all out vixen Campbell’s girl next door good looks makes Vera more of an enigma. It is refreshing to see a talented young woman take the more difficult roles instead of the quick and easy puerile nonsense that most use as a means to become famous. Anyone that worked as a professional ballerina is certainly used to arduous working schedules and with Ms Campbell the results are wondrous to watch. Dominic Chianese is of course best known for his role in HBO’s the Sopranos but in When Will I Be Loved he shows he has range beyond playing a gangster. His interpretation of the Count is that of a man that is used to getting what he wants, one that lives in a world where everything and everyone has a price. To see him verbally challenged by this slip of a girl becomes an assault on the Count’s self image. Fred Weller does not give any redeeming qualities to Ford and that is great. Ford is out for him own gratification and cares for nothing else. Weller nails this shallow excuse for a human being to near perfection.

James Toback is a quirky director that seems to have a low opinion of his own gender. The first film I ever seen of his was Two Girls and a Guy where the protagonist is a lothario want to be that juggles the affections of two women only to have them met at his apartment. Like that film When Will I Be Loved does not strive for a happy ending, it displays the bleak side of how the sexes relate. The pacing of When Will I Be Loved is uneven. The first act of about 20 minutes takes too long to set up the characters and their inter-relationships. It appears that Toback, like many directors that write their own scripts is too hesitant to edit any of his own words or scenes. Once When Will I Be Loved gets over the setup the pacing is permitted to ramp up a bit. Where the success of When Will I Be Loved lies is in the interaction of the characters, the verbal fencing that is always going on. Toback is a dark director but he does know how to set up a shot. The first scene that introduces the audience to Vera could have been overtly erotic but Toback pulls back creating an almost calm before the storm mood.

The When Will I Be Loved DVD is pretty standard faire, the anamorphic video typically clear with some slight edge enhancements. The flesh tones are usually realistic with some push towards the orange and yellow end of the pallet in some scenes. The Dolby 5.1 audio doesn’t make full use of the surround speakers but considering When Will I Be Loved is a dialogue driven film the use of the rear speakers for some ambience the sound stage is acceptable. There is a little feature about the use of sex in When Will I Be Loved with Campbell and Toback that gives some interesting insight into the production. Not the best film but When Will I Be Loved is one that has promise and will showcase some talented people.

Movie Review of When Will I Be Loved by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com

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