on January 1, 2003
The current twenty-something generation's sexual culture is explored in this film in a way that reveals the relational highs and lows of dating culture and the consequences of sexual activity in the night club context. I loved the conversations that I have had with friends when we have watched this movie. It helps lift some of the taboos and allowed for frank sexual discussion. It is also a wonderfully shot movie. Every scene is well planned. Unfortunately, one of the less strong strands of the story becomes the focus, and the real loving relationship is lost in its aftermath.
on July 21, 2003
Body Shots is an interesting premise. Mix reality tv (at the the time) like the Real World, fill it with hot young actors, make sure there is a movie plot, make sure there is a lot of sex, and watch it fly. Well unfortunatly thats what they did.
Body Shots is about a group of eight adults, four men and four women who all have different opinions on sex. It's Friday so they all decide to go clubing. The next day all of them got some, but unfortunatly some not in the way they wanted. After the initial club scene where they got drunk they wake up the next day. The latter part of the film ends up focused on the incidenet between Jerry O'Connell and Tara Reid as she claims he raped her. However they were both so drunk they don't remember what happened.
Overall the movie is Ok at best. The only really redeeming value is that we got to see some of Tara Reids Naughty Parts. Past that the movie features a lame been there done that plot, weak sex, poor acting, and overall not what was expected from what seemed like an interesting idea.
on November 11, 2002
All I can say after having watched this movie is, "What the heck?..."
So a group of guys goes out to a bar to meet up with a group of girls. We all know what that's like, right? And let's be honest here, more than a few of us know what's on the mind at this point. And, in fact, we're right: People - *gasp* - have sex.
Then the tricky twists arise. Well, too many for there to be any real resolution to any of them.
By far, of course, the "date rape" plot line is the most powerful and socially relevant. Did she consent? Was she even capable of consenting? Or, to the contrary, did she actually scream "NO" repeatedly?
Now THAT would have been a good plot line to follow. We're interested. We see the conflicting points of view, and it's fascinating to know that there is NO other witness, and it's his word against hers. While the movie does take this plot line adequately through -- including to its less-than-satisfying conclusion -- it muddies up the progression of this situation with a HUGE slew of otherwise irrelevant and horribly uninteresting sex twists.
Of the four or five couples who end up having sex that night, we really do only really care about the one, right? I mean, in terms of plot line develpment, I don't think we really care about the particular kinky perversions of Batgirl. And yet we're told about it anyway.
All in all, it seems to me that this movie spends too much of its time trying to work "sex sex sex" into its reels -- probably in an effort to draw viewers who really don't care about the meaty date rape plot line -- and the end product suffers as a result.
on September 3, 2002
This film flounders by taking the serious subject of date rape and trying to mix it with the twenty-something licentious overdrive of "Sex in the City". Written by David McKenna ("American History X") and directed by Michael Cristofer ("Original Sin"), this screenplay has potential that is dissipated by trying to make it too sexy and hip.
The story starts with Sara (Tara Reid) coming to a friend's house in the middle of the night in her nightgown with face bloodied, claiming to have been raped by her date. We then shift to the events that preceded the alleged attack, as we meet our eight yuppies whose raging hormones are searching desperately for release by means of drunken stupefaction. Interspersed, we receive asides from each of the characters giving their honest and somewhat immature views on sex and relationships. This part of the film is utterly vapid and self indulgent, full of gratuitous sex and nudity, seemingly just to impress us with how shallow and hedonistic these young people are.
After a night of wild and lascivious dancing, everyone gets blotto and hooks up with someone for meaningless flesh pounding. Sara, who has been involved all night in dancing that can only be described as coital pantomime with pro football player Mike Penorisi (Jerry O'Connell), decides to take him home in a taxi after he finishes beating up a guy who bumped into him in the bar.
Fast forward to the present and each participant gives a flashback description of the events, Sara describing being forcibly raped despite her protestations, and Mike describing an nymphomaniac using him to get revenge on her ex-boyfriend and who became infuriated when he called her by the wrong name. The evidence supports both views, with Sara's behavior before the incident clearly provocative and slutty, and her emotional and physical state afterward extremely sincere and convincing. The picture is further clouded by the fact that both were extremely drunk and the reliability of their statements is questionable.
The rape storyline is fertile ground for an excellent drama, but Cristofer draws away abruptly just when the story gets interesting and returns to soliloquies of the various characters giving their reflections on the events that just occurred. The film thus leaves the viewer extremely unsatisfied with the outcome.
Ultimately, the film seems to be trying to make the point that this event was inevitable given the dangerous and irresponsible behavior of the characters. Cristofer tries to infuse the story with the moral that loving relationships are better than promiscuous drunken encounters, but his final scenes are too abstruse to make the argument with any power.
This is a good showcase for some young talent. Most impressive is Tara Reid, best known as Vicki in "American Pie". Reid gives a gut wrenching performance, sexy when she needs to be and utterly devastated after the incident. Sean Patrick Flannery is also good as the nice guy who feels that he has to act like a sex obsessed jerk to fit in with his friends. He has a couple scenes with Amanda Peet that are heartfelt and touching. Peet gives a surprisingly good dramatic performance that is a far cry from the ditzy parts for which she is getting known lately. Jerry O'Connell does well as the jock with the untamed libido. Ron Livingston is outrageously abrasive and droll as Trent, the obnoxious dweeb with an overblown sense of self importance.
This could have been a good film, but it takes the wrong approach to a serious contemporary subject. I rated it a 6/10. While the moral of the story is constructive, the presentation overemphasizes the very behavior it is criticizing, and neglects the true human interest story by skirting the serious issue. Some respectable acting performances, especially by Tara Reid, are reduced by the film's superficiality.
on June 24, 2002
BODY SHOTS is the kind of film that, probably, speaks to a generation. The real question is, "What is it saying?"
A group of four males and four females (Amanda Peet, Tara Reid, Sean Patrick Flannery, Jerry O'Connell, and more) get together for a night on the town, and, as is rarely the case in reality, all of them manage to 'hook up' (think 'sexually' here) in one way or another, but to what end?
One part art film, one part twentysomething film, one part point of view testimonial film ... BODY SHOTS never answers any of the questions it poses, nor does it honestly attempt to. None of the principals appear to be even remotely committed to a serious exploration of relationships, and the characters randomly speak out of scenes directly to the audience ... trying to expound a view on relationships, intimacy, and ... well, just about everything.
What's overwhelmingly disappointing is that four-fifths of the way into the film, an actual story develops, but the director and screenwriter have spent so much time exploring the nature of sex that there's little believability in such an 'engineered' situation. And, even the corner the filmmakers paint themselves into receives no resolution.
Without one unifying voice to tie the disparate threads together, BODY SHOTS sadly ends up being about little more than 103 minutes of wasted film ... with some gratuitous sex throw in to keep you interested.
on June 14, 2002
Body Shots is a movie shown in sequences about a group of good looking 20 something year olds and focuses on their sex lives. The main storyline or focus seems to be on whether or not one of the women, Sara, played excellently by Tara Reid was a victim of date rape or not, as is made for the viewers to decide as both her, and her date's/attacker's versions are each told. Jerry O'Connell plays her date/attacker. It also shows the selfishness or me me me attitude that seems to be prevolent these days, when after Sara stumbles into her friends apartment late one night, bruised, cut, and looking as if she was attacked, claiming that she was just raped, her best friend doesn't seem all that concerned, and more interested in her own affairs. Tara's performance is outstanding, especially the scene in the hospital, in which she painfully and shakingly, describes her version of what happened to the authorities. It is a very moving scene, especially when you start to see her bottom lip start to quiver as she is describing the events, you can tell that it really shook her up. Had this been someone like Hillary Swank, or some other Hollywood "favourite", they would have garnered rave reviews for that scene alone, let alone the whole performance, but because it was Tara Reid, who for some unknown and totally unfair reason seems to be a media scratching post, and never gets the credit or praise she deserves, an excellent performance is not only not acknowledged, but by some is even criticized. What movie were they watching? Or were they just on a personal vendetta? The conclusion of the movie, Hell, what conclusion?, is the reason for only 3 stars. It leaves the viewers to make up their own minds on what did or did not happen, and it would have been much better if they would have been courageous enough to decide on a conclusion one way or another, preferably, with all the violence against women these days, with the conclusion that it was date rape and give the scum bag what he deserved. There were other decent performances, especially by Amanda Peet and even by Jerry O'Connell who plays the conceited football player who was Tara Reid's "date". A more raunchy or explicit version of the "He says, She says" storyline, that leaves viewers the task of making up their own minds. So if you want to see or buy it...you decide.
on December 31, 2001
I rented this movie because It was from the screenwriter of American History X. American History X was one of the deepest, shocking, and terrifyingly relistic movies I've ever seen. I was looking into this film for a bit, but I never did rent it, one night though, I did, and went into it with very high hopes. However, right off at the first five minutes of the film, I could tell that this was not going to be half as good. When the film ended, I was extremely dissapointed. From someone who wrote American History X and went on to write this, I can't believe it. Not only does this film pale in comparision, it's altogether sloppily made, full of shallow situations and undeveloped characters. I still can't believe this screenwriter. American History X was one of those films that stays with the viewer for many days after viewing. This film is so forgetable that I don't even remember the character's names.
The movie dosen't exactly start out very smoothly either. In the opening scene, we are shown a girl's aftermath after she got raped. The movie then abandons this for the next 45 minutes and goes to the night before, breifly introducing the characters. When I say breifly, I mean it. We only get segments of each of the characters here, there is barely, if any character development. American History X built up it's characters extremely well. Here, there is pretty much nothing behind any of the characters. We only get to hear their inane comments about sex, and that's about it.
The movie then shows the characters going to a club. There's about four girls, four guys, etc. They all meet, seem to know each other, and one of the girls goes with the craziest guy, and (gasp!) she gets raped. However, the film drags so much and barely gets into any of the characters, that it doesn't even give a sense of reality to the viewer. You can't feel sorry for undeveloped characters. The movie then goes on to a he said she said portrayal, leaving the viewer to want to turn the movie off.
I still can't believe this is from the screenwriter of American History X. The fact that this is his follow up to it is so underwhelming, that it's unbelieved. He even knows he's running into trouble with the script, so he puts in things to try and keep the viewer's attention. He includes a fist fight between one of the characters and a bouncer over a pushing dispute, and he even includes unneeded sex scenes including handcuffs and other various "tie ups". This feels unneeded and only bogs the pace of the film from actually having a main plot. The end result is a bunch of segments not leading to anything at all. Just a waste of time and a disapointed viewer.
This isn't the worst movie I've ever seen, so i'll give it two stars, however, it is probaly the most underwhelming movie i've ever seen. From a really promsing screenwriter too, it's such a shame..........
on February 28, 2001
"Body Shots" pretends to be telling us that there is No Hope in finding love in the "20 Somethings" dating world. Every Character at One Stage tells us how impossible that is. (a couple of characters tell us more than once) But at the Same time the film shows Sean Patrick Flannery (Rick) and Amanda Peet (Jane) get together with a Definite Case of Love at First Sight. And Being that the Performances are so Spot On.. It's Utterly Believeable.
The Entire Cast is made up of Actors and Actresses who are going to go far. Flannery (from "Suicide Kings" and "Boondock Saints") and Peet (from "The Whole Nine Yards" and "Whipped") lead the film with to Very Genuine, Heartfelt Performances. Tara Reid (from "American Pie" and "The Big Lebowski") and Jerry O'Connell (from "Mission to Mars" and "Stand By Me") Lead the Supporting Cast and Take on the Toughest Roles in the Film (plus their careers) and Ron Livingston (from "Office Space" and "Swingers") takes on the Comic Relief and thankfully, lightens the mood in the tough spots.
See it for the Realism, the Honesty of the Wonderful Performances and for the Hard hitting story that needed to be told in this Brutal, Honest Fashion. As it makes us question, how would I perform under similar circumstances.
on November 18, 2000
To my best understanding, and my friends', this movie suffers from a serious identity crisis. It hits off as a light, modern story about singles life in our times. It shows two sides, men and women, talking mostly about sex. This we could live with if it wasn't for the shallow monologues (most of the time it's characters telling us what their believes are, like we care) and the far-fetched reality. The movie portrays the lives of eight "undetermined" individuals. The scenes are over being 'bizarre in a good way', they are just bad. Then in the middle of the movie there's like a switch to seriousness. There's a rape story. We see different points of view. Very usual. Nothing exciting or interesting in the way it is shown. Was there something I liked? Not really. Maybe I didn't get this movie, but 4 other friends of mine didn't either. And we usually do get movies. It's a very unsuccessful attempt to create a casual-hot flowing movie, and it fails completely. It's just a shame that some of the actors there have been wasted in this mediocre film. Too bad most of the girls had to take off their clothes for nothing.
on March 29, 2000
I'm totally biased because I just adore Sean Patrick Flanery, but that said I simply cannot figure out what this movie was meant to do. Is it hip, fresh, and fun? or is it massively depressing and meant to make twentysomethings cringe at themselves and their lifestyles?
I've spent (way too much) time thinking about it, and I'm just now figuring out some parts of the movie. For instance: the very last scene in the movie, I totally didn't understand until I realized that it was another victim of the bizarre flashback/flashforward/flashsideways direction. As for the whole date rape part of the movie...I'm going to have to stop caring about it and trying to take sides. In both sides of the story--the he said, the she said parts--you can see where something could be misconstrued or how one moderate-sized mistake could snowball so quickly into a massive mistake.
Positive sides? Well, Ron Livingston was a riot playing a totally irritating guy who thinks nothing of sleeping in the gutter for a few hours, literally. He was a little cartoonish at times, but in the end, I think the movie needed his outlandish character. Otherwise it would've turned into an R-rated Lifetime movie.
Final answer? If you like Ron Livingston, Sean Patrick Flanery, Amanda Peet, Brad Rowe, or Tara Reid, you could possibly enjoy parts of this movie. If you're looking for a movie about twentysomethings in the 90s, please look elsewhere! If this defines my generation, I'd like to turn in my Gen X membership card!