Release Date: March 1st, 2006 (IFC Center) by IFC Films
The Cast: Abdellatif Kechiche, Robin Wright Penn, Sandra oh, Josh Hamilton, Remy K. Selma, Elodie Bouchez.
Directed by Jeff Stanzler.
BASIC PREMISE: When Phoebe (Penn), an accountant at a TV network, decides to help an Arabic cab driver named Ashade (Kechiche), their cultures collide.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Sorry, Haters starts off promising as Phoebe meets Ashade and offers legal services to help his brother get freed from a Guantánamo jail. From that point on, the plot has very little to hold your interest, even during the 83-minute running time. Neither Ashade or Phoebe seem remotely likeable or believable. Even the actors don’t help much—what ever happened to the charming Robin Wright Penn from The Princess Bride ? Sandra Oh tries her best to elevate the dreadful script by adding some energy and good comic timing to her character as a friend from work, but her scenes are too brief. Even though this film has an indie-quality to it because it’s shot on digital with a very low budget, the script simply doesn’t having that indie, down-to-earth feeling to it. The conflict is there, somewhere, but it’s mostly discussed or hinted at rather than shown on-screen. When it is shown on screen, it feels too unnatural and forced—especially during the shocking, twisted third act which has not one single moment of suspense.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s difficult to watch this film without thinking about how the world has changed its views toward Arabs after September 11. Writer/director Jeff Stanzler also has other messages up his sleeve, some of them subtle, some of them not—it’s impossible to list them without hinting at any of the spoilers. However, keep in mind, most of the messages will leave you rather depressed, cold, and even confused rather than enlightened.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Barely any plot, dull characters, and a very weak script.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 5
IN A NUTSHELL: A dull, depressing, and amateurish film with a very weak script. If you want a good movie about a post-9/11 culture class, just go rent Yes
at your local Blockbuster.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Never
The "S" Menu