Lying DVD Review

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Conceived as a scornful peak into the lives of the idle rich and infamous as spoiled young works-in-progress, Lying is so pointless as to in effect defeat whatever purpose it originally had in mind. First time writer/director M. Blash opts for flaunting impulsively artsy attitude over engaging storytelling, and an array of either thoroughly dislikable or senseless, undercooked characters.

Chloe Sevigny is Megan, a young woman and professed orphan who seems to have the run of a swanky McMansion country estate, spotless in the extreme and without a servant in sight. She’s invited a trio of females up to the house, to frolic daily when not helping her make a movie on the grounds for about an hour. They include two relative strangers she hires as interns, patrician girlfriends played by Jena Malone and Halley Wegryn Gross, and a comparatively older woman (Maya Goldsmith) who is a casual aquaintance Megan befriended at her yoga class back in the city. Also flitting in and out of the narrative on occasion, is Leelee Sobieski as Sarah, yet another barely out of her teens solitary female presiding over a patrician household about a half mile away.

As the story, such as it is, unfolds, we learn intermittently between overly extended vignettes of filthy rich slacker downtime, that Chloe is an impulsive liar for lying’s sake, at one point assuming the identity of her lonely neighbor Sarah without explanation. Likewise without explanation, is the disemobodied singing voice of a woman that taunts them around the McMansion one night as they play dressup in Megan’s presumably dead mother’s clothes. Though the actual taunting is more a case of the director teasing the audience with a pretend morphing into a conventional ghost story where all these silly and shallow women might perhaps meet their demise, no such luck.

When these fragmented purposeless interludes finally move along to the film within a film, we are treated to Chloe’s conception of a dramatic short features on her back lawn. Over which are spread scores of identical naked black baby dolls being handed basketfuls of Twinkies and other junk food snacks, by these health conscious women dressed up in safari outfits. Presumably as commentary about unappetizing imperialist generosity in Africa, get it.

Lying: A bleak excursion into poor little rich girl with entirely too much money turf. And while oddly displaying entirely too little substance, combined disapproval and awe towards unconvincing solo post-teen heads of sumptuous households.

Virgil Films

Rated PG-13

one star

DVD Features: Audio Commentary With Chloe Sevigny, Jena Malone, Director M. Blash And Producer Davi Guy Levy; Featurette: Todd Haynes Interview With M. Blash.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.