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Garden Party DVD Review

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Day in Life Drama about L.A. Rebels Arrives on DVD


When April (Willa Holland) catches her pervert stepfather peeping at her in the shower again, she decides its time for her to leave home. However, the spunky runaway soon discovers that it's hard for a 15 year-old girl to find a decent-paying job that doesn't involve taking off her clothes or worse. Although she can make $450 per session posing for nude photos, she'd prefer to survive without relying on the sex industry.

Consequently, wandering the streets leads April to the sleazy side of Sunset Boulevard where her path crosses with other rudderless rebels without a clue pursuing a bohemian lifestyle. For instance, there's Sammy (Erik Smith), a just off the bus, struggling street musician hoping for superstardom, and Todd (Richard Gunn), a porn-addicted artist.

He finds himself like putty in the hands of powerful realtor Sally St. Clair (Vinessa Shaw), a seductive temptress with a knack for spotting lost souls. And then we have, Nathan, (Alexander Cendese), an aspiring dancer from Nebraska, makes ends meet as Sally's assistant, helping his devious boss implement her kinky agenda.

A seemingly endless stream of such morally-compromised characters dominates the screen in Garden Party. These unfortunate individuals share a certain desperation which suggests that present-day L.A. is a place where far more dreams are being dashed than realized.

Written and directed by Jason Freeland, the film paints a convincing, if dizzying picture of Tinseltown as a dangerous den of iniquity that eats away at one's optimism until you capitulate and become just as jaded and hardened as the vultures who have made a career out of preying on the na´ve and needy. Not exactly a feelgood drama, but nonetheless an eye-opening peek at the ugly underbelly of a merciless metropolis that could care less about the fate of the least of its brethren.

Very Good (3 stars)
Unrated
Running time: 88 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment

To see a trailer of Garden Party, visit: http://www.gardenpartymovie.com/gardenparty.html#trailer

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