Through a series of women, all very likable, we come to understand what kind of person James is and why he may never be happy.
James (Shiloh Fernandez) | Katie (Ella Rae Peck) | Monica (Paten Hughes) | Sarah (Layla Khosh) | Natalie (Christine Evangelista) | Anna (Cassandra Freeman) | Lorraine (Helen Rogers) | Lily (Stella Maeve) | Rapunzel (Addison Timlin)
Characters & Storyline
James is looking for that special something, something so specific he doesn’t even know if he may find it. Yet, so it seems, he has been looking for it everywhere. In bars, in clubs, from friends and flings he had in the past, as well as girls he has been seeing for years. But as for what that specific thing is, we will never know.
Katie – Works at MoMA and wants to become a curator. James says he can’t keep seeing her because he is looking for something specific that she is not.
Monica – Some girl he meets at a club and he would love to have sex with, but she forgets her keys and the only place she has to go is a friend’s house. One he can’t come to just to get off.
Sarah – Someone who seems like an old friend who knows James’ history and after being rejected by this artsy guy she likes, she sees if maybe she should mess around with James.
Natalie – An actress, without fame, and writer, who, like James, is into being a creative being. She knows he is a bit of a man whore, but still enjoys her time with him.
Anna – The sole Black woman, or women of color, in the film and she is an actual actress and is perhaps the beginning of the end. She has a boyfriend but goes back and forth between being insulted that James fell for her flirtation and advances yet sometimes happy he did. It’s complicated.
Lorraine – During Sarah’s storyline Lorraine is mentioned as an ex and when we meet her you can kind of understand why. This singer is very testy and is in no mood for James’ nonsense. Yet, there is some type of love between them. She, alongside Lily, seem like the one who has that specific thing James is looking for.
Lily – Fresh from Europe, she comes to James to tell him she found someone. A bit of devastating news for James thought things were good. Problem is, while she cut her roster to just him, he was still seeing other people and he never decided to go down the route of monotony. Leaving her a free agent as she traversed Europe and found someone who would love her in France.
Rapunzel – Another girl whose name we saw before, but don’t meet till later and it seems all she is, is a good time girl. Good for coke, liquor, and sex. However, by the end of the film, it seems James wants more but has either lost it or can’t find it.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
There is some nudity but only the usual shots of women’s breasts, behind, and I think James’ behind once. This isn’t on the level of Love… sadly.
A part of me was left wondering if James was homeless so he just slept around for a place to lay his head. We never see his place once, he just notes it is far away when asked about it.
With The Exception of Two, All The Women Were Enjoyable
In the movie, we are introduced to the 8 women above. Many of which it seems James has been seeing for awhile and others we meet them as he does. For nearly all of them, they present the type of characters you would love to see James have an up and down relationship. Heck, just knowing how they met, how they came to the point where he is saying he can’t see them anymore, or they him, you really wish was done. For on top of a few of these girls being recognizable faces from other media, one being from The Magicians and the other from Californication, there is this certain level of heartbreak from one or both sides you just want to drown in. For a lack of a better way of putting it.
Each Woman Has a Life
The women are such an important aspect of the film, they deserve a 2nd topic dedicated to their awesomeness. For while there isn’t a real amount of diversity look wise, when it comes to personality and interest they seem very different. You have one which is in the process of becoming a singer, another an actress, one who just came off from traveling Europe, another which is in pursuit of being a curator, and they all seem like they have lives outside of their interactions with James.
It’s as if, like in real life, they are just cutting out a piece of their precious time to spend quality time with this guy they enjoy but, ultimately, know it isn’t that serious about them. Which, after Katie sets the tone, and Lily takes us home, leads to perhaps the only meaning you can find in the film. That if you aren’t careful, the one who would be willing to love you, spend more than a drunken night with you, will eventually walk away. For while fun nights and brunch is nice, it’s not a relationship.
I’m Not 100% Sure What This Movie Was Trying To Say or Be
Each woman has maybe 10-15 minutes and after that, they aren’t talked about again. It’s like this movie was a pilot for Showtime (it could totally be a Showtime show) and since it wasn’t picked up someone decided to just turn the pilot into a movie. That or a series of shorts, featuring the same character, placed together. Sort of like if a web series combined all 8 of its episodes and just put them together.
Which, at first, didn’t seem that bad for, again, the women were likable. However, once it became clear that with each title card no woman was coming back, so began the movie losing its luster. Especially since all we learn about James is he likes sex, weed, coke, has an above-average dick size, and he does some kind of work for a film or television studio. Outside of that, it’s like he is made to be such a blank slate that you could be in his shoes and imagine yourself screwing it up with various attractive, albeit a bit weird in some cases, women.
Leading you to wonder, what is this movie supposed to be? What is it supposed to say? Or was this truly a bunch of shorts that writer/ director Chadd Harbold came up with and pieced together?
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
I loved this film through its first hour, but as James became the only consistent presence I found myself falling out of love with it as many of the women did with him. I wanted more than a moment, a handful of scenes, I wanted consistency and something I could have faith in. Which is perhaps the reason why this is being labeled Mixed. In the end, you understand how the women feel since you get so little of James yet are entertained during those moments with him. However, when it comes to him and this movie, you don’t see anything long term. I.e. revisiting this film again and again.