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First-time writer-director Hunter Richards' drama looks at the emotional agonies of rich, pretty, aimless young people whose privileged backgrounds have left them singularly unprepared to deal with adversity. The film delivers lots of high-pitched hysteria but never manages to make its spoiled protagonists interesting. Drug-sozzled slacker Syd (Chris Evans),...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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First-time writer-director Hunter Richards' drama looks at the emotional agonies of rich, pretty, aimless young people whose privileged backgrounds have left them singularly unprepared to deal with adversity. The film delivers lots of high-pitched hysteria but never manages to make its spoiled protagonists interesting. Drug-sozzled slacker Syd (Chris Evans), who still has a wicked jones for his ex-girlfriend, London (Jessica Biel), hears through the grapevine that their mutual friend Becca (Isla Fisher) is throwing London a going-away party in her parents' spacious downtown Manhattan loft. For her. Syd crashes the party intending to talk to London before she moves to Los Angeles (and is, presumably, gone forever), but loses his nerve and holes up in the bathroom to snort cocaine and plunge into a frenzied talkathon with his new friend Bateman (Jason Statham), a clean-cut Englishman seething with his own demons. As other party guests wander in and out, Bateman and Syd blather about sex, love, the search for the divine and the meaning of life... but mostly about sex. Syd wails that he can't get over his breakup with London, while Bateman complains that he'd rather be somewhere else and tells the lurid tale of his visit to an S&M brothel specializing in extreme sexual humiliation. Syd learns from Mallory (Joy Bryant) that there's a rumor going around that he tried to commit suicide after a fight with London, and retaliates with his version of the event: It was just an accident, he says, he was drinking and he took too many animal tranquilizers. Outside, the high-strung Becca furiously grills other guests about whether people are upstairs doing coke in her parents' bathroom. The conversations have a semi-improvised feel, in the worst possible sense of the term: They're rambling, repetitive and laced with inarticulate profanity. Richards, who claims to have based Syd, Bateman and London on people he knew, is nothing if not ambitious, and he conceived LONDON as the first of three films about the character. She's such a nonentity it's hard to imagine enduring two more films about her, and Richards' LONDON script is so free of genuine insight into his beautiful but childish characters that it's hard to work up any sympathy for their shallow, juvenile problems.

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  • Released: 2005
  • Rating: R
  • Review: First-time writer-director Hunter Richards' drama looks at the emotional agonies of rich, pretty, aimless young people whose privileged backgrounds have left them singularly unprepared to deal with adversity. The film delivers lots of high-pitched hysteria… (more)

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