100 Girls (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski), director Michael Davis, and Tuna
|Two thumbs up. Scoopy's comments in white
This is a pretty cute coming-of-age flick which languished in distributor purgatory for two years, before going to video/DVD without a US theatrical release. An indie filmed in late 1999, it was hoped to be a summer youth comedy, ala American Pie, but it never managed to work out a US distribution deal, even though it played for some months across the world.
They have some hot names in the cast: Jaime Pressly (the major babe of "Poison Ivy 3"), Marissa Ribisi ("Grown Ups"; she's Giovanni's twin sister), Katherine Heigl ("Roswell'), Emmanuelle Chriqui ("Snow Day").
|And I like
Matt is a college freshman, a virgin, a bright and sensitive kid but basically a dweeb. Early in the year he is trapped in an elevator with a girl during a blackout, they have a heartfelt discussion, they make love, but he never sees her face. When he wakes up, she's gone without a trace. Ignoring the fact that she would have left a note if she wanted to see him again, Matt knows that he's found his true love, and will have to find her. All he knows is that she resides in a certain dorm with 100 residents, so he has to concoct a series of ploys in order to gain admittance to the building and the trust of the girls. One of the girls becomes his accomplice, and they come up with two different plans. Sometimes Matt is the uniformed maintenance man who will take care of the girls dorm. Sometimes he's in drag as a woman.
course of the semester, he really learns a lot about
women while searching for his honey. He learns so much
that after his speech to 100 open windows, begging his
secret lover to reveal her identity, she does not, but
all the other hetero girls claim they were the one! He
can basically have any of them, and he's come to like
many of them during the year, but he's a romantic and
continues his search for his true love.
Other salient points:
There isn't much flesh, but there is plenty of really dirty talk. Dora, the intellectual girl, likes to read Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence out loud, for example, and the word "cunt" appears in the reading, along with some very lustful situations! The girls are completely at ease when they are drunk and Matt is in drag, and they tell some hilarious stories to each other. One night each of them shares her funniest stories about giving blowjobs. I suppose there is a real risk of NC-17, for the language, and for the fact that one of the girls is openly promiscuous, seduces Matt, and obviously is really into it, both with her speech and her hips. It was some darned good lovin', not movie sex at all, but real people getting used to each other, having problems getting it in, laughing, talking ...
Matt's roommate is a funny character, a doofus who is into "penis power", a system in which he gradually ties larger and larger weights to his penis, to lengthen and strengthen it. Although he talks some misogyny, he is in fact a good person at heart, and his attitude is related to traumatic experiences in his life.
Believe it or not, it is an intelligent movie. Possibly too intelligent for this genre. In fact, the dialogue is certainly too intelligent for this or any other genre. The characters actually talk in written English rather than spoken English, the kind of poetic rhapsodies that nobody is capable of in real life, not JFK or Churchill or anybody else. Matt's speech to the 100 open windows is the spiritual descendant of Kevin Costner's famous speech in Bull Durham, too articulate to really be off the cuff, and it has the same impact on all 100 girls that Costner's words had on Sarandon.
But I don't think we need to consider that a weakness. Let's just say that the movie walks a fine line between literate and literary, and sometimes it may cross over the line a bit too far, but you'll allow it because it isn't boring and it produces the desired effect.I think a lot of young people will like this funny and sincere film. It has a strong pro-female stance in that it portrays women as the only real grown-ups in the world, and Matt's experience in drag really sensitizes him to how much crap women have to tolerate, so it could reach out to a female audience, assuming the rough talk is OK with them. Young guys should like it, and maybe even learn from it. Some of them will rent it just to see Katherine Heigl playing foosball in her bra. And I predict they won't demand a refund.
Comments by Michael Davis in yellow. Michael wrote and directed the movie. My comments were written before hearing from him (and have since been changed slightly to reflect the removal of anachronisms). His comments are a response to mine.
Thanks for the review
of 100 Girls...
Here's the deal on indie film distribution. Indy distributors only pick up movies they can sell with print advertising cuz they can't afford expensive TV advertising. Distributors think youth comedies like mine can only reach their core audience through TV advertising, thus no indie distributors will pick the film up for a theatrical releases.
Places like Lions Gate will pick it up for video and cable because it is a slam dunk to make money. Studios rarely pick up indie movies. They're like a couple who want to have a baby - they would rather make their own (even if it turns out defective) than adopt one that might be wonderful. That's why 100 Girls languished in distributor purgatory. I make indie films that should be studio films, not arty art house fare, thus the films end up in limbo.
But, hey ... "Eight Days a Week" is finding an audience and the cable channels of the world are playing the crap out of it. Check out "8 Days A Week". The watermelon came before the pie. See the movie and you'll know what I mean.
Tuna's comments in aqua:
100 Girls (2001) has finally gotten a US release, but on DVD. Scoop was right, this is a great teen comedy with specific male and female appeal, and a lot of honesty. Just as a refresher, Jonathan Tucker as Matthew is a college freshman. He is trapped in an elevator during a blackout with an girl whose face he didn't see, and loses his virginity to this woman of his dreams. Next morning, he wakes up and she is gone, leaving only her panties.
|So begins a Cinderella
glass slipper story, where is searches for her in a freshman dorm with
100 women. Along the way, he actually learns a little about the
opposite sex. Visit the official
Web site, which is one of the best official sites I have
seen in terms of information.
The film, as Scoop said works as a teen comedy and has feminine viewpoints that should make it attractive to women. What he didn't mention was the underlying plot mystery -- who was the girl in the elevator. The mystery element was as well done as the rest of the film. I have to agree with Scoop's B-, and urge you to see this film. Although it is an Indie, it is not at all artsy, but is more like a mainstream film, but made on a sensible budget, and not castrated by studio politics.
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