Lindsay Lohan is back. And I don’t mean “back on her feet.” I mean “back at being trashy and gross.” Go figure. Bret Easton Ellis’ latest venture will make you want to immediately take a shower – not a cold shower, but a boiling hot and cleansing shower to wash away all of the slime that ‘The Canyons’ places on-screen.
As much as I’ve tried, I cannot get into Ellis’ works. The “realities” that he creates are unbelievable and sleazy. If his intention is to produce gritty pulp, he’s failing. His writing only comes across as the contrived mumbles of a pretentious amateur. ‘The Canyons’ is no different. I’ve never been more proud of Sundance for rejecting a film.
‘The Canyons’ opens by introducing us to the three main characters. There’s Tara (Lohan) and the two men fighting over her, Christian and Ryan. Christian (porn star James Deen) is her current boyfriend, a wealthy and seemingly powerful film producer. Ryan (Nolan Gerard Funk) is an ex-boyfriend actor who’s been cast in one of Christian’s upcoming productions. Although Christian knows Ryan, he’s oblivious to the fact that Tara and Ryan lived together for years.
Christian is a pure douchebag. His dialogue is filled with condescending intellectual babble. Many of his conversations ultimately bend so that he can brag about his “open” relationship with Tara. Many nights, Christian invites strangers – male or female – over to his lavish house for spontaneous threesomes. He claims to love Tara, but truly only views her as a precious and desired possession. Unless he arranges it, he wants no one to touch her. She belongs to him.
Of course, now that Ryan has randomly re-entered her life, Tara is torn. She actively and willingly participates in Christian’s filthy stay-in evenings, but is also tempted to run away with Ryan. When Christian begins suspecting her secret affair with Ryan, he goes to war with Ryan in melodramatic soap opera fashion.
‘The Canyons’ feels like it was a vehicle written for the sole purpose of highlighting a few Lindsay Lohan nude scenes. It comes across as lowbrow and absolutely tasteless. With one scene that features a full-body shot of a random nude threesome partner arousing himself, there’s no way that the film could receive a friendly R-rating. There’s literally nothing of merit or note to be found in the movie. The acting is awful. The writing is so stuffy and full of itself that it creates a major disconnect with our real world. The characters are one-sided and predictable, and their actions are abhorrent. There is literally nothing to like. I cannot remember the last film to warrant a zero-star rating from me, but ‘The Canyons’ is unquestionably a debacle from start to finish.
It makes me sad that Paul Schrader directed this. He was once an interesting screenwriter and occasional director.