Thursday, July 17, 2014

AFFD 2014 Review: PRETTY ROSEBUD- Jonesy's Take

Directed by Oscar Torre
Written by Chuti Tiu 
Starring: Chuti Tiu, Kipp Shiotani, Dana Lee, Bel Hernandez, and Oscar Torre
Synopsis: A successful woman feels that her personal life isn't as great as she once thought. 

There's a balancing act that most adults tread at some point. After a few years of marriage and establishing a semi-successful career, it's easy to fall into a routine and become bored with your significant other, especially when they're not at the same level you're at. PRETTY ROSEBUD tells the story of such a woman whose career is taking off, but her personal life seems to be crumbling beneath her.

Sissy (Tiu) is strong-willed woman who works hard, and her bosses are beginning to take notice. But that's the only thing she has going for her. Her husband has been out of a job for two years and even though he gets potential leads, he's being picky and doesn't want to take a "lower" job. Sissy's parents are the typical, conservative types who just want her to have children. They believe that children will bring her the utmost satisfaction that she's missing in her life. 

With all the pressure around her, Sissy can't handle it, so she breaks. She has an affair and enjoys the attention she gets from other men in her life. Her journey is story we've seen over and over again. Every beat that happens is too stereotypical. There are no surprises in the plot, and it felt increasingly boring. Even the pinnacle of Sissy's frustration with her life is portrayed in such an obvious and cliched metaphor, it was difficult not to giggle at the cheesiness.

Tiu is the only redeemable part of the film. Her performance in subtle, and it's easy to see the struggles Sissy is feeling even when there's no dialogue. The same cannot be said about the rest of the cast. All the other performances feel forced and rigid. Any time the characters raise their voices or a scene is particularly emotional, it feels like you're watching a bad high school production.

This film suffers heavily from a boring plot. Sometimes a boring plot isn't as noticeable if there are interesting characters, but unfortunately, no such luck here. Even with a fairly strong lead performance, this film is totally skippable.

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