Yes, a lot of the pre-movie publicity surrounding Lindsay Lohan’s comeback movie, The Canyons, focused on the fact that her co-star James Deen is a porn star. But Lohan aside, who does a pretty solid job in this clunky erotic thriller, it seems just about every other actor here was trained in pornos as well. The acting is stilted and dialogue pretty weak, thanks to one-time literary hit maker Bret Easton Ellis (known in the 80’s and 90’s for everything from American Psycho to Less Than Zero, but lately known more for being a troll on Twitter).
The movie centers on Christian (Deen), a trust-fund kid with few morals who dabbles in financing movies. He learns that his girlfriend Tara (Lohan) is sleeping with an actor in one of his films, so naturally he becomes unhinged and starts to torture the pair, mentally and eventually physically.
The other big name behind this movie, legendary director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo), does a better job of holding up his end of the bargain, delivering a visual strong film that even manages to be sexy at times. And Lohan, despite her ongoing personal drama (much of which was chronicled by the New York Times during a set visit), gives flashes of the great actresses she had proven to be in the past. Clearly leaving behind her pre-teen imagine in this project in an attempt to generate Basic Instinct-like buzz. While not bringing in the $100 million-plus haul that Basic Instinct did, The Canyons has been able to match that movie when it comes to cheesy dialogue and questionable acting.
The Canyons/99 mins./MPI/2013