"American Psycho" writer Bret Easton Ellis works with "American Gigolo" director Paul Schrader in this "morally ambiguous, anti-social" IFC feature "The Canyons," "made without the usual movie bureaucracy."
Co-producer and star Lindsay Lohan plays a version of herself (privileged yet empty addict, her first starring film role in six years) along with skin star James Deen in his non-porn debut (a trust-fund freak-show with the obvious name of Christian) as "beautiful people doing bad things in expensive rooms." This anti-"The Hills" exposes "young" Hollywood’s narcissism amidst sex, drugs and pocket knives, where it’s "more fun to keep it complicated" and where "nobody has a private life anymore."
"Good Will Hunting" director Gus Van Sant is Christian’s stiff and ineffectual shrink Dr. Campbell, and the young white cast can’t do much with the wooden dialogue and hackneyed plot (Ellis hasn’t updated his psycho-in-gigolo’s clothing idea since he penned his 1991 book).
The featurettes are as insubstantial as the main event. The "Creating the Canyons" segments - "The Cast," "The Crew," "The Locations," "The Look" and "The Style" - are jump-cut, mishmashed brief clips set to music, serving little purpose except to direct viewers to "follow us on Twitter," as is tagged at the end of each.
The slightly longer "Making of" piece features short interviews with Ellis and Schrader talking about circumventing regular channels to get this movie made, but one wonders if that’s something to brag about. It’s difficult to discern whether making a film showing coercive casual sex is a commentary on porn or actual porn.
Blu-ray, Unrated Director’s Cut