September 1, 2010

Writer-Director Julie Davis Exclusive Interview FINDING BLISS slice

Just when you think you’ve seen it all….I mean, how many twists could there be to the formulaic romcom?  We can all usually tell what’s coming next even if it is sinfully fun to be sucked into.  But this one slaps on a new frontier.  Good girl meets bad boy…wait for it…in a porn studio.  OK, juicy enough to work with and possibly be a fresh twist.

Award winning NYU film student, Jody (Lee Lee Sobieski), moves to LA where the only job she can get near a studio is directing cars into the parking lot.  She’s hardworking, smart, morally sound….and desperate.  So, when a position opens as an editor at adult entertainment company, ‘Grind Productions’, she hesitantly accepts.  She is soon working with a clan of outwardly beautiful, yet cranially challenged, young talent and an inappropriately honest co-worker.  Enter the charming, yet scummy, director/boss, Jeff, (Matt Davis) who takes extra special care of Jody by bringing her coffee and sending her a gift basket full of sex toys.  Hmmm…he’s a head-scratcher.  Where could this go?  More after the jump:

The irony of Jody’s situation is elevated by the fact that she proclaims in the opening line of the film, “Sex has been a disaster for me my entire life”. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn of Jody’s misfortunes and can understand the extra layer of discomfort she dons through the office.  However, in her late night editing hours, Jody finds herself watching ‘Bliss’ a sassy porn star whom she is transfixed with.  Jody begins to tap into her own sexuality in these editing sessions and ethereal conversations with Bliss.


Upon learning of the vacancy Grind Productions offers afterhours, Jody decides to sneak a cast and crew in and shoot her own film on their equipment.  Of course she must keep this from her boss (Kristen Johnson) and Jeff, whom she spends more and more time with.  As she makes changes to his script, he critiques hers, and personal intentions are brought to the surface.  As story and real life begin to intertwine, Jody learns she must be honest with herself if she is ever to speak through her film.

Finding-Bliss-movie-imageOne problem I could not get over is the film’s inability to decide whether it wants to be a cutesy comedy, or an edgy look into the lives of those in adult entertainment.  Despite the spread of material the subject offers, the script stays clean and jokes become repetitive, which is slightly disappointing given its opportunity to do something new. What we are left with is Legally Blonde placed in Sherman Oaks minus Reese.  Miss Sobeiski holds her own as a leading lady and Kristen Johnson’s one liners are….well, very Kristen Johnson.  It’s entertaining.  It’s cute.  It’s a predictable romcom, good for a late night escape or lazy Sunday afternoon with your girlfriends.  Expect to guess 50% of the punch lines and get a kick out the humor you don’t see coming.

Special features include a series of deleted scenes and a brief slideshow of storyboards.  Most of the scenes are incorporated in the feature somehow, either edited down or woven into a montage.  The storyboards seem to be added as a fun extra to hopefully elicit a few more chuckles from the audience.  I only recognized a few images from frames in the film.  The rest are a farcical string of comic book porn.

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