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1 rating: -3.0
A movie directed by Maria Lidon

Combining narrative and documentary techniques, THE LIFE takes a highly stylized look at the world of prostitution. Denise Richards stars in the narrative portion of the film as a young woman studying anthropology in graduate school. When pressured by … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Dramas
Director: María Lidón
Release Date: 2004
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Life

Most Ridiculous Movie I Have Seen in a While

  • Nov 20, 2005
Pros: Nothing...

Cons: Everything...

The Bottom Line: In the end The Life was a boring, tedious, awful mess of a film that really lent nothing to my understanding of the world of prostitution.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

I am not sure what I expected when I purchased (cheaply) and subsequently watched The Life, a film half staring Denise Richards and Darryl Hannah and directed by Spanish María Limon. The Life is supposed to explore the life of prostitutes, and the movie can’t make its mind whether it wants to be a full featured film or a work of fiction. Either way The Life does not work. In fact the movie is so bad it’s hard to know where to begin.

The Life is narrated by a reported named Elizabeth based out of Los Angels whom we nave see. We see her apartment and hear her voice, but never see her. Most of The Life is given over to documentary style interviews with mostly Spanish prostitutes (men and woman) and as such there are way too many subtitles. What was the logic behind basing the reporter through whose eyes we witness this flurry of emotional baggage in Los Angles but have all of her subjects speak in a foreign tongue? It makes little sense to me.

There is seemingly endless chatter about the business of prostitution as it is experienced by these people. At first it was mildly interesting, but all too soon it became boring and somewhat disconcerting. Interspersed in between all of these sexually charged interviews is no shortage of nudity.

Denise Richards and Darryl Hannah were inserted into the film almost as an afterthought and indeed the onscreen time by the principle actresses is very limited. Denise Richards portrays (surprise, surprise) Rebecca a struggling college student, a doctorate candidate, who in a quest to shore up her finances turns to prostitution. She is turned on to the life by her next door neighbor Adriana (Darryl Hannah) an aging wannabe actress (a familiar story) who supports herself by turning tricks.

I had to wonder what drew these two actresses to this very ugly film. Ms. Hannah I can almost understand; her star has been falling ever since Mermaid and but rebounded somewhat after her turn in the Kill Bill series, but I suppose an actress has to work. And Denise, sweet beautiful Denise, there can be no shortage of role for her, but I have to admit that she hasn’t graced the silver screen I a big way since her turn as a Bond babe in The World is Not Enough. Doing straight to DVD movies is not the way to rejoin the “A” list actress set. But perhaps this is Ms. Richard’s bid at serious acting, or could it desperation?

Around the middle of The Life, my interest began to wane considerably. In short I became bored, and it became far too tedious to follow the rapidly changing subtitles. The film tries way too hard to be artsy with sharp edge, grainy images, and off-frame voiceovers, but I get the feeling that the latter were purposeful for whatever reason. In the end The Life was a boring (even Denise Richard’s one sex scene was a study in boring detached, disinterested role play), tedious, awful mess of a film that really lent nothing to my understanding of the world of prostitution. Skip it, skip it, skip it…


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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