The Leisure Class online movie review - Somebody has defecated on Project Greenlight...
-- and his name is Jason Mann. Paraphrasing a line that has no purpose at all in the witless screenplay, one has to wonder why, why, why the execs at Project Greenlight caved in all the way to this petulant, whining, no talent (alleged) writer/director.
THREE MILLION DOLLARS and this is what they ended up with? One's heart bleeds for Effie Brown, who expressed reservations all the way down the line and was double crossed and vilified for acting like a concerned producer. Let's get this out of the way and address the color situation. Effie wanted a person of color (albeit Asian, half of a male/female duo) to be the chosen one/two and was overruled on the basis of color being in the casting of the movie, not the choice of director -- and it ended up with a black chauffeur as the only person of color in the entire movie (which Effie overruled as condescending.) And to all those dicks who said he didn't get paid, believe me, he got paid. So would a male/female combo have been any less professional and WASN'T IT ABOUT EFFING TIME a woman was included on the roster of Project Runway directors???
Every movie begins with the screenplay and this one sucked bigtime. Right from the start Jason Mann expressed virtually no interest in making this movie, which immediately surfaced with his submitting his own script in place of the one he was hired to direct. And turning around at the awards ceremony and demanding the writer be fired and the movie be made on film, which would add a hundred grand to the budget? Wasn't three million enough??? Endless, endless arguments on the importance of film over digital when the movie just needed to get moving! And Peter Farrelly, as one of the mentors, dropping out two or three episodes in? Was he sighting the iceberg looming on the horizon ahead of the Titanic? Did he recognize that he was dealing with an obsessive no-talent who wasn't worth the time and effort?
But getting down to the movie itself... From the very first scene, which flounders all over the place and has misplaced camera positions, the script gives no solid intent on the way the story is going to unfold. Everything but the kitchen sink is tossed into the mix and the characters seem to be stick figures with no flesh and blood. Given their due, the actors all seemed to be talented but the material they were handed was god-awful. The characters were simply empty vessels without form or substance. Was anybody convinced that they really existed? How on earth could HBO have handed over three million dollars to commit this thing to film (not digital -- oh, shut up, Jason!) The story, what there is of it, blunders on with scenes that serve no purpose or make sense -- what was all the twittering between the two brothers that was improvised -- and looked it? Did Jason expect the British accents to make it funny? I'm a Brit and I didn't find the scenes funny at all, merely silly. Not offensive, just plain silly. And the clumsy segue into the swimming pool scene, that was dumb as a brick, and the car crash that Jason wanted to rival the Hindenberg disaster on a limited budget -- and, and, and..! No wit, no humor, no indication of talent behind the camera.
One could go on and on about the deficiencies of this movie, directed by someone who should never, ever be allowed to direct anything else (on film or digital!) but the saddest, saddest conclusion of all is that this entire three million dollar debacle may most likely endanger the possibility of Project Greenlight ever surfacing again and giving other, more talented, young directors the opportunity to gain a foothold in the business.
Summing all of this up, Effie was right and she deserves a medal for all the crap she put up with in the making of this movie. All the negativity she has received for trying to steer The Leisure Class to a successful conclusion is totally undeserved. She did the job of producer in aces and was bludgeoned into the ground for it. If HBO pulls the plug on future Project Greenlight productions then it wouldn't come as a surprise and the blame for it should be placed right where it belongs. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and what Jason Mann cooked up was totally indigestible. Let's hope he hasn't screwed it up for everyone else.