5 Terrible, Awful Netflix Programs That Exist For Some Reason
Remember when Netflix was known for putting out quality, genre-redefining shows like Orange Is The New Black, American Vandal, or the one where Robin Wright has really good hair and gets to be president? Well those shows are all gone now, and Netflix has seemingly abandoned the prestige model in favor of churning out as much content as possible in hopes that something, anything, will hit. If you make 500 movies and shows a year, one of them has got to be good, right? This has led to them putting up some horribly reviewed garbage which I'm pretty sure no one is even watching. If they had, they might have noticed some minor issues. Like how ...
The Competition Is The Saddest Rom-Com In The World
I was genuinely kind of excited to watch this movie, despite its 17% Rotten Tomatoes score. One critic wrote: "Nothing to see here but two career second bananas failing decades past their 90's peak." I thought that seemed unnecessarily harsh, but after seeing the movie, I get it. Because I'm mad. Everything about this screams "We blew our entire budget on Thora Birch and Chris Klein," which is a sentence that has no right existing after 2003.
There's a patio that is clearly used as two different restaurants. They make it into a pizza place by putting a big sign that says "Pizza" in the middle of the room. There's a scene in a bar where people are supposed to be doing karaoke, but it seems they didn't want to pay for music, so two men just furiously mime spanking in the background for like a full minute. They never sing. That is not how karaoke works!
Not that it really matters, but the basic plot is that Birch hires strippers to tempt Klein's married and engaged friends to cheat on their spouses (with Klein's full and enthusiastic permission). Really. She doesn't believe people will ever decline the opportunity to cheat without getting caught, for no reason other than that she's a scientist, I guess? You keep watching, waiting for her to reveal some tragic backstory about how she was cheated on, but it never happens. The tragedy is you being cheated out of 103 minutes of your life.
But none of that made me angry. What did was a side character who is a grotesque of motherhood. She's constantly spilling breast milk on other people. In one scene she grabs her breasts in a bar and milk sprays out of her shirt onto an unsuspecting patron. When she cheats on her husband, Chris Klein calls her a "sad woman with a blown-out vagina that needed tending." What MAN wrote this? I thought when I heard that line. So I internet-marched over to IMDb and learned that ... this movie was written by a woman. And that woman, who also produced this film, cast herself in the role of a sad mother with a blown-out vagina that needs tending. After that, I wasn't really angry anymore. I was just sad.
Tau Is The Slowest Thriller Ever
A lot of people are surprised that Gary Oldman is in this movie, but honestly, I'm not 100% sure that he even knows he's in it. If you told me that someone gave Oldman an edible and followed him around secretly recording him saying stupid shit like "Are people animals?" and "What is the sky?" then I would say that checks out.
What happened, Gary? We believed in you.
I kind of enjoyed Tau, but only because it's nothing like the movie it's advertised as. Netflix presents it like Saw-esque torture porn, but it's actually a very slow thriller about a woman having a series of nice conversations with a Siri played by Oldman. The main character, Julia, is imprisoned in a smart home by the villainous Alex (Ajax from Deadpool, who it seems picks roles based on a very specific name structure now), who has kidnapped her and several others to experiment on them. But she quickly causes an explosion during an escape attempt which destroys Alex's lab and causes a chain reaction that ends in the death of the other people in the experiment.
Since Julia is the only subject left alive, she has some leverage to negotiate with Alex. That means she gets to shower, wear nice clothes, and spend most of the movie wandering around his pretty mansion barefoot. It's like an episode of HGTV with the constant threat of murder, which is honestly an improvement on both HGTV and murder movies for me. "Is that chair from IKEA?" I wondered as Julia tried to stab Alex with a steak knife.
Tall Girl Is A Movie About Discriminating Against Hot People
Every single plot point in Tall Girl is instantly invalidated when you Google the lead actress (Ava Michelle) and learn that she is literally a model. Models are often pretty tall. Gigi Hadid, Kate Upton, and Kendall Jenner, three of the most famous supermodels in the world right now, are all 5'10. But according to this movie, just 3 1/2 more inches will make you a complete outcast.
I want to say that if the main character was part of an actually marginalized group -- like if she was plus-sized, or disabled, or a person of color -- it might be a good movie. But that wouldn't fix her totally bizarre best friend, a short boy who carries around a milk crate all the time -- even at a party, where he uses it to fight a guy. (Yes, there is a fight scene wherein a boy clocks another boy with a milk crate.) His name is Dunkers, which is barely a step above naming a short character "Smallathan."
The plot is literally just "Girl is tall." Tall Girl wants to date a tall boy instead of her short friend who is obsessed with her. At one point Dunkers says that Tall Girl's skin is "Like sweet buttery whipped cream." Which is a line that was absolutely stolen from the courtroom transcripts of a serial killer's trial. In the end, Tall Girl learns that being tall makes you super hot, which we all already knew. Dunkers climbs on his fighting milk crate to kiss her.
Related: The Alarming Way Netflix Customizes Itself To Our Tastes
Swiped Feels Like A Christian Sex Comedy
Never before has an alleged sex comedy so emphatically wanted women to not get laid. Swiped is about college freshman James, who gets saddled with a sex-crazed roommate played by Netflix create-a-character default Noah Centineo. For some reason, the guys in this movie are obsessed with the women they bang not knowing their names, so they offer to pay James' way to attend a better school full of reasonable people if he creates a dating app for sexual predators.
At every step, it's clear that the writer has never been anywhere near a person under the age of 50. For one thing, vibrators apparently don't exist in this universe, and neither do gay people of any kind. The women are all so desperate for male companionship that they'll get on this app perfectly constructed for murderers, because all of the men are on it!
Swiped has a distinctive whiff of Christian Movie about it. The phrase "hookup" is used in place of "sex" most of the time. In a big moment, James says, "I know algorithms, I know biology, but there's nothing I can code, invent, or create that equals what God has already created inside of you." Which makes me expect Kirk Cameron to pop up and hand everybody chastity rings.
The main misconception this movie has is that no women are also looking for casual encounters. It's got that super old-fashioned view that they only want full relationships, and all men only want sex. Whereas in real life I've happily been with the same partner for 11 years, while one of my close friends once went home with a guy who turned on Jock Jams, and she just sucked it up and banged him to "YMCA" because she was never going to see him again. There's a spectrum of what women enjoy, is what I'm saying.
Related: Netflix Is Finally Letting Us Disable Autoplaying Trailers, But Why?
Oh, Ramona! Is Romania's More Misogynist Scott Pilgrim
If Swiped is a sex comedy that's terrified of women having sex, this is a sex comedy disgusted by the idea of sex in general. Sex scenes (and there are a lot of them) cut to graphic images of old ladies licking lollipops, fingers being smashed into food, or rubbing pierced lemons. During the second one, the camera turns upside-down to show water dripping from the ceiling as a woman sensuously reads from what I think is a car maintenance manual.
Those details may make Oh, Ramona! sound kind of cool and experimental, but please let me assure you that it is not. The movie follows Andrei, a nerd, and the two gorgeous women he has to choose between, Ramona and Anemona. (Because of the thick accents everyone has, I spent a good portion of the movie thinking they were both named Ramona.)
Andrei rejects Ramona at a party because she only wants to sleep with him while he wants a relationship, then goes to a beach to cheer himself up. There he meets Anemona, and they have sex to the car maintenance manual song, but she tells him she also doesn't want a relationship because she has an older sugar daddy named (for real) Tooter. So Andrei gets a makeover that is essentially just him putting on a fedora, causing a cartoon pop-up to declare him a pussy destroyer. Which might be the most blatantly wrong life lesson in this entire article.
All this is guided by a voiceover that sounds like the actor only had one take and hadn't read the script beforehand. The best example is the line "That one kiss from her gave me a pocket rocket so strong I could have ... karate ... chopped a board in half with it?" Which is delivered with such confusion that you actually begin to feel sorry for the actor.
At the end of the movie, Andrei tries to physically fight his own narration, which tells him both that it is God and him from the future. It then transports Andrei back to the beginning of the movie. Again, I'm making this sound interesting, but I swear it's not. It's a homophobic, fat-shaming, sexual-assault-filled mess that I cannot untangle in under 5,000 words, so I mostly chose to write about the trash weird parts and not the trash depressing ones.
Lydia will definitely be yelling more around this on Twitter
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