If you’d like to spend ninety minutes or so with a stupid, shallow, shrill, self-destructive person, you now have two choices. You can either call that awful acquaintance you’ve been avoiding for years and arrange an evening out, or you can just go to see this dreary, highly annoying picture from Henry Barrial and Stephanie Barrett. They’re the co-writers of the atrocity called “Some Body,” and to add to their culpability he’s directed the thing (using the term loosely, to be sure), while she takes the lead as Samantha, an L.A. elementary school teacher searching for love in the city’s bar scene. The narrative has her break up with a long-time boyfriend Anthony (Jeramy Guillory) whom she’s come to think “too comfortable,” and run through a few new guys–a neighbor named Billy (Billy Ray Gallion), a nutty stalker who calls himself Tony T (Tom Vitorino) and a supposedly handsome guy, Bobby (Sean Michael Allen)–before coming full circle and nudging back toward Anthony. By the time that Our Heroine is lurching through her last bout of clubbing and boozing before turning over a new leaf, one is struck by the unsavory thought: where’s Mr. Goodbar when you really need him? Also involved in the rambling plot are Eve and Leann (Laura Katz and Marnie Shelton), two pals of Samantha’s, and some of her male party friends (Matt Cassando, Richie Magallanes and Ringo Hayden), as well as various other hangers-on and family members too obscure to be concerned with.
One supposes that we’re supposed to care about Samantha’s tortured journey of discovery, her constant travails and disappointments; and perhaps we’re intended to draw an ironic contrast between her chaotic personal life and her (apparently successful) professional one dealing with young children. But she proves such a self-lacerating, narcissistic person that one can only want to be out of her company forever. The script doesn’t succeed in the slightest in making her at all sympathetic, and it adds to the irritation by regularly resorting to that crudest of devices–having characters speak to us directly to explain themselves and their take on the protagonist’s life. (The result is like a really bad play.) The acting is at a level of minimal competence, too, but since the HDV camerawork has the appearance of a clumsy home movie, it’s hard to tell through the gritty, jumpy sequences whether they’re doing any good work. Surely Bennett isn’t; her overwrought turn has all the subtlety of fingers scraping a blackboard, and nobody else impresses as being appreciably superior to her.
Actually there are two winning characters in “Some Body.” One is a cat that lives with Samantha after her breakup with Anthony–the animal looks understandably bored but is quite attractive. The other is a dog that Anthony and Sam agree to “joint custody” of–a circumstance which serves to keep the two connected after their split until Anthony’s new girlfriend Eve (Laura Katz) objects (leading Sam to turn into a screeching stalker for a reel or two). The two pets have nice personalities, and it would be more pleasant to spend ninety minutes with them than with the humans depicted in the movie; but a visit to your local animal shelter would be far more entertaining than this pathetic little film. “Some Body” will appeal to No One.