Cathouse Fail

I feel so dispirited about Taylor Hackford‘s Love Ranch that I haven’t been able to write anything about it. This is primarily because the bluntly phrased dialogue — the most irritating aspect because of its colloquial boilerplate tone, particularly as spoken by Joe Pesci‘s Joe Conforte-ish character — was written by Mark Jacobson, a New York magazine contributor whom I know slightly and have admired for many years.

All I can figure is that (a) Jacobson was asked to dumb it down by Hackford because the latter felt it “right” that the characters speak this way, and Jacobson did so in order to get paid, (b) he gave the dialogue an uneducated Nevada goombah flavor as a perverse exercise of some kind or (c) his dialogue was of a higher pedigree but Hackford urged the actors (especially Pesci) to slop it down and say it the way they felt it.

Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson has summarized some of the reviews thus far.

18 thoughts on “Cathouse Fail

  1. BurmaShave on said:

    It’s also possible he can’t write dialogue. Hope Pesci doesn’t disappear for another twelve years.

  2. I had always worried about the film with all the delays.

    I did hear Helen Mirren is good in it. Hard for her to be bad in anything. Pesci might be through. He should get with Scorsese and DeNiro again. He shines with those guys.






    You could also make mild arguments for Everybody’s All-American or Devil’s Advocate in there too. But not Ray.

    But Hackford is solid. Shit, I had some hilarious description of his place in American filmdom a month or two back, which everyone loved, and now I can’t remember what I said. Something about him being the premier director of overlong, almost-auteurist movies with a long, boring, bad-taste midsection or something.

    Damn, I have to look it up now.

  4. i have a soft spot for proof of life

    and the devil’s advocate is supremely entertaining

    this new one looks a bit sloppy though

  5. Will see it and judge for myself, but I was hoping for Joe to have a good valedictory role if this does turn out to be among his last onscreen work.

    As for Taylor Hackford, I would hope that love could be shown here for his entertaining Chuck Berry doc HAIL HAIL ROCK AND ROLL–which I saw at Telluride back in 1987.

  6. Come on Jeff, please add more to your thoughts.

    I like Taylor Hackford just fine. I don’t think he is a ” hack “. His Proof Of Life shoot was a difficult one. He’s made some entertaining movies. Maybe it’s the written material that’s weak in Love Ranch ?

  7. Like you, I’ve admired Mark Jacobson since ever, owing to the fact that he express all his feeling by the best possible way, apart, his critiques are constructive.

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