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Simon Read [Film Festival 06.20.10] movie review comedy crime

Year: 2010
Directors: Zach Clark
Writers: Zach Clark
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Imagine if Bret Easton Ellis and Daniel Clowes wrote a script approved by Fisherspooner and tinkered by Gregg Araki and you're almost at the point where you'd find Vacation! It's an art pop movie about four highly strung young women who rent a house by the ocean for a week, drink margaritas, hang out on the beach and buy drugs from the local surfer. Directed by Zach Clark (Modern Love Is Automatic), it's a dark comedy, "about life, death, sex, drugs and other sh*t that totally fu**s you up."

Suger (Maggie Ross) calls her friends Dee-dee (Melodie Sisk), Donna (Trieste Kelly Dunn) and Lorelei (Lydia Hyslop) and suggests a trip to the beach, so they pile into the car and zoom off on their holiday. "Got any green stuff?" asks Dee-dee, "Or any white stuff?" On arrival and after the first batch of cocktails the search for drugs of any kind begins, and Sugar lucks out by hitting on the beach bum for some LSD. Sugar is eager to try some, sensible Donna needs some persuading and while the bi-sexual Lorelei is happy to go along with things, it's her crush Dee-dee who's objects the most, but relents and drops a tab anyway, "I can't believe I'm doing this... to Vacation!"

Clark then gives us a wild and visually loopy sequence in which the girls have a fish and telephone themed acid trip complete with it's own musical number. However, upon waking the next morning... someone is, well... dead. The three remaining girls panic and decide it's best to simply drift the body out to sea, after all didn't she tell her boyfriend that she's visiting family? Nobody will find out! The death doesn't exactly cheer the rest of the vacation and the girls separate and deal with things each in their own way; one involves a bike ride, another a book on serial killer Richard Speck followed by kinky games in a sleazy motel, and the last one a washing machine on high-spin and a vibrating blender.

This film is funny, and the girls are believable in their unbelievability. They're kooky but smart and witty, "As much as I try I will never be David Bowie" muses Suger. They have a chemistry which makes their friendship seem natural and even after the unexpected death there is much in the film to laugh about, as well as emotional pathos. It's tightly directed with a dazzling eye for colours and creative camera work, and the music kicks ass (as a fan of electro). The LSD fantasy sequence, while nothing like actually being on acid, is reason alone to check this out. I highly recommend!

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