As Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) travels across the American Frontier, on a journey to marry the love he has always looked for, Penelope (Mia Wasikowski), life becomes more and more dangerous. Accompanied by his miniature horse, Butterscotch, and drunkard companion, Parson Henry (David Zellner), the lines between hero, villain and damsel in distress become more and more blurred in this comic reinvention of the classic western movie.
DeAlan Wilson www.ComedyE.com
User Reviews: What a piece of crap. I’ve seen movies that were worse, but few that I deeply wanted to leave early more or that pissed me off as much. It has *some* merit (beautifully shot, a couple amusing moments). But ultimately: millennial garbage par excellence. These two brothers wrote and directed it, and they clearly think they are the Coen brothers with a hint of Wes Anderson for whimsy. What’s more, they stole their take on male hope-projection onto a beautiful women from a much better film: There’s Something About Mary.
In attempting to subvert masculine cowboy tropes, they made a hack film of a different sort: one that is accepted because it panders to popular opinion among people who go to the renovated art house movie theater in the part of town they gentrified with their trust fund bucks. It isn’t that the opinion is wrong or uninteresting in and of itself, it’s just relayed in this film in such a hack, lazy, glib, boring way by people certain they’re more clever than they are.
It would have taken an amazing female lead to overcome the middle-school quality writing and all-too woke directing; their naturalistic take on zany Wes Anderson-movie dialogue was excruciating in certain scenes and I could have easily believed a teenager wrote it. But what was committed to film was one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen by an actor. To believe this woman was capable of starring in this or any picture is a strong indication you’re as irrationally obsessed with her as the film’s characters.
The result of all of this is a movie only certain people could enjoy: privileged white young women who can’t get enough of having their shallow politics pandered to and the men who subconsciously know they must share the same opinions if they want a social life, so they self-righteously and vociferously do: in other words, woke drama queens who will their victimhood while boasting their empowerment and their male allies ™/hangers on.
Great movies don’t pander. They make people find unlikely surrogates. True subversion requires excellence and subtlety this film doesn’t come close to touching as it bashes its hack message into the faces of too many grateful to be bludgeoned with their own ideas. It doesn’t even require pretentious art house claptrap to attempt to subvert. Blockbusters like The Hunger Games–a film where the damsel is literally a cute, cake-baking boy who is saved by the ass-kicking heroine–do much more to change expectations and advance gender relations. That’s in no small part because that movie is well crafted. It’s a good movie to a broad audience (no pun intended). Damsel preaches sloppily to its own choir of loathsome millennial hipsters. I’d be just as pissed off watching a Kurt Cameron loves Jesus movie that pandered to evangelicals, and I’d be pissed for for the same exact reason. However, what’s really troubling is the thought that this is the future of media post #MeToo. Indeed, that’s scarier than Hereditary.