MISS DIAL (2013)

Miss-Dial-9

Elizabeth

The above picture is an actual screenshot from Miss Dial, not anything myself or anyone else spliced together. I say this because it’s an important point; the majority of the movie is shown via split screen like that. I think it’s worth mentioning because it’s so stupid and gets old so fast.

But that’s not the most interesting part of Miss Dial. That would be the relationship between the movie poster and the actual movie. The poster shows Robinne Lee, who plays the main character of Erica, appropriately in the foreground. Her name is also appropriately listed first. Before I move on, a little background: Erica is customer service rep for a company that makes a variety of products and her job is to take calls from home and answer questions. So, okay. Next on the poster, the second most prominent figure is Dulé Hill. Hill’s character doesn’t have a name (he’s listed in the credits as “Popcorn Caller”) because he has maybe two minutes of screentime, playing someone who calls Erica to complain about popcorn. His name is also second on the poster. The third name on the poster is Gabrielle Union, who is also third in line on the poster. Her character also doesn’t have a name (“Long Story Caller”) and she has maybe 2-3 minutes of screen time. The next name on the list is Hill Harper, whose picture is not on the poster. He’s also a caller, “Political Nutcase.” The next name, Amanda Crew, is also not pictured on the poster. Her character, creatively named Amanda, plays the woman that Erica’s boyfriend is cheating on her with. Though her character is mentioned throughout the movie, she only shows up toward the end for a few minutes, for one scene. The last name on the poster is Sam Jaeger, whose picture is not on the poster, and who plays Kyle, Erica’s main love interest. The last person pictured on the poster is Jon Huertas, who plays Erica’s comically mean boyfriend, Alex.

Okay, so why did I take the time to list out who’s who on the poster? Because in the movie, except for Erica, the bulk of the main characters are white. Her love interest, Kyle, is white. Her best friend, Sam (Sara Rue), is white. Her unbelievably forgiving boss, Mr. Koffsky (the hilariously named David H. Lawrence XVII, the numbers apparently only an IMDb distinction that he kept for the film credits), is white. But the movie poster chose to only show non-white, mostly black, actors, most of whom are barely in it. A couple of white actors get credit on the poster, only in name. Now, please don’t misinterpret this as me trying to make a point about white actors getting suppressed, because that’s not my point. My point is that this movie, which is relatively racially diverse and features a biracial central romance, is obviously trying to market itself to a black audience. If you look at the poster, you would think the entire cast was black or Hispanic. I’m making a big deal about this because I just think it’s so weird. Miss Dial is not a good or groundbreaking movie in any way; it’s actually extremely boring. But it does stand out in its diversity and for making the main love story between a black woman and a white man without ever drawing attention to that in the plot, but, at least going by the poster, marketers tried to forgo all of that and aim only for a non-white audience. You’d think it would not only be way more accurate but more effective to have the actual featured actors on the poster: black, white, and Hispanic, to try to bring in all of those groups. Why they went a weirdly untrue route is beyond me.

But yeah, despite all that, Miss Dial is super boring and not at all worth watching.

Christopher

Definitely one of the worst movies we have ever seen. The whole movie is just watching actors on the phone. They are never not on the phone, except for the last two minutes. I think what made this movie kind of hard to watch though was how awful the main character was. She was mean to her boss, she was rude to customers at her job, and she likes an asshole guy for no reason. I think her being in an abusive (mentally) relationship was supposed to make us feel for this girl but it really did do the opposite.

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