I was pretty distracted through a lot of California Split because I was trying desperately to figure out the characters’ relationships. Once I gave up on that, I didn’t care much about what was going on in the movie. It seemed a little boring, to be honest. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand casino games and have no interest in gambling myself. But there just didn’t seem to be much conflict; eventually Bill (George Segal) gets in gambling debt, so he and Charlie (Elliott Gould) go to Reno to win it back. And they not only win it back, they win $82,000, so everything’s fine. They go their separate ways in the end, which is slightly sad, because I do love a good male-on-male friendship, but I just didn’t care enough about them to feel anything but relief when the movie was over.
We watched this because one of my friends recommended this movie to me. I have to say I’m kind of scared about writing this because I don’t think I really liked it that much. I thought Elliott Gould was the best part and they got into some crazy stuff, but in the end I found it hard to pay attention and didn’t have a remotely clear understanding of all the characters’ relationships.
I’m really glad I watched this though because it’s a movie I think I would have been more into in high school. It’s certainly not a bad movie it just doesn’t have a real plot to me. I’ll probably read more abut it and watch it again without Elizabeth.
Our friend Ben watched Hollywood Sex Wars with us. This is what he had to say:
Hollywood Sex Wars employs the satire defense: When a film is defended against charges of misogyny via its billing as a satire despite having none of the elements of a satire. If satire is supposed to hold up social conventions for inspection and subversion, Hollywood Sex Wars holds up social conventions to reinforce them. Take the completely original and hilarious concept of women being nothing but manipulative and money-grubbing sexpots. The satire here is that women are so manipulative and money-grubbing they form a secret society dedicated to extorting innocent men, a Protocols of the Elders of Feminism, if you will. Do you get it? Women are money-grubbing whores! This deep and original satire really holds up a mirror to our society!
Outside the cheap veneer of irony, Hollywood Sex Wars is an otherwise boilerplate Men’s Rights Activist FAQ or Pick-up Artist manual. Relentlessly parroting the same, ages-old stereotypes about women (and men too) isn’t good satire, it’s just gross. Hollywood Sex Wars has zero redeeming qualities. There is no conflict to speak of, the characters are completely unlikeable, plot structure is totally inscrutable, and visually the movie looks like garbage. The only reason to watch this movie is if you’re interested in measuring the depth of the abyss.
I’m not really sure we ended up watching this movie but we did. It’s not very good.
Well, I thought I wouldn’t really have anything to say about Big Stan, but it turns out I really don’t have anything to say about Hollywood Sex Wars. It’s sexist, homophobic, mean, gross, but worst of all . . . totally unfunny. I’ll say that one of the super gross characters that is somehow not supposed to be gross purposefully breaks his condoms because he doesn’t like how condoms feel. And then he gets a girl pregnant and the girl and all of her friends extort him and all of his friends out of $2,000 for the abortion and profit. I think that speaks for itself.