What to expect when the screenwriter of Taxi Driver (Paul Schrader), now director, the author of American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis), the most famous porn actor of our generation (James Deen) and the Disney-actress-turned-party-girl Lindsay Lohan team up for a nearly zero-budget thriller movie set in LA?
Well, thriller might not be the most fitting adjective considering the tension is very low – its goofiness actually sparked some laughs during the press screening – and maybe Schrader and Easton Ellis are not at their best, but the movie has its moments of true cinema.
The plot is the classic triangle: Tara (Lohan) lives with Christian (Deen) because he is rich and takes care of her, however she still feels something for her ex-boyfriend Ryan (Nolan Funk) who is still in love with her. However, both Tara and Ryan haven’t seen each other in years but suddenly meet again when Ryan’s girlfriend, Gina, proposes him for the lead character of a Z movie produced by Christian.
James Deen delivers a surprisingly good vanilla performance – there are also a couple of adult moments too where he can express himself – and there are several long shots raising the technical quality of the picture.
Very nostalgic and melancholy the introductory sequence with close-ups of facades of tens of abandoned movie theatres in Los Angeles.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
The Canyons is released nationwide on 9th May 2014 and VOD on 12th May 2014.