The thought of having to watch a satire of celebrity culture in 2018 already sounds grating. At this point it’s so been there, done that, and even a satire on this topic demands you sit through characters’ insufferable behavior. Daniel Adams’s An L.A. Minute makes you suffer through it all and never redeems itself, despite the potentially interesting duo of Gabriel Byrne and Kiersey Clemons as leads. The stars seem out of place with each other and in this movie, with creators who have no idea what they want to say.
Byrne plays Pulitzer-winning novelist Ted Gold, now a sellout in a bougie Malibu mansion. His latest book is about a homeless serial killer, and my educated guess is that it’s not just out of touch, but offensive. He gives money to the homeless that he passes on the street but calls them out for not being more thankful, though he has not shown gratitude for the people working under him. Gold’s life takes a sharp turn, though, when he gets mugged by two homeless men and runs into a performance artist who goes by the name of Velocity (Clemons). Velocity is an edgy, boundary-pushing artist but exists as nothing more than your manic pixie type, the girl who makes Gold realize he’s just a “hack author” and teaches him to say “urban outdoorsmen” instead of “bums.” But for a movie that sets itself up as one that will teach the 1 percent some kind of valuable lesson, An L.A. Minute offers no takeaways, especially as Velocity gets sucked into the limelight and is promised fame in, verbatim, “an L.A. minute.”
An L.A. Minute
Directed by Daniel Adams
Opens August 24, AMC Kips Bay 15
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 21, 2018