Art School Confidential

Bomb Rating: 

Both director Terry ("Bad Santa") Zwigoff and writer/graphic novelist Daniel("Ghost World") Clowes should know better than to paint the art world full of pompous assholes and blithering idiots and expect to escape unscathed.

See, in a commercial venture such as "Art School Confidential," the very act of depicting a particular segment of society as a group of clich├ęs effectively negates both the humor and the effectiveness of the portrait. Even if Zwigoff and Clowes really believe this, they should both be experienced enough to know that while the concept may be original, the execution isn't. How many films have we all seen filled with characters whose actions are so easily predictable because there's such a limited range of things for them to do?

Thus, we know that Jerome (Max Minghella) is going to do nothing more than pine for art class model Audrey (Sophia Myles) and that Audrey will never really return his affection, opting instead for the hunky Jonah (Matt Keeslar). We know that Jerome's friend, Bardo (Joel Moore), will never do anything more than crack jokes because he's the joke-cracking best friend and that's his role. We know that Professor Sandiford (John Malkovich) will spout rancor about the art world and eventually reveal himself to be that "those who can't do, teach" character oblivious to the ridiculousness of his own work.

I'm not really to into watching Ethan Suplee learn how to act either. He plays Vince, one of Jerome's roommates. He's a documentary filmmaker and despite being in films for well over 10 years, Suplee is still stuck in that "I'm a hyper fat guy on crack" role and I find it tiresome. "Art School Confidential" has a murder mystery wound into its plot as a way to distract from that fact that there's not enough material here to make a full movie.

Actually, it would have been nice if "Art School Confidential" had been kept strictly confidential.

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