Little Black Book

Bomb Rating: 

This movie is sort of the cinematic equivalent of slowing down to see the results of a car crash. The fact is, people may be claiming to slow down for whatever reason, but the real truth is that they're hoping to see some limp torso being hauled out of the wreckage just as they happen to pass by. We're all basically sick puppies.

In "Little Black Book", the filmmakers want us to like Stacy (Brittany Murphy). Unfortunately, she's a back-stabbing bitch with low self-esteem who's gotten by her entire life on her cute smile and ballerina's body. The idiot filmmakers involved in bringing this story to the screen expose her for the evil mutt she really is, yet they also know that most audiences are more than willing to make the kind of Faustian bargain they require. That's right: We'll sleep with or befriend a chick, no matter how evil she may be, if she's cute enough. And we'll watch her screw a few people over for the same reason.

Stacy works on some Ricki Lake-type television show starring Kippie Kann (Kathy Bates). Behind the scenes she works with Barb (Holly Hunter). Seemingly, Stacy has a great relationship with Derek (Ron Livingston), but because she works in this cess pool of human indignity, she gets the idea that she should go through Derek's Palm Pilot and look up all his old girlfriends. This leads to the kind of cruelty that's usually reserved for snuff films.

Stacy looks up three of Derek's old flames and so humiliates them by the end of the movie that it's a wonder the three of them didn't toss a blanket over her Stacy's head and beat her senseless. Of course, the primary reason we're supposed to accept this as good fun and not sadism is that two of the three women are vainer than Paris Hilton in bad light. Barb also has a lot to do with the final sequence of pure humiliation, except that the filmmakers try to cast her as some kind of sage television Buddha who's saving people from themselves. It's truly a bit of disgusting plot development. By the end of the film, one simply feels sorry for everyone involved and that their pathetic, Hollywood lives have been so twisted and full of moral and ethical decay that they can no longer distinguish between what audiences find cute and what they find completely despicable.

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