Top positive review
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat Movie- IF you know what to expect
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 11, 2009
If you expect to watch a plot driven movie,this is not for you. This film uses a murder to draw you into the time of the Club Kids, a time when it only mattered if you were seen.
I sat down to watch this out of boredom. I am not a fan of Macaulay Culkin and did not think I would last the entire film. Instead, after writing this review, I will be watching Party Monster again.
This film is almost as much about the time as it is about the people. Michael Alig and James St. James happened to be the people who took us to the late 80s, early 90's pre-Giuliani New York night club scene in this film. My exposure to the Club Kids prior to viewing this film was limited. I had managed to see them on Joan Rivers and thought what they were doing was a cool idea, just living to be seen, in a sense. The young men and women were existing for the next party, the next person to give them attention and the next high (both natural and chemically induced).
This movie transports you to a time and place that most of us will never experience, and it manages to do it quite well. The beginning and end did not fit in with the rest of the film and the attempt to bookend the film did not quite work out well, although the end did tie in reminder that Alig only cares for attention in case we had forgotten what his driving force is. I still found these scenes to be tacked on. They did help me travel from now back to the time period of the film and back again but it still seemed a bit disjointed.
Make no mistake, this film is low budget. This was especially obvious in a couple of scenes that take place outside the club on the street. I could almost see the tape for the roped off area, the lack of natural foot traffic was obvious. The two main actors (Seth Green and Culkin) both had several scenes where it was clear they had not had time to work on practicing their lines, and that rehearsals were needed (the beginning of the first scene in the fast food joint comes to mind).
I was surprised at the performances by Chloë Sevigny (yes, gay men can have friends that are girls), Dylan McDermott (who played an excellent role in Wonderland -- another low budget gem, around the same time) and Marilyn Manson as Christina.
This is a good movie to view if you want to leave the world you are in for a couple hours, but a better budget would have really helped this film.