Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where our favorite directors are beneath the notice of even the Razzies. We’re examining the 2003 directorial/screenwriting debut of a man with more money than sense, a poorly handled romantic drama that beats you over the head with its San Francisco setting – James Nguyen’s Julie and Jack!
What’s The Plot?
Jack, a hotshot software salesman who’s looking for love (and whose best buddy is just looking for sex), meets the beautiful tech developer Julie via online dating. Their relationship grows steadily until – SHYAMALAN TWIST – Julie breaks it off over Jack’s stubborn insistence they meet in person rather than virtual reality! This kicks off a slightly creepy investigation to find her in the real world, leading to two more poorly conceived twists and a cameo by Tippi Hedren.
Who Made This Beautiful Garbage?
James Nguyen, the visionary behind 2008’s Birdemic: Shock & Terror! This was the man’s very first movie and…well, if anything he got worse at it in the intervening five years. The film does use a lot of the same elements as Nguyen’s more famous work – lots of focus on entrepreneurs and salespeople in California’s tech industry, a best friend for the male lead whose main trait is “Sex Maniac”, a reverence for Hitchcock’s legendary film The Birds, and even a musical number from Damien “Families Hit on Each Other, Right?” Carter.
Five Reasons to See It
- The first twist in the film opens up a number of logical issues. Notably, they never leave San Francisco on their dates. While they do go to some cool places…they’re in virtual reality. They eat dinner a few times. They use highly advanced virtual reality technology that can create any location real or imagined…to pretend to eat dinner in the city they already live in.
- There are no less than three Shyamalan twists in the film, each less sensical than the last. They also launch the film into the realm of mild science fiction, which is something more chick flicks ought to try.
- Tippi Hedren, legendary star of several Hitchcock films, appears in one memorable sequence and is immediately the best actress in any movie James Nguyen has made or ever will make. She is so much better than film that it’s almost sad…but the woman got paid, which is more than a lot of actresses in their 70’s (as she was when it was made) can say.
- Damien Carter doesn’t sing about trying to bone his family this time, which is a plus.
- “Sex isn’t the only thing I care about. It’s just that I’ve always imagined myself falling in love with someone… who’s alive. I know that may sound strange to you, but it’s just the way I was brought up.” – I, on the other hand, was taught by my parents to only court historical figures. Eliza Hamilton’s looking good these days.
If you liked Birdemic, this movie is probably even more entertaining – that movie kind of grinds to halt when the actual avian apocalypse begins. However, there’s one problem: You can’t find it anywhere! It’s not on Amazon, eBay, YouTube, pirate websites, hell, the film’s own website says not even word about where to watch it. The only place that has it is, and forgive me for this, is RiffTrax. Which is actually kind of a shame, because the movie is “good” enough to stand without the guys’ commentary.
NEXT WEEK: From the producers of Space Mutiny comes 1991’s Firehead!