Film Scouts and Newsweek at Sundance 1999


After more than half a decade of bringing films about youthful angst and alienation to Sundance (including The Living End and his "teen apocalypse trilogy": Totally F***ed Up, The Doom Generation, and Nowhere), Gregg Araki has created a brilliantly twisted antidote for all that brooding. Splendor, a sexy, stylish, and giddy romp about a white-bread beauty and her bevy of beaus, is designed to charm you while splattering romantic idealism in your face. Veronica is a picket-fence-pretty actress searching for a good man in Los Angeles. While slam-dancing at a Halloween rave, she meets Abel, a sensitive poet who moves her soul deeper than anyone before. Ten minutes later, she locks eyes with Zed, a supersexy, tattooed drummer with incredible biceps. Veronica faces a dilemma: Should she choose love or sex appeal? Whatever - this is LA - she chooses both! But after Abel, Zed, and Veronica form a picture-perfect threesome, along comes Ernest, a handsome movie director with a set of baby blues and a bank account that sweep her off her feet. Now what is a girl to do? With a kick-ass sound track and Generation Extreme art direction, Araki gives a campy twist to the one girl-two guys routine. His rebellious sensibilities are all over this romance as he playfully perverts the hetero ideals of the nuclear family and fantasies of knights in shining armor. Defying the rules of physics and convention, Veronica and her boys find happiness on their own resplendently shallow terms.

- Shari Frilot

Directed by: Gregg Araki
Written by: Gregg Araki
Starring: Matthew Keeslar, Kathleen Robertson, Kelly MacDonald, Johnathon Schaech, Eric Mabius
Produced by: Gregg Araki, Graham Broadbent, Damian Jones

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