A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Channing Tatum in an open shirt: the best thing about this film.
Um... yeah. So this was not very good at all. Part of me wants to cut it some slack, and chalk it up my just not identifying, but GOD, it was just so bad.
Did I just not relate to these characters? I admit that I didn't grow up in the ghettos of Queens; maybe this is how things really are. But I feel like the characters' assholish tendencies and inarticulate ramblings of profanity could've been made more accessible. I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of it (for a MUCH better film about lower-class teenagers with issues, see Raising Victor Vargas).
And the acting was pretty uneven. Some was very good, but some really wasn't, and the actors that WERE good weren't being done any favors by the script and direction. Plus, the film loses points for showing Dianne Wiest older, fatter, and more sidelined than I've ever seen her. And for asking me to believe Shia LaBoeuf and Robert Downey Jr. were the same person. AND for never once giving me any real nudity from Channing Tatum (I mean, what else is he there for anyway?).
Actually, the highest praise I can think to give this film is that it reminded me somewhat of Crash.
And if I am forced to hold up Crash (!) as a better example of what this film was TRYING to be, then, well...
How did this get so many good reviews???
Verdict: "I just didn't like it at all."
(P.S. I'm pretty sure the title is grammatically incorrect, thus upping the ante on Pursuit of Happyness-style "write it the wrong way" antics - this film just misfires everywhere it can)