Thursday, September 29, 2016

Movie Review: "XOXO" (2016)

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Director: Christopher Louie
Year: 2016
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

The lives of many people converge at an EDM festival/rave called XOXO. 

"XOXO" is directed by first time director Christopher Louie, who also wrote the film along with Dylan Meyer. The film is an ensemble character sketch of numerous people at an electronic dance music (EDM) festival/rave called XOXO. It focuses on six different characters: first, there's aspiring laptop DJ Ethan, played by Graham Phillips, who is getting his first big gig at the festival; next is his manager and friend Tariq, played by Brett DelBuono, who wants more from his life than just working in his father's restaurant; then, there is hopeless romantic Krystal, played by Sarah Hyland, who wants to find someone she can 'swirl' with; up next is a jaded music store owner named Neil, played by Chris D'Elia, who was burned by the industry and still holds a grudge, and finally there is Ray and Shannie, played by Collin Woodell and Hayley Kiyoko, who are facing a potential long distance relationship and what that means for them as a couple.

Look, we get it. We don't like to admit it, but we're old farts now. We're not hip to "the scene." Being in or out of the scene won't make "XOXO" any better. This movie is atrociously bad. The film is filled with a bunch of Hollywood-style eye-candy dressed in hyper neon colored clothing dancing around to terrible music in a movie with no substance, no talent, a hefty dose of gay panic, and faux deepness akin to what you'd find an internet guru espousing on YouTube. The story is pretty much nonexistent, the characters are paper thin, the acting is dreadfully bad, and the dialogue consists mainly of phrases stolen right off of motivational posters and ripped from the pages of self-help books. The vast majority of its run time consists of panning shots of crowds of people dancing and women making out with each other for no reason other than "it's a rave!!!!" This all may be enough for some viewers, but it's not for us. We don't learn anything new from this film and we certainly don't ever want to know what it's like to be a raver, not that "XOXO" told us anything about that life anyway. If you're into this scene, you'll probably identify with everything that goes on here, but maybe reevaluate your life while you're at it.

"XOXO" winds up being a boring, childish movie with no characters we care about, no engaging situations, and terrible acting to boot. Not even the usually funny Chris D'Elia can save this film from being a relative trash-heap. When your film is supposed to be all about the characters within its story, you damn well better find a way to get the audience to connect to them other than lesbian make-out scenes, constant drug use, and laptop DJ thumping. This movie is why people hate millennials, and we say this knowing one of us is a millennial.

My Rating: 1.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 1.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 71%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!

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