Rich and condescending Veronica (Sandra Oh) and old buddy Ashley, a struggling painter (Anne Heche) become embroiled in a vicious rivalry with devastating consequences for both sides. And so the tables keep on turning.
Apart from her one supporting lesbian turn in 2014’s Tammy, Sandra Oh is a wonderfully gifted actress. It was a blessing when she left Shonda Rhimes’ seemingly endless medi-drama, Grey’s Anatomy. The show hogged her talents for 10 years and now that she is free from the trying work schedules or serial television, she now has time to work on gems such as this.
With all its underlying themes, the movie implores you to choose a side in this petty battle. But like the war that will never end, it seems redundant. It’s also pointless considering that Veronica’s journey has the classic formula of the protagonist. She is the first of the two to get Kill Bill-ed. She is the first to suffer great loss. Her loss is also greater. She learns. She grows. Even though she doesn’t grow out of the eternal struggle with her rival, she outgrows the power, status and money she once had.
By the time that literally the same shit happens to Ashley, we arrive at a point in the movie that is just one continuous punch-line, no pun intended, during which she makes no effort to redeem herself. Every kind word or apology she makes is a teeth-grinding lie. Plus, it’s also difficult to sympathise with someone who is quite the raging see-you-next-Tuesday to begin with. A trait that only worsens in her rise to wealth, just as the loss of wealth humbles her adversary.
Despite all the lampooning that goes on, most of it is too unspecific. There’s no commitment. I’d call it weak, but I’ve seen Summer of Blood and the hilarity of director Tukel’s humour lies in its apathy as well as its lethargic delivery. You need to hit hard topics such as these with a wrecking ball, not a feather duster.
I say ditch the bullshit themes and enjoy the talent that’s onscreen. The fight scenes are hardly Uma Thurman versus Vivica A. Fox or Darryl Hannah, but they are just as interesting and thankfully lacking any creepy Tarantino foot fetishes.