REVIEW: The Canyons starring Lindsay Lohan

James Deen in The Canyons -- "My Friend's Hot Mom 35 is better than this movie. I need a new agent..."
James Deen in The Canyons — “My Friend’s Hot Mom 35 is better than this. I’m firing my agent…”

I want Lindsay Lohan to succeed in life.

Why do I care (other than the affectation of basic human empathy)? I’m…not sure…but I will make some conjectures. She’s a fellow redhead, and redheads have to stick together. I love all things Tina Fey including the movie Mean Girls, and, of course, Lindsay Lohan is the lead actress in the film. I’ve been dismayed by how the media delights each time Lindsay has a failure, which makes me root for her. Nobody should have to deal with that.

Whatever the case, I currently consider myself a pro-Lindsay person.

Thus, when I saw a recent Lindsay Lohan film, The Canyons, available for streaming on Netflix, I decided to take a look. About a year ago, I read a fascinating behind-the-scenes tell-all on the Vanity Fair website about Lohan’s bad behavior on the set (you can read it here). I also went in knowing that the movie was terrible…Brett Easton Ellis is credited as the screenwriter, Paul Schrader (he of the fantastic 90s thriller The Afflicted) is the director…and Lindsay Lohan is the lead.

How bad could it be?

Schrader and Ellis should be ashamed of themselves.

Lohan plays Tara, paramour to trust-fund baby and casual movie producer Christian (James Deen). When Christian discovers that Tara has been playing “hide the poker” with Christian’s leading man of his current production, violence happens. The movie plays like a typical late 90s “Affair leads to murder” thriller. There is nothing to see here (other than Lindsay Lohan who looks great in the film).

The production values are atrocious. The acting, save for Lohan, is atrocious. The Canyons looks like a terrible late 90s Skinemax feature (not that I’ve seen one). The plot plays out like one (or so I’ve heard).

Paul Schrader made an interesting casting choice with James Deen. Deen is a fairly well-known porn actor. Here he plays the role of Christian. He appears to be channeling his inner Christian Bale from American Psycho (another Brett Easton Ellis movie). While Bale was terrifying as a rich, spoiled white dude, Deen comes across as creepy and a caricature of evil.

For some reason, Gus Van Sant (director of Good Will Hunting) has a cameo.

I can understand why Lohan took the role. On paper, The Canyon has some high-power names attached to it. It probably looked like an opportunity to climb out of the doghouse that she and the media have put her in over the past decade. Unfortunately, the movie only throws more dirt over her career.

So here’s to hoping that my fellow redhead can revive her career! My suggestion is to beg Tina Fey for a part of whatever film project she might have cooking.

One response to “REVIEW: The Canyons starring Lindsay Lohan”

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    Lindsay, undressed for the scene, had requested the crew get naked as well, on the grounds that she wanted them all to be on an equal footing. Schrader, perhaps not fully sane at that moment, spared the crew and just dropped trou himself. He then commenced to direct the scene. There were no more delays. (It turns out Lindsay had called me to set to demand I strip, too, but I did an about-face and hustled out of the house as fast as I could. Watching James’s prodigious genitalia slapping from thigh to thigh as he did take after take of a nude scene earlier had me committed to keeping my briefs cinched tight at all times. “I’m really not that big,” James once told me. I winced.)

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