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Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Model Shop (1969)

A young man (Gary Lockwood, 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY) has dreams of being an architect but doesn't do anything to fulfill that dream and with the specter of the draft (the Viet Nam war is full swing) hovering over him, he drifts aimlessly. Though he has a live in girlfriend (Alexandra Hay), when he sees an elegant older Frenchwoman (Anouk Aimee) he becomes obsessed with finding out who she is. The first and only American film by Jacques Demy, this is an ill conceived project. Anouk Aimee is supposed to recreating the part she played in Demy's LOLA but they're nothing alike. It doesn't help that, for the most part, the film is horribly acted down to the smallest roles. The dreary nondescript Lockwood makes you wish Ryan O'Neal would step in and take over and Hay as the airhead girlfriend is amateurish. Aimee wafts through the film like a bruised goddess but she stumbles like everyone else. The vapid dialog is a fountain of cliche. Demy seems to have fallen under L.A.'s spell as the film makes the city look appealing. The soundtrack is littered with generous doses of classical music and bad rock and Michel Legrand is missed more than ever. With Severn Darden and Carol Cole.

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