Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Nolan Funk, Amanda Brooks, Tenille Houstin, Gus Van Sant
Screenplay: Bret Easton Ellis
When I first heard of Paul Schrader’s “The Canyons” being pushed as an independent film I already knew it was going to be bad. I might get some backlash for this but: I will never give up on Lindsay Lohan. Yes, the girl made some wrong decisions, but in her short glory days, Lohan was able to create wonderful characters in fun roles such as she did in “Mean Girls” (2004) and “The Parent Trap” (1998). “The Canyons” might not have been the best choice for her (especially by casting real life porn star James Deen to play her male lead — he was T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E) but it’s great to see Lohan in something that’s a little bit more like her, and not trying something that we know she can’t do (like she did in her recent TV stunt in “Liz & Dick” (2013)).
Nothing is special about this story. We’ve got Lohan playing Tara, the girlfriend of trust fund baby Christian (James Deen) who is producing a B-Movie. When Tara meets the boyfriend of Christian’s assistant, Ryan (Nolan Funk), things stir up because of their hidden and passionate past. From here, Christian’s sick mind (he likes to have orgy’s with LiLo’s character) begins to push him into acts of violence. There’s nothing more to say about that.
The whole film was a boring and gruelling experience filled with bad dialogue and even worst acting. At least Lohan seemed like she was trying to be at par with her old tricks. I still feel that she can resurrect and turn into a great and respectable actor (ala Downey Jr.) again one day. Deen sounded scripted and Funk, who was at least a step up from him, was still not very good. For someone who has done other work (last thing I remember seeing him in was “Glee”) you’d think that he’d be a little bit more superior to the rest of the ensemble, but no, they’re all basically the same apart from minor differences in who might be minutely better.
Schrader’s “The Canyons” is no good. Unlike “Only God Forgives” (which actually has something to show in its almost perfect cinematography), this film doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. It’s worth is in its budget.