WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
Here's a gimmicky movie that tries to extend beyond its gimmick and provide a statement about modern sexuality—but fails because of triteness and predictability. Love in the Time of Money follows one character after another as he or she connects sexually with another. As with Richard Linklater's Slacker, the camera is an impartial observer, moving from one liaison to the next, indifferent to us coming along for the ride.
We start with a hooker (Vera Farmiga), wandering the streets and eventually attracting the attention of a young carpenter (Domenick Lombardozzi), who cheats her and eventually makes his way to the uppercrust home of a horny yuppie woman (Jill Hennessy) in need of home improvements, and then we get a peek into her life of sexual dissatisfaction with her husband (Malcolm Gets), who might or might not be gay, and just to test himself, he seeks out a local artist (Steve Buscemi) to whom he's attracted, but the artist isn't gay and is in fact very interested in the receptionist at a local art gallery (Rosario Dawson), but she's involved with a reckless teen (Adrian Grenier), who then finds himself on the verge of an unlikely fling with a desperate spinster (Carol Kane), whom we find is a phone psychic when she receives a call from a suicidal stockbroker (Michael Imperioli), who ultimately finds himself approaching the hooker who started it all…
It's all a very clever structure that is admittedly promising. But awkward writing and a few stiff performances doom the entire project. Which is too bad, because most of the actors give it all they have. I was also, in the end, put off by the structure, which by nature doesn't let us get too involved with any one character. I wanted to know more about the Carol Kane character, for example, but we just get a frustrating glimpse. Love in the Time of Money is like the worst sex—hurried and meaningless.
HOW'S IT LOOK?
Miramax presents Love in the Time of Money in a poor anamorphic-widescreen transfer of the film's original 1.85:1 theatrical presentation. The chief failing of this transfer is its obscene amount of edge enhancement. It's perhaps the worst I've ever seen, creating extremely distracting halos and hideous ringing throughout. The entire presentation has a drab look, with poor detail, and a shifty digital quality that is never pleasing. Colors are flat, and blacks aren't very deep. The print is also fairly dirty.
HOW'S IT SOUND?
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is centered at the front. I never noticed any remarkable wideness across the front. Dialog is clean, but not particularly resonant. The audio presentation is most effective when the soundtrack comes alive with music.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE?
The only extras are Sneak Peeks at Daddy and Them, Buffalo Soldiers, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Only the Strong Survive.
WHAT'S LEFT TO SAY?
Avoid this one. For an enlightening experimental film about sex, check out Sex, Lies, and Videotape.