GUY (director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg; screenwriter: Kirby Dick; cinematographer: Arturo Smith; editor: Dody Dorn; music: Jeff Beal; cast: Vincent D’onofrio (Guy), Hope Davis (Camera), Kimber Riddle (Veronica); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Vincent D’onofrio/Renee Missel; A Polygram release; 1997)
“Vincent D’onofrio asks: “Why would anyone see a film about me ?” It’s a good question I couldn’t answer.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s (“Let It Be”) indie film “Guy”, a comedy/drama which tries to mix together the experimental with the mainstream; it just didn’t make a connection with me. It’s scripted by Kirby Dick who directed the agonizingly heartfelt documentary “Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist,” a film that enchanted me as much as this film didn’t. “Guy” plays out as a curio tale of voyeurism, love and self-revelation. Its let down comes in how unfocused it all is, as it runs out of sharp things to say about what attracts and repels people about being filmed as subjects. To be exposed to a voyeur suggests, according to the filmmaker, that the subject has an inferiority complex and needs to overcome that by getting attention. That someone chooses him to be in a film, makes him feel good in a sexy way despite the disadvantages of revealing things about himself he doesn’t want to.
Unseen and unnamed filmmaker (Davis) randomly picks Guy Dade (Vincent D’onofrio) out on the street as the featured star for her next probing documentary, as she wants as a subject an ordinary person in order to delve into his private life day and night. Guy is unsure if he wants this invasion of privacy and reacts with bewilderment and anger after she starts filming him without his permission, but reluctantly agrees after she follows him around downtown L.A. as he goes about his regular business. That business includes sleazy deals procuring classic American cars for export overseas and dates with girlfriend Veronica (Riddle), and soon he turns his attention on the videocam filmmaker herself. Guy expresses a romantic interest and threatens to stop being a subject unless she relents to his desires, but she insists on being in control and refuses his advances. Her only fear is that he will really walk out before she’s finished, as her agenda calls for her to be completely in control and keep her privacy intact while revealing everything about him.
It’s an interesting idea, but not such a hot film. At one point Vincent D’onofrio asks: “Why would anyone see a film about me ?” It’s a good question that I couldn’t answer.
REVIEWED ON 1/31/2004 GRADE: D
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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