WHEN WILL I BE LOVED
(director/writer: James Toback; cinematographer: Larry McConkey; editor: Suzy Elmizer; music: Oli Power Grant; cast: Neve Campbell (Vera), Fred Weller (Ford), James Toback (Professor Hassan Al-Ibrahim Ben Rabinowitz), Dominic Chianese (Count Tommaso), Karen Allen (Alexandra), Barry Primus (Victor), Mike Tyson (Himself), Lori Singer (Herself); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Ron Rotholz; IFC Films; 2004)
“Superficial, cynical and irritating dramedy about hustling Big Apple dwellers trying to score sex or make a fast buck or live a hedonist amoral life.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Nothing much about love or a woman’s worth gets answered in this superficial, cynical and irritating dramedy about hustling Big Apple dwellers trying to score sex or make a fast buck or live a hedonist amoral life. Writer-director James Toback (“Harvard Man”/”The Pick-up Artist”/”Love and Money”) keeps it provocative, but in a phony way poses it as a post-feminist pic that explores sexual issues, race relations and power trips.
It opens with conniving spoiled rich girl Vera (Neve Campbell) masturbating in a shower in her new Battery Park loft, given to her by her enabling parents, while Beethoven plays in the background. Vera’s small-time impoverished self-loathing hustler boyfriend, Ford Welles (Frederick Weller), thinks he controls her, but she’s only out for Number One and has no feelings for his love excepts enjoys his rough-house sex. Into playing games, Vera meets obnoxious motormouth Columbia Professor Hassan Al-Ibrahim Ben Rabinowitz (James Toback), who is running a program on encouraging the races to get together and hires Vera as his assistant. During a drawn-out street conversation Vera acknowledges the professor, outfitted in African dress, is only trying to get into her pants, but accepts the position because she’s just as insincere as he is and tells him to expect no booty. After a quickie lesbian lay, which she videotapes, Vera meets in her loft the doting dandy, visiting Italian billionaire media mogul count (Dominic Chianese), who promised would-be pimp Ford he would give Vera $100,000 if she will go to bed with him.
Every thing in this film is packaged to look rich and respectable, but is only slimy and misanthropic. It’s a revolting pic that only points out how inauthentic as a hipster and provocateur is the director.
Mike Tyson and Lori Singer have meaningless cameos as themselves.
REVIEWED ON 2/17/2013 GRADE: C