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Equity (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 100 minutes.

Not for children.

This is probably the first Wall Street chick flick and it is hard to watch. All the men in the movie are bad guys. Most of the women are, too. Itís written (Amy Fox and Sarah Megan Thomas, who gets a story by credit) and directed (Meera Menon) by women and just in case anyone doesnít notice, one of the final lines in the movie is a paean to womenís lib; coming across with as preachy a line as you will ever hear in a motion picture.

Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) is an investment banker experienced in putting together IPOs. She has an assistant, Erin Manning (Thomas) who is less than loyal. Worse, sheís got an old college friend, Samantha Ryan (Alysia Reiner, who is a co-producer), who is also a federal prosecutor. Her sometime boyfriend is Michael Connor (James Purefoy), who is also an investment banker with her firm. Then thereís the wunderkind CEO of the company Naomi is representing, Ed (Samuel Roukin), who is really a piece of work.

Naomi is the only person in the film who is pure. The rest of them are ambitious, back-stabbing, Machiavellian villains, and thatís what the film is about.

This isnít a bad story. The problem with the film is that itís just not polished. There are scenes in it that make you feel you are watching a bunch of actors mouthing words. One scene in which Ryan comes on to a target in a bar to try to get information out of him is so contrived itís cringworthy. When you see a scene like this you canít really tell whether itís bad acting or bad writing or bad directing. Here itís probably all three. I see lots and lots of movies but I canít remember any scene as bad as this one is.

As far as verisimilitude goes, this gets a D, but on the plus side, it definitely does not have a Hollywood Ending.

It advertises itself as a film that is ďdirected, written, produced, and financed by women, a collaboration among women in entertainment and business leaders in financeóthe real life women of Wall Streetówho chose to invest in  this film because they wanted to see this story told.Ē Given the quality of the result, I wonít be investing in any of their IPOs.