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
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.