WALK OF SHAME
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JUNE 18, 2014
Urban dictionary defines a “walk of shame” as “the walk home after a one night stand”. Further extrapolated, “one usually wears either the clothes they went out in (i.e. short skirt and heels) or the clothing of the person they slept with (i.e. a large white t-shirt) the morning after”. In the film bearing that title, Elizabeth Banks is the one partaking in the one night stand and a bright yellow dress is the article of clothing worn from the night before. Banks plays Meaghan Miles, a local newscaster looking to make the jump to news anchor, but upon finding out she did not get the job, she goes out for shots at a club and then a one night stand with bartender James Marsden. Needless to say, both of these wonderful actors deserve better.
One may recall the 1985 Martin Scorsese film “After Hours” in which actor Griffin Dunne goes on a journey across SoHo in New York after taking a cab to a woman’s apartment who ends up not being there. The night he encounters is full of chance meetings and mishaps which leads him right back to work the next day. “Walk Of Shame” attempts to step into those shoes, but like the shoes often carried after a one night stand, the film is uncomfortable. The problem is, in 1985, I believe someone could experience getting lost in a city, with no money and no phone, attempting to get home on only the kindness of strangers. But in 2014 and Los Angeles of all places, I do not believe an attractive young woman like Elizabeth Banks could not get home, regardless of whether she has no money or whether she left her cellphone in James Marsden’s apartment while her car was getting towed.
The morning she endures is often painful to watch. All the things she could have done, like get someone to buzz her back into Marsden’s apartment, wait for someone to walk out, or simply get a cab to the news studio and get someone to pay for her when she gets there, negates the entire plot of the film. Instead, she gets guns pointed at her, ends up in a crack den, is followed by police officers that believe her to be a prostitute, and eventually attempts to steal her car out of the impound lot. The dialogue of the film eventually insults and objectifies Banks’ character to the point of being tiresome and offensive for everyone involved, including the audience. As bad as the film becomes, at least it takes a chance with an R rating while still projecting the technical aspects of a film on par with a big-budget Hollywood production and, despite the lack of material to work with, the cast projects a big-budget feel but is simply underutilized. With Banks in a legal battle against Dan Rosen, who alleges that he had the original idea for this film before showing it to Banks, if I were Rosen, I would not want my name anywhere near this film or screenplay.
May 2, 2014
(for language and some sexual content)
Patrick J. Don Vito