SEARCHING FOR PARADISE

2 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 87 minutes
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Gilda Mattei (Susan May Pratt) has a tortured love/hate relationship with her dying father Giorgio (Michele Placido) as well as a major-league school-girl crush on the dashing actor Michael De Santis (Chris Noth). After receiving one of those handy-dandy camcorder thingees as a present, Gilda sets about recording the various aspects of her family’s banal existence. After her father’s death, however, the camcorder serves a more useful purpose. It becomes a prop Gilda uses when, upon discovering that her father had an Italian mistress, she passes herself off as an Italian journalist, essentially becoming that mistress, in a successful scheme to seduce the enigmatic star.
What a load of hooey. “Searching for Paradise?” How’s about “Searching for A Plot” or what about “Searching for Any Reason at All to Watch This Film?” Ugh. Gilda’s a few slices short of a full pizza pie, for sure. She needs therapy, not a camcorder, but that’s not the problem with “Searching for Paradise.” There have been plenty of films made, after all, in which the lead character was a little off. The problem with this lethargic load from director Myra Paci is that this film is as boring as it is implausible. Actually more boring than implausible, because it’s at least possible that a conniving hunk like De Santis would provide access to an attractive female reporter with questionable “credentials” for reasons that have nothing to do with publicity. The fact that I fell asleep during their interlude is evidence enough that it was boring.
“Searching for Paradise” could have been an intriguing, even controversial exploration of an impressionable young woman’s search to escape from her, shall we say, excessive daughter/paternal bonds. It settles instead for feeling like a foreign film version of “Pretty Woman,” except that the lead woman here is a stalker instead of a prostitute.



Posted on November 22, 2002 in Reviews by
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