Published Feb 14, 2013Though Roman Coppola's attempts as the screenwriter of The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom were met with mostly positive approval, even though they were little more than gussied up nostalgia made tolerable by Wes Anderson's eye for aesthetics and composition, he's never demonstrated much acuity for film.
With his directorial debut, CQ, he assembled a mostly incoherent and appalling narrative around his preoccupation with the costumes and styles of '60s Paris.
With A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, he's reiterated the same basic story — douchebag struggles with his career because he's an alcoholic womanizer that thinks he's in love — only updating it with '70s costumes and styles. And since Coppola is more interested in being perceived as "cool" than actually saying anything, he's cast Charlie Sheen as said douche, suggesting that there's little more awesome than an indulgent, perpetual screw-up.
Without any directorial panache, or even much of a vision — for someone so preoccupied with how things look, he doesn't think much of storyboarding or utilizing visual trajectories — he presents a mishmash of the titular character's (Sheen) fantasies as he tries to reclaim his lost love (Katheryn Winnick).
Said fantasies involve half-naked white women dressed as Native-Americans chasing him (and Bill Murray) through the desert, along with graveside dance routines and sexist, women-in-peril rescue ideations. It's all the same boring male nonsense with only vintage tchotchkes and wardrobes (Patricia Arquette goes full hippie as Swan's author sister) to distinguish it as an actual production rather than an accidental assemblage of footage.
Since Swan's many fantasies involve people that are living far less glamorous lives in the real world, there's a kernel of truth that the beauty of film and advertising (Swan is an ad man) help make the quotidian more palatable. It's just a shame that nothing about A Glimpse Inside makes anything about the real world more palatable. In fact, it just makes it even more depressing.
All that Roman Coppola's exercise in performing his psychological inability to cope with the present proves is that nepotism and networking are far more important than talent. (VSC)