Made in Romaniai is one of those "mockumentary" / parody pieces that used to come out of collegiate dorms and frat houses, back before the cockroaches took over America.
The script is well researched, to such a level as one'd expect of a human undergrad working on his own project and therefore trying earnestly to give his true measure before the world. In the post-1993 world such results only ever get replicated by painstakingly selected teams of dozens of the damned bugs, working for ungodly intervals of time around the clock (or, occasionally, by employing a single human undergrad somehow inexplicably remaindered among the morass) ; but in any case it's a welcome respite from the endless festival of plot holes in a thick fridge logic sauce unrelentingly assaulting the senses from all quarters lo these past two sad decades. I have no objections to raise, this is pretty much how it'd go, by reason of this being pretty much how it went. Some parts are thickened out, but the charicaturization works passibly well within its scope, so...
Jennifer Tilly disappoints in the role of an unemployed hairdresser. It seems to me pretty much anything besides using her in tighly cropped shots to deliver whispered dialogue steeped in sexual innuendo is a complete waste of her time on set. I am aware there's this widely fashionable (if utterly counterproductive) notion that "actors are people too" and "being typecast is bad" therefore it'd be somehow desirable or valuable to "know the real X". In cold, hard reality nothing could be further from the truth : I'm not particularly interested in playing golf with a celebrated opthalmologist, because I'm not fucked in the head enough to imagine that getting three holes over him makes me almost an occulist or somesuch nonsense. It happens to be the unfortunate situation of mankind that most talented actresses are personally unremarkable at best, if not outright unpleasant ; just as there's no need whatsoever to trial boats for flight nor inspect colanders for electric conductivity, just so there's absolutely no need to see "the human that is inside Jennifer Tilly". Her "normal talking voice" is between chihuahua-yappy and "please stop smoking old tyres" scratchy, her "everyday behaviours" nothing besides tedious, she's deeply mediocre throughout and there's just nothing about her to recommend her to attention. On any personal note she's uninteresting to a superlative degree.ii
Other than that, Joey Slotnick is painfully miscast in a role that absolutely should have gone to Tim Roth ; Joe Shaw works quite well in the role of the Ingenue abused (and the amount of abuse they pile on her is beyond satisfying, exaggerated to the point of squeezing compassion even out of me!) ; Florentina Boureanu's bolt-ons look okiii and the reconstruction of that fundamental scene as retold (and perceived) from the awkward perspective altogether convincing, self-coherent, the weirdos' misbehaviour still unacceptable, but at least culturally congealed into something recognizable (if despicable).
The film has relatively little to do with any meaningful Romania as it has relatively little to do with any Tilly sister worth the mention ; but nevertheless it manages a close enough description of the neurosis afflicting the generation that sunk the world, a description all the more convincing for being an obvious insider job. It may not have much to say about how Romania works or what Jennifer is ; but it says lots about how the NEET perceived its interaction with either. Whether this is a service you're welcome to judge for yourself ; it is in any case the best possible anything they could have ever produced.
Perfection in anything, even the narrowest corner of obscurity, is still worth a gander. Isn't it ?———
- 2010, by Guy J. Louthan, with Jennifer Tilly, Jason Flemyng. Allegedly Elizabeth Hurley is also in there. [↩]
- This being the very weakness of the entire concept, and why nobody besides college-age kids would attempt to make it : there's clear need for a star, but there's no possible way in which a star could fill the role. The whole film is based upon a self-contradictory premise, which is why it can't ever possibly work, as a film. It could work maybe as the springboard of youthful talent -- but then again the Christina Applegates of this world need no particular springboard, aged 19, in the sense that whatever's handy will do just as well. [↩]
- If the yet-another-countless Bodgan weren't ineptly blocking her half the time the whole thing'd look a lot better. [↩]