If Casanova had been even a little worthwhile we would have had to declare it Heath Ledger’s year. He’s got his critically acclaimed Brokeback Mountain in his pocket along with an independent feeling Lords of Dogtown. If Casanova had been all the romance it’s cracked up to be our boy would have been sitting pretty. Sadly Casanova is nearly unwatchable. Someone somewhere ruined a movie with Sienna Miller in it and that’s inexcusable. One topless shot might have saved this film. No, I’m totally kidding (sort of).
Casanova is the story of 16th century Venetian heartthrob Jacoma Casanova. He values time with the ladies above everything else, he’s a merciless seducer, and he’s brilliant in the sack. Blah, blah, blah. I hate to so callously throw away the film’s premise but that’s how it’s treated in the movie itself. I’m shocked that Lasse Hallestrom, a guy who directed Chocolat and Cider House Rules misfired so badly on this one. If I were him I’d immediately issue a press release that said something like “The script was crap. I blacked out a lot while filming.” Unfortunately I don’t think Lasse will do that which means his career is officially stuck down a well.
So where exactly does Casanova start screwing the proverbial pooch? It plays it for laughs. By “it” I mean “love”. This is unfortunate because you’d think Casanova would believe his own propaganda but nope, he’s entirely self aware. The film gets a few laughs because of this but fails to connect in any meaningful way. “It” could also stand for the inquisition which is treated as if it were Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Oh you silly inquisitors, you won’t be cutting anybody’s head off today! Yikes, what a debacle. You know what this film reminds me of? The Notebook. Many people will find it to be inane drivel but that small section of the population we call “teenage girls” will flock to it. Where the hell have all the outlaw movies gone this year? My buddy Vern must be losing it, throwing tantrums in his tiny outlaw palace.
Casanova doesn’t take anything seriously for the first 110 minutes and then all of a sudden we’re asked to take a look at some TRUE LOVE. That’s ridiculous and offensive. Heath was poised to be the leading man of the year, he’s even married to the other gal from “Dawson’s Creek” but it all went horribly wrong. Why doesn’t this film get an F? Well, I’ve always liked that Oliver Platt fellow and I don’t really hold Miller or Ledger responsible for this catastrophe. I think they did the best they could with a bad situation, kind of like all those who were beheaded during the inquisition. Avoid Casanova at all costs.
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