Stay Cool (2009)

You know, Winona Ryder made a lot of bad indies during her Hollywood purgatory years (like “The Darwin Awards” or “Sex and Death 101” for example), but “Stay Cool” is pointless, bottom-shelf trash. The rancid, unfunny screenplay seems absolutely enamored with its lead character (it’s no surprise to discover that lead Mark Polish also wrote the movie) for no reason, given that he’s a narcissistic, arrogant bore the whole way through, while the other characters seem to be drawn to him like magnets for some inexplicable reason (it’s no surprise to discover that lead Mark Polish also wrote it). All the movie’s characters seem to have been living in the past for the last twenty years reminiscing over anecdotal high school memories like it’s the height of nirvana and serenity, and instead of being charming it’s just totally pathetic, so there’s just no reason to get interested in these fools’ lives at all. There’s also some serious issues with the casting: As an actor, Polish is barely alive whenever he’s onscreen, like he’s about to be dragged off the set and shot in the head the minute they call “cut,” while Ryder herself is way too good for this shit so you just end up feeling bad for her. But the single worst part of the movie is Sean Astin’s atrocious Big Girl: He’s a lazy screenwriter’s idea of a snappy gay guy, and it’s just totally offensive, tone-deaf and cringeworthy. For the life of me I can’t imagine why anyone bothered to make this at all, there’s just no there there.

Rating: ★ (out of 5)

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