Girl walks into a bar

April 19, 2013

What starts out as an interesting experiment in film stagnates midway, and approaches a meaningless conclusion. Girl Walks Into a Bar attempts to find relevance in the alcohol-drenched rooms of Los Angeles by portraying a chain of deceit. Yet its delivery arrives short.


The film starts by introducing us to a nervous dentist meeting the titular girl. The girl, supposedly, is a contract-for-hire assassin who is negotiated to kill the Dentist’s wife. But she is also a detective. She satisfyingly captures his admission that he wants his wife dead, and while he runs to get her the money, she chats up a young man who admired her showing off her boobs to the Dentist. A few beers later and she realizes the young man swindled her belongings from her purse – including the taped recording.


There are flashes of superb scripting in the beginning scenes. Intensely clever writing reaches its crescendo by an entertaining and quite theatrical soliloquy by an exotic dancer played by Emmanuelle Chirique. This is completely, however, tangential to the fabric of the story. While amusing, upon recollection it appears to be filler for an already terse 79 minute film.


We learn that this exotic dancer happens to be the sister of the swindler, and the girl-detective is told to go find her if she ever wants to see her belongings again. She skips town to the bar where they frequent (serendipitously provided by the bar tender at her original stop). Slowly, the story begins to deteriorate.


The great effort of the film is in attempting to coordinate all the characters into one plot. But it does so nonsensically. Where each character collides is in an absurd “nudist” ping-pong playing club, where the dentist is a part of a hold-up to get his money. And once there, he sees his wife with her lover, and he apparently forgives her, ending that plot-line. The one that initiated the film and was superficial. For that matter, the segue to the concentration of obtaining the girl’s photograph from her ex-husband with the help of exotic dancer sister and swindler brother is driven by nothing but screen-time filling. In all this time, there is nothing to each of the characters. There is no drama. There is only a failed experiment.


Grade: F



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