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The Failures

Maybe the most honestly titled film playing along the Croisette this year, "The Failures" is a shrill, go-nowhere satire of adolescent angst that marks a low point for Tim Hunter. Sporting the tagline "a suicidal romantic comedy," self-immolating pic tells the story of a good-girl-gone-bad and her efforts to help an alcoholic parking lot attendant take his own life.

With:
With: Ashley Johnson, Chad Lindberg, Henry Czerny, Seth Adkins, Joseph Reitman, Michael Ironside.

Maybe the most honestly titled film playing along the Croisette this year, “The Failures” is a shrill, go-nowhere satire of adolescent angst that marks a low point for Tim Hunter, who began his directorial career with two insightful pics about the lives of teenagers (“Tex,” “River’s Edge”) and has continued to do good television work (“Homicide”) in recent years. It might be best, though, if this pic never surfaces even on the small screen.

Sporting the tagline “a suicidal romantic comedy,” self-immolating pic tells the story of good-girl-gone-bad Lilly (Ashley Johnson) and her efforts to help alcoholic parking lot attendant William (Chad Lindberg) realize his long-gestating fantasy of taking his own life. When he isn’t dreaming of blowing his brains out, Will writes children’s stories in which antidepressant medications are the heroes — stories that occasionally come to life on the screen like some horrible, umpteenth-generation “Adaptation.” Screechingly bad perfs, ear-splitting musical score and murky video shooting by the usually reliable Nancy Schreiber compound the displeasure.

The Failures

Production: A Werner Film presentation. Produced by Kathrin Werner, Felix Werner. Co-producers, Andrew Seklir, Hal Haberman. Directed by Tim Hunter. Screenplay, Hal Haberman.

Crew: Camera (color, HD video), Nancy Schreiber; music, Brian Ray, Abe Laboriel, Jr.; production designer, Robert Shinso. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 17, 2003. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Ashley Johnson, Chad Lindberg, Henry Czerny, Seth Adkins, Joseph Reitman, Michael Ironside.

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