Damsels in Distress

Directed By: Whit Stillman

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Hugo Becker, and Ryan Metcalf

While I typically go to the movies to be swept away in some story or adventure, I occasionally learn something when at the theaters.  When I recently watched Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, I got an interesting lesson in ethics.  According to the girls in the film, one's morality and the size of his or her posterior are connected.  Essentially, those with stronger morals have bigger asses.  Thanks to Damsels in Distress, I now have my new diet plan—being bad.

Seven Oaks is the last college in the Select Seven to become coed.  Even though it's been decades since the change occurred, male dominance still prevails on campus.  With this in mind, one trio of girls intends to make a difference and rescue the dim-witted men of Seven Oaks from their greatest threat—themselves.  Violet (Greta Gerwig), Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke), and Heather (Carrie MacLemore) do so by operating a suicide prevention center on campus.  Led by Violet, they soon find a new student to join their cause when new student Lily (Analeigh Tipton) arrives on campus.  There's just one problem.  Lily's a rebel and has no problem challenging them on everything they do.

Aside from getting a new diet plan, I didn't get much out of Damsels in Distress.  This is mostly because I didn't find the film to be that funny.  For this, the blame lies primarily on the shoulders of Greta Gerwig's Violet.  As the star, she's the nut who's supposed to bring the most laughs.  Violet is certainly a likable nut, but not a comedic one.  She may be obsessed with hygiene and sniffing bars of soap.  She may even be determined to create the next dance craze with the Sambola. The problem is that Gerwig’s Violet forgets to tell a few good jokes along the way.

As much as I can blame Greta Gerwig for not being the hilarious nut she could have been in Damsels in Distress, I can also lay some blame on the writer and director of the movie, Whit Stillman.  Stillman tries to use too much dry humor and gives us too many dim-witted Roman frat boys.  Because all the actors broke out their monotone voices to deliver their brand of dry humor on camera, the movie was pretty damn dry.  On top of this, somebody had to do something stupid every few minutes to perpetuate the theme of the dumb frat boys from Roman fraternities.  With all this in mind, I almost regret not getting some shuteye instead.

Damsels in Distress doesn't have much going for it aside from a charming innocence and a good soundtrack.  Because of these two things, there's a certain youthful energy that underscores the film and makes me want to like it.  It's just not enough.  If it weren't for these two stronger aspects of the movie, I would have given Damsels in Distress a wasted rating.  For now, just grab a few Flirtinis to get through this one.  Damsels in Distress gets a 0.09% rating.