Laurel Canyon

Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Year Released: 2002
Rating: 1.5

Psychiatrist Christian Bale and his researcher girlfriend Kate Beckinsale move in with Bale's record producer Mom (Frances McDormand) and the band she's working with (led by Liam Gallagheresque Alessandro Nivola) - it's a movie that then dares to ask the question: what is more interesting, doing research on the mating habits of fruit flies or drinking, smoking pot and hanging out with rock stars? Noted absence of meaty substance aside - and not taking into consideration several gratuitous, teasing shots of Beckinsale in her bra and panties - it's interesting to see pre-action picture Bale as a kind of introverted lump and McDormand playing hellcat Mom instead of her assortment of 'average' women (preggers in Fargo, smothering in Almost Famous, poorer-than-poor in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day). It's a good thing Nivola's got a day job because if he had to make a living covering Sparklehorse tracks he'd starve.