Laurel Canyon (2002) - Drama

Hohum Score



When an uptight young man and his fiancee move into his libertine mother's house, the resulting clash of life attitudes shakes everyone up.

IMDB: 6.4
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Stars: Frances McDormand, Alessandro Nivola
Length: 103 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 34 out of 145 found boring (23.44%)

One-line Reviews (108)

The unexpected have been done.

Now it is as though the virus of "mainstream movies" has infiltrated the "non-mainstream movies" leaving them uninteresting.

Laurel Canyon, the indie-type movie starring Frances McDormand is a hit and miss feature that at times is really good but at other times languishes on screen and slows to a tedious pace.

" Yawn.

Kate Beckinsale was alright, Allesandro Nivola was average, and Natascha McElhone was predictable.

But if one is of a mature age and attitude; this is well worth watching.

A friend recommended that I see this movie, and I am so glad she did-it is severely underrated, and an engaging character study.

At first all seems right with the story but eventually becomes uninteresting as it brings up nothing new in terms of viewpoint.

For some unexpected reason this is not the case.

Opera fans will understand if I say that the plot is less creative, more believable, and more boring than "Cosi Fan Tutte," and without the Mozart music there is really no reason at all to sit through this flic.

"High Art" was a lower-profile, smaller movie, and though in a sense it went nowhere either, there was that nice little lesbian romance at the center of it, and its New York bohemian scene was more intriguing than the Laurel Canyon/Chateau Marmont recording world of Cholodenko's new movie.

But then we'd have no story.

That is the only thing that makes them worth watching, to see their clay feet.

There were three things I liked about this movie: Francis McDormand, Natasha McElhonne, and the music (which even at times was in the contrived hipster-vein).

They are staying at his free-spirited mother Jane (Frances McDormand)'s supposed empty home in Laurel Canyon.

Just a waste of time.

Southern California is an exciting mystery to the rest of the world.

But it's McDormand who conquers the film's potential clichés and predictable story turns with her sexy, free-spirited performance.

The emotional mediocrity of all the relationships was also tedious and non-involving.

Overall it was a bore...

Even though intriguing, there is no connection or endearment for the egoistic characters of the film.

This is one of the worst movies that I have ever seen.

The production design and camera work are fine, but the script and direction were awfully mundane.

Except for Bale, everyone is completely self-involved in their own fantasies and for me that was 1) boring and 2) not believable.

The scenes with Frances bitching over the phone with the female record producer are trite and serve no purpose at all.

Considering how uninteresting the lead characters were, I'm not sure anyone really cares how it ends up.

Boredom is just the very worst thing one can admit to up here.

Allesandro Nivola is entertaining as the mother's current lover.

The setting itself is contrived, as if Laurel Canyon is some kind of stage, a place that's so special.

Boredom: Against the "Law" in Laurel Canyon .

After enduring this dreary meditation on what passes for passion in the 21st century, I wanted to go to sleep too.

The story was one of the most intriguing that I've ever seen.

Lisa Cholodenko's first film, 1998's "High Art," was a fascinating look at ambition and what some people will do to satisfy their need to get to the top.

They expected to stay in his mother's empty home while he worked at a psychiatric hospital and she worked on a thesis.

Ian is yet another clichéd character in this mishmash of cliché and unbelievability.

I read some of the reviews already posted, and some of them have put their finger on what it is that makes this a rather dry, un-insightful film - one person says that it lays out some momentous issues/behavior, then just falls flat without carrying them through, ie, there's no impact.

100% predictable and devoid of anything interesting, including drama (the scene where Bale and Beckinsale scream at each other and then cry is laugh inducing).

In the end, the film is a little trite for me, and rather depressing.

Hard to make enough lines to tell you just how bad this movie is, since it was so boring I remember very little of it.

The acting however, is quite good and therefore, I would consider it as a good waste of time.

" If not, it's pretty boring

If you're going to make a shallow, extremely predictable movie then at least give the audience some steamy or bloody scenes to work with.

boring boring boring .

Sam is Jane's adult son and is the opposite of his mother, having disliked the lifestyle she immersed him in as a boy.

Even she sounds bored of her own voice - and who can blame her.

Horrible, horrible movie, don't waste your time.

Amazing that she bore such a son in Christian Bale.

I watched this film for the first time last weekend and enjoyed it so much I watched it again.

Christian Bale, a Harvard Medical School graduate, is bored having sex his fiancée, Kate Beckinsale, also a Medical School graduate working on another degree, in his mothers', Frances McDormand, glass and redwood mansion in the Hollywood Hills, which, instead of being vacated, is occupied by his record producer mother recording a British rock band while having sex with the very much younger lead singer.

(this is my first IMDB comment BTW, after using this site for years)I found this movie the worst movie I've seen in a while (I've gotten good at avoiding them).

Even Beckinsale's character, a somewhat repressed intellectual who finds herself tempted to try a little hedonism herself, seemed different and intriguing.

I am always curious as to who thought this a worthy enough enterprise to invest the time, money and energy in so empty a project?

Yawn and yuk.

`Laurel Canyon' is an intriguing character-driven drama, written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko and featuring first-rate performances by Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Alessandro Nivola and Natascha McElhone.

Laurel Canyon is banal.

Unintentionally funny and dull .

There are two very noticeable and unbelievable deviations from the cliché.

That said, her character is a cliché, at best, which probably helped her step into that role.

One thing which has to be mentioned, which I've already read either on the message boards, or another review, is that for all the 'hard rocker' image of the band, and even Frances McDormand's character, the music is trite pop.

) also did a convincing job of a playing the awkwardness of a foreigner in an unknown and exciting place.

The medical scenes stay at the level of a wan TV drama while the recording process is made relatively fresh and engaging, and toward the end of the movie Jane declares the record to be one of the best she's ever produced.

And if you get this on DVD, like I did, save yourself from the tedious director's commentary which is one of the worst I have heard - and I've heard a few!

An enjoyable clash of cultures, families and sexual orientations .


It's easy too guess what will happen, so easy in fact that you find the boring couple being the heroes.

The performance of the magnificent cast is stunning.

Coupled with the romantic quandary faced by Christian Bale who must choose between fidelity to his fiancée, Kate Beckinsale, and a lustful fling with his alluring coworker, Natascha McElhone, gives this movie an entertaining edge that is not usually seen in more recent Hollywood offerings.

The people around them (Frances McDormand and the band she is producing) are made out to be spontaneous, alive and exciting.

Frances McDormand is really brilliant as the mother and gives her character unexpected charm and charisma.

I gues the "car-chase" crowd is easily bored.

My guess is the writer/director wanted to make a movie about her own fantasy: the joys of non-commitment, sexual experimentation, and how easy it is to unload one's ethics at the slightest prodding - as if these traits are fascinating.

A waste of time except for McDormand .

To me, she represented the typical Hollywood perspective of the dull, conservative, disciplined achiever now destined to be drawn to the wild side.

Spoilers throughout post:Laurel Canyon was Definitely an interesting movie, even fascinating at times, and had a lot to like about it.

Other than that, I found the script rather dull, lifeless and boring, virtually devoid of humour.

Meanwhile, Sam finds unexpected chemistry with fellow resident Sara who pursues him with a becalming fervor.

The dialogue is funny enough and the actors are all very good that they make up for the slightly predictable plot.

She sounds bland, annoying, boring and is probably the weakest character in the movie (is it me, or does she stop being a prudish too soon?

A predictable vision that lacks force .

totally predictable plot (although the final few frames were nicely done), unbelievably banal dialog capped by McDormand's soliloquy to her son -- how such a great actress agreed to deliver such tripe is beyond me -- this movie just fails.

Beckinsale, another Brit like Bale, is a little bland, and doesn't possess the talents required to wring anything out of such an underwritten role as that of Alex.

Soft-core furniture porn, great characters, but no story.

Laurel Canyon is worth watching -- it isn't a light feel-good movie, so don't expect that.

The direction was bland and lifeless; unsexy, in this particular case, when it should have been erotically charged.

Absorbing character study with California ambience .

boring .

In Frances' hands it is riveting; in the others with their weird accents and an odd lack of depth to the characters it falls flat.

How about the opening sex scene which portrays Alex as very sexually responsive and Sam as slow on the pop, so to speak.

Cholodenko is a very interesting filmmaker and when she writes a script this predictable then obviously something is wrong.

I swear the whole sordid affair caused the young fellow next to me to doze off in his seat.

To have enlisted such a wonderful cast of actors for such a bland movie is intriguing.

The film revels in the sensuality and freedom of this rarefied realm, and it's intriguing to see the effect on the young couple.

Nevertheless makes for an interesting couples (or perhaps a potential menage a trois), good entertaining late evening's viewing.

Who is to blame, the director or the cinematographerOverall, if your looking to see a film with great performances, an acting film, this is worth watching.

It's enjoyable, kinky, and tempting for the curious.

This « Laurel canyon » is totally terrific and exciting as for one time, Frances gets very loose : i understand that she wanted to try nudity and pushes her usual envelope and honestly she wins!

I guess this is supposed to be real life naturalistic acting, but the quietness and slowness of things are peculiarly unnatural.

This movie is her salute to that beautiful, intriguing, bohemian enigma.

The drama was so gripping and enthralling that as soon as it ended I rewinded the tape and watched it all again from the beginning.

The only possible explanation is selfishness and that's just plain boring.

For one there is really no plot, the script meanders around.

It could be a self-indulgent writer/director, feckless producers, meddling studio executives or demanding actors.

She's an extremely talented actress and the only living character here, including the free-wheeling band that she's coaching which is, in another way, just as boring as the tidy couple.

One star for McDormand's performance and another for good acting by everyone else in the grip of a dull script.

The characters are rather dull and unlikeable; some of them are rather unrealistic and others you don't care at all about.

The film is reallynot worth watching.

McDormand shines in predictable story .

Does she want to leave Sam for the rocker (sorry can't remember the name of the character at the moment).