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Slightly Single in LA (2010)
Well Go USA
Blu-ray Disc Released: 9/3/2013
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 9/5/2013
It's been a while since we've played everyone's favorite game, "I've heard of these people. Why haven't I heard of this movie?" In the past, many of the movies which met that criteria have been "shelved" movies -- That is, movies which were shot and then not released when planned. We often know about these "shelved" movies because of industry reports, or release dates which come and go without the movie emerging. However, sometimes we are able to spot an obscure "shelved" movie due to clues in the film. With Slightly Single in LA (sic), this clue comes early on in the movie when a character freaks out about the world ending in 2012. Yes, that was just last year, but the joke smacks of a few years ago, which isn't far the truth. As with any "shelved" movie, we will look at Slightly Single in LA and see if it deserved its fate.
Lacey Chabert stars in Slightly Single in LA as Dale, a young woman who has a history of being unlucky in love. So, she moves to Los Angeles, where she gets a job doing casting for reality shows. She lives with her gay co-worker Seven (Jonathan Bennett). She also hangs out with her best friends Hallie (Jenna Dewan) and Becca (Carly Schroeder). Dale has been dating fashion photographer J.P. (Simon Rex), but she learns that he has other girlfriends as well. Rocker Zach (Kip Pardue) has been friends with Dale for some time and after running into her a few times, expresses his interest in her. However. Dale is now very gun-shy about men and does what she can to avoid facing any feelings for Zach.
OK, let's face it, every movie can't be The Matrix or Fight Club and have a deep, complex script which is filled with layer after layer. Some movies are going to have more simple stories which focus more on characters and don't deliver twists and turns or unforeseen secrets. If only Slightly Single in LA could have at least fallen into that latter category.
This may sound harsh, but Slightly Single in LA is what I call a "nothing" movie. The story is so simplistic that it's barely a story and I was hard-pressed to write the above synopsis. Yes, there are characters and situations, but the movie is very episodic and nothing really builds upon anything else. In fact, for a movie with so little to say, the film is incredibly redundant, as we are treated to scene after scene of Dale getting cold feet and running out on Zach or Hallie hitting on Zach. Clearly, Writer/Director Christie Will wanted to add something more to the film, as there is a section of the film which deals with how little girls dressed up for Communion dream of being brides. This is fairly deep, but it gets lost in the sea of meaningless scenes which populate the movie. More specifically, this idea is tied to the engagement of Jill (Haylie Duff) and Drew (Chris Kattan), one of the side-stories which pops up in the movie, never to truly amount to anything.
The movie also offers some odd homages. I may be alone in this, but the movie felt like a grown-up version of Clueless to me, most notably for Dale's voice-over comments where she describes her friends and their habits. (I guess that you could also compare this to Sex and the City, but the overall feel of the film leaned more towards Clueless.) Having Mean Girls alums Lacey Chabert and Jonathan Bennett in the film gave Becca's use of the word "fetch" as an adjective a whole new meaning. And the finale is clearly a nod towards Sixteen Candles. There's nothing wrong with Will adding these touches, but again, they seem very random.
All of this points to the fact that Slightly Single in LA doesn't know what it wants to be. Many "shelved" movies have been edited and re-edited over and over, and maybe we're seeing an example of that here. On the surface, the movie is a standard rom-com, but it never seems to be going out of its way to be funny. There are attempts at drama, but they are so superficial that they do nothing to draw in the audience. The characters are likeable enough and Chabert takes what could have easily been a very vapid role and added some spark of intelligence to it, but by the end, you will feel little and forget the movie very quickly.
Slightly Single in LA loves a musical interlude on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Well Go USA. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no notable grain and no defects from the source material. The colors look fine and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is acceptable and the depth what we would expect from a mid-level film like this on Blu-ray. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.2 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are mild, but during the club scenes, we get some sound effects coming from the right and left channels. These scenes also provide some notable surround effects. The track really comes to life when Zach's band performs, as the music fills the speakers and sounds quite good.
The Slightly Single in LA Blu-ray Disc is decidedly lacking in extras. "Meet the Director" (14 minutes) is an interview with Christie Will (who also wrote the film) who talks about many facets of the movie, including the story. However, she spends the bulk of the piece discussing the actors and answering "What was it like working with _____?" questions. The only other extra here is a TRAILER for the film.
Review by Mike Long. Copyright 2013.